Monday, January 2, 2017


Over the Christmas-New Year's break I took some time to indulge in one of my most favorite pastimes: cooking. I love to fiddle with recipes or just invent my own. A few years ago, I conjured this super easy and fail safe salmon recipe. It is nearly impossible to overcook the salmon using this method and it can sit in a warm oven for a while without becoming dry.
I buy an entire fresh fillet (skinned and boned) of salmon. Wild salmon is best, but it is now possible to acquire farmed salmon that is raised without antibiotics or hormones (Costco carries this variety).

-2lb. salmon fillet(increase other ingredients if larger)
-2 very large Roma tomatoes
-1 small SWEET onion
-1 stalk organic celery
-2 large cloves garlic
-Lemon juice
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-1 lb. baby spinach
-Grated Pecorino Romano cheese as garnish

Dice the tomatoes, onion, celery and garlic very fine;
simmer in olive oil til well-cooked and slightly reduced.

-Grease a large oven-proof baking dish
-Place salmon in dish, skin side down
-Squeeze lemon juice over salmon (not too much)
-Cover salmon with tomatoe mixture, spread evenly
-Mound baby spinach over salmon
-Seal dish tightly with foil
-Place in 425* preheated oven and reduce heat to  350* immediately

Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until salmon is just cooked through--spinach will have wilted and released its water into bottom of pan. Turn oven down to 200* --salmon will remain warm and just right until ready to serve (no more than 1/2 hour)
To serve: slice salmon into desired portions and serve with the Pecorino Roma on the side. Yummy and you can feed a crowd without too much of a timing issue.
**This salmon is good served cold with a dribble of Caesar dressing.

I made black eyed peas with ham (added those greens for a bit more good luck) and corn bread for New Year's Day.
And split pea soup for Christmas Day.
I'm not sure what I'll make next--our rainy (Yeah!! The Drought is over) and chilly days are inspiring me....maybe Indian lentils with homemade chutney?

So glad to be back to normal tomorrow. The Christmas Holidays are great, but I love to work. In Pasadena, almost everything shuts down during the days surrounding the Rose Parade as traffic is next to impossible to avoid--tomorrow I'll be driving past the amazing floats from today's parade.

Wishing ya'll (must have caught that from the black eyed peas--I did live in the South for 6 years) a prosperous loved-filled 2017.

Mary & Jones & Cole

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