Category Archives: Uncategorized

Salmon Filet – Portioning for Freezing

Recently, I picked up a whole fresh salmon filet at Costco and, when I got home, I portioned it up so I could freeze it for future meals. It wasn’t as pretty as this wild caught Canadian salmon, that I got for a crazy cheap price some years ago, but I cut it up the same way so I’m recycling pictures from an earlier post on LJ.

Here’s what I did with some of the Canadian salmon – teriyaki basted and baked buttery rich and tender salmon belly meat and crispy salmon skin. (Yes, teriyaki IS my favourite baste/glaze for salmon)

As for the butchering technique:

First, rinse off the filet and pat it dry with paper towels. It looks so lovely and red, doesn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚

Then, cut into the filet at the tail end, about 2-3 inches from the end. (My fridge was REALLY cold. You can see some shards of ice forming on top of the salmon.)

If you have a sharp knife, and are confident in your knife skills, you can hold on to the tail with a folded over paper towel and run a sharp knife between the flesh and skin from the tail to the head portion of the filet. However, once you make that first cut through to the skin and get about an inch under the flesh, you can remove the knife and use the back edge of your hand ‘in place of the knife’ to free the flesh from the skin while firmly holding on to the tail. There’s no risk of cutting the skin or hacking up the underside of the flesh if you use your hand. Which is what I did.

The result is a sheet of salmon skin, a cleaned filet and the couple of inches of salmon from the tail cut off the skin.

I flipped the cutting board around, trimmed the fatty belly meat off and then portioned the rest of the salmon into 7 portions. I used the width of 3 fingers as my portion guide. The weight of each portion ranged from 3-5 oz depending on the position on the filet.

The underside of the skinned salmon pieces

And, what I ended up with … wrapped for the future.

On the right, in the Ziploc container: 6 lovely salmon portions wrapped up in pairs of similar size and weight. On the left, in the smaller container: the scraps from the tail portion that I used to hold onto when I removed the skin from the rest of the filet, the next tail portion, and the belly meat cut into about 5 strips. The salmon skin was baked until crispy and served with seasoned seaweed.

Crispy Salmon Skin

salmon skin, no meat remaining
neutral vegetable or grapeseed oil
salt, as needed

Preheat the oven to 375 deg Farenheit.

Place a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil brushed with oil on a baking sheet.

Cut the skin into approximately 2 by 3 inch portions. Use a pastry brush to brush both sides with oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Place on the baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, turning over the skin after 10 minutes. Remove the skin as it crisps up. Some pieces may be slightly thicker so may require an extra couple or three minutes. Transfer to a doubled sheet of paper towelling and let cool. Cut or break into shards and use as garnish.

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Flavoured Sourdough Tortillas

I used to buy various flavoured tortillas … pesto and jalapeno cheddar come to mind, so a recent FB post which mentioned a rosemary olive oil tortilla inspired me to flavour my own home made sourdough flour tortillas. I was going to add dried rosemary to the sourdough tortilla dough but the jar of pesto, which caught my eye, when I opened the fridge door, led me in another direction.

Shiso pesto tortillas … one tablespoon of the vegetable oil was replaced with pesto.

For these sun-dried tomato tortillas, I pureed 2 tbsp of sun-dried tomatoes with the water in the recipe and added 1 tbsp of tomato paste for colour. A couple of pinches of sugar were added as well as I was afraid the tomatoes would be a bit … bitter. They were fine, by the way.

Other flavours I’m thinking of making one day … chipotle in adobo, roasted garlic, roasted red pepper, spinach, sun-dried tomato and garlic. What do you think would be a great flavour?

… And here are a couple more tortilla pizzas. I’ve pretty much stopped making regular yeast pizza dough, or even bread, as these tortillas are much more convenient for a single person. One has bacon on it and the other has a meat ragu sauce base with fresh basil leaves.

In place of sandwich bread, wraps are more fun, like in this breakfast or lunch scrambled egg and pepperoni wrap

Quick Note on Grocery Shopping/Cooking Plans

So, I just spent an hour or so doing an inventory of the kitchen (off-kitchen, actually) and basement freezers cause I’ve lost track of what’s in there.

There are several kinds of raw proteins available … chicken drumsticks, a box of pre-seasoned chicken wings, three boneless, skinless chicken breasts, a couple of packages of boneless pork loin, a big bag of large shrimp, and a single sirloin steak.

