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Simple and light dinner – baked salmon with asparagus

It’s Easter holiday, but we are very busy. We have to move, so I have to pack. My husband is also very busy on setting up his new studio, so I would like to cook something very simple and light for our last Easter night.

Tonight I would like to cook salmon, it’s very healthy and rich in omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin B and D. I also got some asparagus to go with it, it is going to be a very simple and easy to manage dinner cooking.

To heat up the oven to 210C, season the salmon with salt and black pepper. Place a batch of dill and rosemary underneath the salmon, and then place sliced of lemon on top of the salmon and top it with another batch of dill and rosemary. I did not put any oil, as salmon itself got some oil, and it’s totally fine to bake them without adding oil. Close it up with foil and place it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, that’s it! When the salmon is almost done, start to cook the asparagus. Heat up the pan with a bit of butter, then pan fry the asparagus and season them with salt and black pepper. Serve the salmon with the asparagus, you can remove all the dill and rosemary, but keep the lemon on the salmon for decoration. Nice and light!

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Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner – must have lucky food

It’s Chinese New Year’s Eve today, we called it 團年飯, and traditionally you should have the dinner with your entire family, in order to end the year altogether. It is important for Chinese to gather the entire family together for important event like this one, but I think it’s important for everyone, like Christmas Eve for Western, Thanksgiving dinner for American, and etc.

One thing funny about what we used to eat for CNY’s Eve dinner, we should have something means lucky to us. Meat somehow is a must, as that means you are rich enough to have meat. Fish is also one of the choice, as fish 魚 Yu, sounds like 餘 Yu, meaning extra. Of course we would like to have extra money! Shrimp 蝦 Ha, sounds like 哈 Ha, the sound of laughing, so shrimp is also a popular dish for CNY.

So, I’ve made a Western style year-end dinner for us, with shrimp and salmon (fish).

Garlic, Chili and Lemon Shrimp. Heat up the pan with butter and a bit of olive oil, put minced garlic in, then put the lemon slices and chopped red chili pepper, fry a bit then put all shrimps with shell in the pan, cover with lid and cook until they all turned pinkish. Season the shrimps with salt, ground pripika and parsley flakes. 

Creamy Salmon Penne Pasta. Put one pot of water to boil, add a good amount of salt and cook the penne pasta according to the cooking time of the package. For the sauce, heat up the pan with butter and a bit of olive oil, put the minced garlic in, and then put the chopped asparagus and sliced mushroom. Fry them until they turn soft, add some lemon zest and squeeze in lemon juice, then pour in the cooking cream, let it simmer and then add some cheese. Could be a mix of Italian cheese, like parmesan, romano or pecorino cheese. Let it simmer a bit more, then season it with a bit of salt and ground pripika. Mix the sauce with the penne pasta, and serve it with a touch of black pepper.

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Addicted to sous vide cooking – salmon and carrot with salad

I don’t have to cook this weekend, as my husband is taking care of the Sunday night dinner. I asked him to cook us the real Chilli con Carne, as he said the one I cooked the other time was not that authentic. He still trying to find the best proportion of the ingredients, as he thought he’d put too much cumin into it. I will wait for his best recipe to share on my blog, and for the time being I would like to take care of writing this long lost Sunday night cooking, sous vide with salmon and carrot, before I totally forget what have I done.

For the salmon, season with salt, black pepper and some ground parsley. Put them in the vacuum bag, seal and cook under 56C in the hot bath for 40 minutes.

For the carrots, melt the butter and then add honey and ground cinnamon for seasoning. Dip the carrots into the mix and put them in the vacuum, seal and cook under 85C in the hot bath for 30 minutes.

Prepare the green salad as the base, mix with cherry tomatoes and some thin slices of cucumber. Season the salad with some salt and pepper and some balsamic vinegar. Sear the skin side of the salmon, and serve together with the carrots on top of the salad.

