Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Twice Done Potatoes

Twice Done PotatoesI think these potatoes might be the reason my wife married me, or maybe it just helped her say yes. There is nothing better than a crispy potato that is soft in the centre. Add in some great flavour that penetrates the potatoes while boiling and you have a winner. The key is the boiling liquid and boiling to the right doneness!

The Recipe: Twice Done Potatoes

8 medium sized potatoes
2 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of water
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
Some hot sauce (this will not come across as mush heat in the final product, but just elevate the other flavours)
2 tbsp balsamic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter

Place potatoes, stock, water, sea salt, pepper, Worcestershire, balsamic and hot sauce in a sauce pan that is just large enough so that the liquid covers the potatoes. Boil the mixture covered until the potatoes are fork tender and the edge are just starting the lose there form. For some potatoes the boiling may take longer and thus some more water may need to be added so the pot does not boil dry.Preparing the potatoes Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and spread the potatoes on a cooking sheet with a slotted spoon. The remaining liquid in the pan can be reserved as a sauce for your accompanied meat or dipping the potatoes in. Cover the potatoes in olive oil and butter and place in oven for about 10-20 minutes turning periodically to ensure the potatoes are cover in the oil. The potatoes are done when the edges are crispy! Potatoes with a high water content may take longer to crisp and you may want to use the boiler. Remove from oven and enjoy!
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Monday, September 14, 2009

Pan Seared Salmon

Pan Seared SalmonWith summer dwindling down that means that a lot of people in the great white north close up the backyard and put the bbq away for the season, but that does not mean you have to stop enjoying a great piece of salmon. Cooking salmon on the stove can be just as nice as the bbq and even better. Like a great steak, a beautiful piece of salmon should not be fussed with too much. Simply cooking it properly will create a memorable and mouth watering piece of salmon. There are a few keys to a great piece of salmon.

1. Make sure it is fresh, although frozen can be okay, it will not be as succulent as fresh.
2. The type matters, I prefer sockeye salmon for something meatier when it is in season (my local fish monger flies it in fresh during the summer) although a lot of people prefer coho or chinook salmon for their high fat content and smooth taste. During the off season I use an organic farm raised Atlantic salmon which also has a higher fat content. I do not enjoy chum or pink salmon as they have low fat content and do not stay as moist when cooked. I also stay as far away as possible from general farm raised as the chemical content and health of the fish is very poor.
3. Smell your salmon, although it doesn't sound appetizing, the best way to tell how fresh the salmon is, is to smell the salmon. The salmon should not have any odor at all, if the salmon is fishy that smell will come out in the taste.
4. Buy the salmon the day you are cooking the salmon, this goes along with number 3, buy fresh and eat the salmon that day.

So now that we have a beautiful piece of fish, on with the recipe...

The Recipe: Pan Seared Salmon

Serves 2
Prep Time 30 seconds, cook time 12 minutes.
1 lb (16 ounces) of fresh salmon fillet with the skin on(most restaurants will serve a 6 ounce portion)
1 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp of butter

Cut the salmon in two pieces, pat dry with a paper towel and evenly spread the salt and pepper on the flesh. Heat an oven safe skillet on the stove top to medium high heat. Add the the butter to the pan(the pan is slightly to hot if the butter browns immediately). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the salmon, flesh side down, in the pan and sear for about 1-2 minutes until a bit of a crust appears. Flip the salmon and place the entire pan in the oven for 10 minutes for a piece of salmon that is about 1 inch thick at its fattest point (adjust the cooking time slightly depending on how thick the fish is). Remove from oven, serve with your favourite salad and Enjoy!
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