I’m going to see if I can avoid going grocery shopping until the next set of grocery store flyers come in, on Friday, and make do with what’s already on hand. I have no self control when it comes to picking up sale items, to store away in the FREEZER, for the future.

My flour canister is almost empty and I’m down to my last 5 lb bag of all-purpose flour in the freezer so I’m not going to do any bread baking until I’m totally out. I may even (shock and horror) BUY some from the bakery or grocery store.

I’ve thawed a strip of pork ribs and will be cooking it today tomorrow.

Stay tuned …

Blast from the Past Post (Long and Dry)

NOTE: If you’re not in the mood for a long and boring ramble, go to the bottom of this post and click on the link to see many of the pretty pictures I’ve posted over the past few years.

As some may know, I started posting on LiveJournal in February 2006 … about once a month and picture free.

Oh, those carefree days, when my LJ was just a way of establishing an internet profile and keeping my account alive, with no drive to take pictures of EVERY meal and share recipes. But over time my LJ evolved into a glorified food diary, and then a recipe sharing, pic-spamming and more rarely, a life sharing vehicle.

In December of 2011, I persuaded my nephew to take pictures of some chocolate truffles I had made. It made my LJ post come to life and the reaction from my LJ and blogging friends was wonderful. Ego-stroking is a great motivator to spend money on buying your own camera cause that’s exactly what I did.

January 2012 was the start of a rather obsessive almost six year LJ journey of making food, plating/presentation and picture taking.

In April 2014, I made my first blog post and eventually started duplicating my posts there as well. Gradually, LJ became a desolate place from which people started disappearing in droves. Dreamwidth seems to be the newest refuge for people who don’t want to start a blog. I started an account there a while ago and, one day, I may transition there as well.

For the observant, you’ll have noticed a bit of an identity crisis among my LJ, WordPress blog and DW accounts.

Many MANY years ago, when I first discovered the internet, no one used their real names. It just wasn’t done. Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry the VIII, was the persona I chose to adopt. Over time, I established accounts on other social media under a less fanciful, but just as fictional, persona. I mention that because I didn’t/don’t always switch profiles when I comment and there have been puzzled reactions to some of my comments. Especially when sharing links back to my LJ. Which I don’t want to abandon for a variety of reasons.

I made this post because there have been a number of new people following my blog who might be interested in the recipes I’ve posted on LJ. Since they may not have the time or inclination to scroll back through those old posts to see what’s there, there’s an alternative. Pictures catch your attention and many of mine are collected at one location.

Fridgg is a picture sharing website with links back to the originating blogs posts made by the bloggers themselves. I prefer it to Pinterest because I can use it to contact like-minded bloggers who wish to share the highlights of their posts.

Lara Quinn … c’est moi (that’s ME)

I Love Reading

I was inspired to post this by something I read recently on my friend Spikegirl’s LJ. Although it may seem that all I do with my free time is cook … I DO other things.

Like reading.

I no longer buy books the way I used to but I enjoy rereading the ones I already have. If you wait long enough, it almost seems like you’re reading them for the first time.

I’ve posted this picture before. It’s many, though not, all of my books. I have no room for two of the free-standing book cases that used to stand side by side in our last place before we moved back into the city. They’re in the attic, and the books are now in boxes, bags and stacked on the floor.

I mostly read mysteries but sci-fi and fantasy novels are also a big part of my collection.

What kinds of books do you read?

Sourdough Waffles

NOTE: I have two brilliant ideas for no churn ice cream flavours but they both involve going shopping first. This is why I keep putting off going out for sushi … I blow my bi-weekly budget on cooking things in my own kitchen. Bread baking is cheap when you already have a 20 kg bag of AP flour in the freezer.

I recently finished the last of the sourdough pancakes in my freezer and rather than making another batch, I decided to switch things up and make sourdough WAFFLES. As I’m basically a lazy cook, I looked for the simplest recipe on line. I even solicited a recipe on my sourdough FB groups. Although a number of people recommended the King Arthur flour recipe and a fellow blogger, from whom I ‘borrowed”, my sourdough tortilla and naan recipes, shared hers, they either had ingredients or time constraints that I wasn’t prepared to deal with. So, I went with a recipe I found at the “Serious Eats” website. You can use either active or discard starter.

I didn’t rewrite the instructions enough that I feel that I can post it here so you’ll have to go to the source for the recipe.

You may remember that my waffle maker is an OLD OLD clunker with reversible plates, no temperature controls and sticking issues. It took me almost the entire batch of waffle batter to get the waffles to release from the top plates, which were probably on the bottom the last time that I used them, more than a year ago.