 

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Instead of salad, how about a pasta dish with Salmon and Avocado? Try this salmon fusilli pasta with avocado pesto

I was not meant to cook this for dinner last Sunday, but I found one pack of smoked salmon is going to be expired the next day, and the avocado is almost overripe. Let’s think of something to cook for the night with salmon and avocado. So, besides making a salad with salmon and avocado, what else can I do? How about making a pasta dish…… Why not?

The thing about avocado is, it will turn into brown colour after exposing to air. So, try to use the right amount for this dish and finish it up in one go. If you have leftover, you will ended up eating a brown colour pasta the next day. You would not get sick, it’s just not looking pretty. I’ve heard that if you put a cut onion next to an avocado, will help the avocado to keep green. Not sure if that works if I include onion as part of the ingredients, maybe I will try it out next time.

The Best Way to Keep Cut Avocado Fresh

It doesn’t take too long to prepare the pesto, it is better to get the water boiling for the pasta to start with. Now, you can start preparing the pesto and put everything into a food processor and let it do the chop work. Put some parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, garlic, avocado, half lemon juice, good amount of olive oil, salt and pepper into the food processor and blend them into a pesto sauce. Super quick and easy!

When the hot water is ready, add a pinch of salt and cook the pasta according to the cooking time on the package. When the pasta is ready, drain them but save a bit of pasta water in case you need it later. Mix the pesto with the pasta and add some pasta water if you feel it’s too dry, then cut the smoked salmon into strips and mix them together with the pasta. Add the other half of lemon juice, and you can garnish it with some extra parsley and parmesan cheese on top.

 

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Sunday dinner – Pan fried Salmon with potato and salmon salad

I was thinking to do a fish dish for last Sunday already, but I could not managed to cook last Sunday, as I was too busy making the enzyme fruit juice. Let’s think of a fish dish for tonight!

First of all, what kind of fish should I go for? I was thinking to cook sea bass, maybe something like pan fried sea bass, or grill? Trying to get some idea, and I came across with this recipe by Gordon Ramsay, maybe it’s a good idea to do a pan fried salmon, as I’ve never cook salmon by pan frying them. I used to put them in the oven and grill them, but never did with pan fry.

Trying to find a nice piece of salmon for pan fry, as maybe the middle chunky part is not working much for pan fry. So, I go for more the tail part of the salmon, and it is wider and a bit thinner, should be easier to control. What Gordon Ramsay did, was to serve this with  potato and crabmeat salad. I was not able to find nice crabmeat, so I decided to go for the potato with salmon instead. I guess taste wise, should be fine as they are both salmon, but in two ways, cold and hot.

The first thing to do, is to get the potato ready, better to get that prepared a bit earlier of the day, so that you have enough time to chill the potato, as it should be cold as salad. Boil a pot of hot water and put the whole skinless potatoes in by adding pinch of salt. Boil them for about 20 minutes, and put them in the fringe until they cool down. After an hour or so, get them out from the fringe, break them up in small pieces by simply using a fork. Do not smash them too much, as we are not making mashed potatoes here. Finely chopped some spring onion or chives in the potatoes,  put some salmon chunk in and start mixing them. Put the bowl back into the fringe and serve it when the pan fried salmon is ready. For the salad dressing, put olive oil, a bit of vinegar, lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Mix them well, and keep it in the fringe as well for serving later.

To fry the salmon, first of all, make sure you get rid of all the scale, and then do a few cut on the skin side, season them with salt, pepper, thyme and tarragon. Heat up the pan with olive oil, fry the skin side first for 2 to 3 minutes, or until you see half of the section is cooked already. Then, cook the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes, and it’s done! Serve it with the salad and some dressing.

I have to say, the skin is really crunchy, and I really love it! I think I will cook this once again in the future, instead of grilled salmon.

 

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CNY’s Eve dinner . good to go for fish

  
Tonight is Chinese New Year’s Eve, I am thinking to cook a salmon dinner for the two of us. For the 團年飯 (Tuen Lin Fan), dinner for the whole family to get together, it’s an important dinner  during the year. Traditionally, we need to make sure we are having certain dishes for dinner, such as fish, shrimp and meat. Fish (魚 pronounce as yu), that represent good fortune and money, shrimp (蝦 pronounce as ha), that represent a lot of laughter and happiness. So, I guess for just the two of us, salmon is a good choice.

