On Being Spontaneous

The best results sometimes come from spontaneously throwing something together out of what you have. We do that a lot in my house - one because I like to make things up to feel like a real chef, and two - I'm not one to run to the store over slight imperfections in ingredients on hand. It may be the only place in my life where I am truly spontaneous. ::wink::

So this is based off from my favorite mac and cheese recipe, which I have yet to share. I will post that here soon. I just wanted to get this up. I'm really wanting to share my food with others since the interest is high right now. This version substituted traditional Gruyere and Parmesan with what was in my cheesebox - Aged Gouda and Parmesan.

The GF pasta dish turned out SO well - I even used GF breadcrumbs and it was very hard to tell the difference from my original recipe. Yay for GF individuals everywhere.

The dish is plated with a version of my favorite salad as of late. That too shall come...


Seared Salmon on Coconut Spinach

In my world there is no better way to start off a year than to cook a new and delicious meal for my love. So I settled on a surprise meal of Seared Salmon rested on Coconut Curry Spinach. I adapted this recipe from a few recipes, but worked mainly from Donna Hay's gem. I enhanced her version with more vegetables for me and cooked up some spiced brown rice to serve it over. I hope you enjoy.

Get yourself a big ol' fresh piece of salmon. Pop it into a shallow dish with 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger, 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 2 tablespoons Tamari (or soy sauce for those of you okay with wheat). Marinate this about 5 minutes on each side. When ready, cook in a high heat frying pan - 1 minute on each side or toss whole deal into the oven/toaster oven for about 20 minutes at 350 or until you are happy with the pinkness.

Onto the curry.

A small pot will do to boil up a couple yukon gold potatoes. Once soft, cube and let cool.

If you'd like some rice, cook up what you will. I made brown rice according to instructions on the package.

Grab a pan out and pop in 1 small diced onion, fry until translucent. Add in 2 cloves of crushed and minced garlic, 2 small red chilies, seeded and chopped and 2 tablespoons Asian chili or red curry paste. Cook for around 2 minutes and then add one can of coconut cream (not milk) the potato cubes and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Simmer for 4 minutes. Add one bag of pre-washed spinach, mix until it wilts.

To plate, put a bit of rice down, slide the salmon next to it and smother with the coconut spinach mixture.

Go back for seconds. And thirds.


Wild Rice & Dried Cherry Soup

That's right, you heard me. I know you're thinking...a vegetarian wild rice soup? Yes. With cherries? Oh yes! And it's fabulous. I'd even go as far as more fabulous than the original deal with chicken and flour base. Yay!

Let's get down to bid-ness.

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add one carrot, one celery stalk and one medium onion, all finely chopped to the pan, stirring occasionally until the carrots are tender. This should take around 8 to 10 minutes. Once this is ready, add 3 tablespoons of flour (I used GF, but you can use regular) and mix well. Add in 3 cups of vegetable stock (or chicken if you wish) slowly until all lumps are gone. Let soup continue to cook for about 5 minutes so that the base can thicken. Add in 2 cups of cooked wild rice and 1/2 cup of dried cherries. Turn down your heat to low, stir occasionally and simmer soup for about 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of heavy cream or half-and-half. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fried sage leaves if you wish.

Eat all of it because it is delicious.


© 2007 All writing and photography is owned by Lollya.