The plates are made for rectangular waffles, but if you pour the batter in the center and hold back on a tablespoon or so, you can get round waffles.

NOTE TO SELF: 1/2 cup of batter, per each side of my waffle maker, cooked for 2 min 45 sec to 3 min, is perfect .

Some odds and ends I want to share … a steak quesadilla snack on my home made sourdough tortillas.

Or a steak breakfast burrito plate as good as in a restaurant.

I’ve been playing with plating my Hungarian cheese dumplings … honey and cheese is a great pairing.

A first attempt at slider buns with enriched dough. Some hamburger buns were made with the leftover dough.

Another Something Old, Something New Post

Most of our moms had ‘good’ towels or ‘guest’ towels that you weren’t allowed to use. At my house, they were packed, two rows deep in the bathroom closet, and so tightly that you couldn’t pull any out without causing a towel-slide. After my mom passed away, it still took me several years before I started using the good bath towels. I wasn’t able to make myself throw away any of the old beat up towels I had, except maybe for the worst of the bunch. They would end up in the laundry and then I’d use them ONE more time. Repeatedly.

I finally decided to toss my oldest dish towels and start using the new ones I had bought, this weekend. I went with a red, white and blue theme. And some black. Cause black goes with everything.

Do you prefer fluffy or linen-type dish towels?

And for the old, some pictures I took a couple of weeks ago. I had thawed some sliced pork butt to make Chinese barbecued pork (char siu) and then realized that I hadn’t replaced my bottle of hoisin sauce, which I needed for the recipe. So, I rummaged through the jars in the fridge and found some satay sauce.

Pork Satay

Cooking Doldrums

ETA: A link back to a basic flan recipe was added as it’s been years since I posted it and it’s SO easy to make.

There are days when I wake up with the energy to do some cooking but no idea WHAT I should cook. It’s often hard to choose among several options with the items on hand. Sometimes, it takes googling to find variations of recipes when certain items aren’t available. It’s even more challenging when I have lots of leftovers in the fridge that I can re-imagine so I don’t HAVE to cook.

Right now, I’ve got an entire cooked steak, flour tortillas, a couple of avocados, eggs, and salsa in the fridge and leftover refried beans and basmati rice in the freezer. I think breakfast/lunch/dinner may be something Tex-Mex inspired.

On the other hand, I also have leftover hollandaise sauce, roasted potato wedges, asparagus and onion rings in the fridge. And frozen English muffins.

And then there’s the container of white bean, pasta and sausage soup that I made a couple of days ago (the rest are in the freezer) that I should be eating.

Help me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s what some of the leftovers are from. That’s some of the hollandaise in the little ramekin. And that was the last of three little vanilla flan I made with the two yolks from making the ‘brutti ma buoni’.

The leftovers are half of what you see below

PS: It’s chilly in the house so turning the oven on to cook is a GOOD thing.

Happy Mother’s Day (2017) … Fudgy Chocolate Cake

In many households, dads barbecue to save mom from having to cook on this, their special day. Which you might think is a very considerate thing to do.

My question is … who does the dishes and cleanup, let alone did the shopping, for what gets bbq’d?

Dad?

I DON’T think so. ๐Ÿ™‚

For all the mothers (step-mothers, foster mothers, grandmothers etc) out there, I hope you had a great day surrounded by your loved ones. Who show their appreciation to you for all you do, year round.

I made a fudgy chocolate cake yesterday which many mothers would appreciate. Instead of a cake however, I made a dozen cupcakes and two mini cakes that would serve two people. They were frosted very simply with a ganache (whipping cream and chocolate) and there’s a pretty strawberry sauce to go with it.

Strawberry Sauce – makes about a cup of sauce

3 tbsp water
2 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 cup thinly sliced strawberries
3 tbsp granulated sugar
a squeeze of lemon juice (it’ll liven up the flavour of the sauce)

Stir together the water and cornstarch in a small bowl until combined.

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, stir together the cornstarch mixture, sliced strawberries, lemon juice and sugar.

Bring mixture to a simmer, whisking frequently and cook for a minute or two. Cool for 5 minutes.

Puree in a food processor.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl.

I bbq’d a sirloin steak, a large pork chop, several pork souvlaki skewers for the rest of the week and some pineapple rings. The steak was served with a baked potato (cooked in the microwave and finished on the bbq), sauteed white mushrooms and a simple salad.

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Cupcakes and frosting

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