I would say, this dish is all about the avocado dip. That is not like guacamole, because that will be too strong for salmon, the trick for this one is with Greek yogurt. So, this dish is salmon and scallop with zucchini and cauliflower, served with avocado dip.

To get everything prepared before starting to cook. Cut the cauliflower in pieces and steam them until almost done, I will finish them later pan fry with butter and seasoning. Cut the zucchini in slices. Cut two avocados in half, and smash them into a large bowl. Then, add minced garlic, some Greek yogurt and a bit of lemon juice into it, and mix them well together. Season it with the amount of salt and pepper that you like. Now, heat the oven in 190C, place a foil and then salmon on the tray, season the salmon will salt and pepper, a bit of lemon juice and put some dill directly on the salmon. Drizzle some olive oil on the salmon and the tray, and put it in the oven and grill for 15 minutes. Turn the salmon upside down when it’s half way done, that helps to cook it more evenly. Sometimes I do prefer to grill the salmon with fully wrap of foil, in order to keep it moist. But today, I guess it’s fine to grill it just like that. 

When the salmon is in the oven, we can get the grill pan to fry the zucchini with olive oil. On the other hand, we can heat up another pan with butter, and fry the cauliflower, and season them with salt and pepper. Then, we heat the pan with butter, and fry the scallops. Please remember, do not overcook them, otherwise they will become too dry and chewy. Don’t forget to turn your salmon once in the middle. When the salmon is done, take them out and serve it with the scallop, some zucchini and cauliflower, of course with the avocado dip. The avocado dip tastes better if you have chance to let it chill in the fringe a little bit.

Just to make the entire family happy, I’ve also made some salmon with potatoes for our two doggies. Salmon is always good for dogs, this is actually what our vet asked is to feed one of our dog when she was having allergy. Good for skin and joint as well.

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! Kung Hei Fat Choy! 恭喜發財!年年有餘!

  

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Creamy smoked salmon penne pas7a . good for Saturday night under horrible weather

Cold and rainy night again! What should we eat? Maybe something that can make you feel warm, creamy or cheesy…… Let’s do a creamy pasta, creamy smoked salmon penne pasta.

This dish is creamy and you will feel satisfy after the meal!

I love to add pine nuts for the pasta, love the taste and the consistency.  First of all, before doing anything else, just fry the pine nuts with a pan with a bit of olive oil. You really have to watch it, because it might burnt all of a sudden, as you would not want your pasta with black pine nuts. So, that is ready and you will need that at the end, so better get it done in the beginning without spending time to cook it at the end. Some people just cook it together with the pasta, but I love to fry them a bit to get them taste even better!

To cook the pasta sauce is quick, so you can almost cook the sauce and boil the water for the pasta at the same time. Boil a big pot of hot water for the pasta, on the other hand, get a sauce pan ready. Put some butter in the pan when it’s hot, place some chopped garlic and fry them until golden brown, you can also add some finely chopped onion if you like. Then, add the crème fraîche as you like, around 200 ml, add parmesan cheese or you can add any kind of goat cheese as well, depends on what do you like. Add a touch of  freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a touch of white wine if you like. Cook until the sauce starts to become thick, season it with salt and pepper, then add the salmon. Do not add the salmon too early, as it’s already cooked, no need to extra cook them. At the same time, the penne or any selection of pasta you like, should be ready. The trick to cook the pasta is no tricks! Just pour a tea spoon of salt in the hot water and cook the pasta, duration refer to the cooking time on the package, and keep it with high heat, the result should be always good!

Mix the pasta into the sauce, you can always save some hot water from the pasta, in case you need them if the sauce becomes too dry. Finally, put the pine nuts and chopped parsley and mix them well together, then served them with a touch of black pepper.

Crème fraîche does taste different than a regular creme, but if you cannot find it, can still use the regular creme to cook the sauce. But, it tastes more creamy for sure with the crème fraîche.