Monday, November 21, 2011

A salmon that tastes like pastrami and foie gras that turns into a soup


Have you all heard about Chefs Bruce Weinstein & Mark Scarbrough's The Complete Quick Cook? You should. I am not just saying this, because I happen to think these two are terrific, but I am saying it because it is true. I got the chance to cook from this cookbook and the first thing that caught my eye was the Grilled Pastrami-Style Salmon.


I love this recipe because it is so easy. One of those meals you can make after work and it really tastes good enough to serve to people who drop by for dinner. What? People don't do that at your house? Hmmm. Well make this for your family.


Mix a few spices and rub on salmon. That really is how easy it is.


It was cold outside so I used a grill pan. It would be awesome on the grill too. Then again, we probably won't be seeing our grill for a long long time. Living out on the frozen tundra is not good for grilling.


I loved this dinner. I made quinoa that came out of the freezer section of Trader Joes. Please! Like YOU make everything from scratch. Um, liar.


So, the "light" dinner might have come right after our Foie Gras foray (FGF). We scored some Foie Gras and decided to do a couple of things with it. My favorite was the Foie Gras Soup with Lentil Gnocchi and Balsamic Onions. I can't tell you how much I loved this.


The gnocchi was made out of lentils.


I had never made gnocchi before and it was fun.


Now I want to try other gnocchi flavors. 31 gnocchi's. Yeah, I will open up a 31 Flavors Gnocchi. I will call the shop GNOCCHI!


This is my high tech gnocchi maker!


Here they are floating around for a while.


Here is the chicken I was roasting while I was inventing gnocchi. Ok, I didn't invent it. I pretended that I was a great Foie Gras chef (that owned GNOCCHI!) and I invented all thing Foie Gras. I wouldn't hurt any animals either. They would just hand over their livers to me because I was so famous.


The Gnocchi are then browned in butter because the Foie Gras soup wasn't really rich enough.


Yumm! Gnocchi is my new BFF. The soup was incredible. Now for the chicken. I have to tell you a secret. I know that the chicken gravy had Foie Gras in it but I don't remember where I got the recipe AND I wouldn't waste Foie Gras on it again.


Yeah, here is the eh chicken.


Oh and I finished the blanket that I raffled off. I am a famous knitter too. I really did own a yarn shop called YARN! so see? It isn't out of the question owning GNOCCHI!

Grilled Pastrami-Style Salmon
Cooking Light: The Complete Quick Cook by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

1 Tbl dark brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 (1 1/2lb) Center-cut salmon fillet
1/2 tsp olive oil
Cooking Spray

1. Preheat grill.
2. Combine first 7 ingredients. Place fish, skin side down, on a cutting board or work surface; brush evenly with oil. Sprinkle spice mixture evenly over fish; gently rub mixture into fish. Cover lightly with plastic wrap, and chill 15 minutes.
3. Place fish, skin side down, on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.

4 Servings (serving size: about 4.5 ounces)

Foie Gras Soup with Lentil Gnocchi and Balsamic Onions
Food and Wine (Contributed by Pierre Gagnaire>

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 thick slices of lean bacon, finely chopped
1 small carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup brown lentils
2 cups water
1/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 large egg, beaten
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 small red onion, cut into thin wedges
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup ruby port
1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
One 3-ounce slice of pure foie gras pâté, cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Aged balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

MAKE THE GNOCCHI: In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the bacon, carrot and onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 4 minutes. Add the lentils and water, cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Uncover and boil over high heat until most of the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Set aside 1/4 cup of the lentils. Transfer the remaining lentils and any liquid to a food processor and puree. Pass the puree through a coarse strainer into a large bowl; you should have about 1 cup.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil, then reduce the heat so the water simmers. Set a large bowl of ice water nearby. Add the flour, cheese, egg, egg yolk, salt and pepper to the lentil puree and stir until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a resealable plastic bag. Using scissors, cut a 1/2-inch diagonal opening from a corner of the bag. Working over the simmering water, pipe out and cut 1/2-inch pieces of the dough, letting them drop into the water. Cook the gnocchi until tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to the ice water to cool. Drain, gently pat dry with paper towels and transfer to a bowl.

In a large nonstick skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the gnocchi and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

PREPARE THE BALSAMIC ONION WEDGES: Put the onion wedges on a microwave-safe plate and drizzle with the white balsamic vinegar. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high power for 1 minute.

MAKE THE FOIE GRAS BROTH: In a medium saucepan, boil the port over high heat until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture into a blender and add the foie gras cubes. Puree until smooth, then pass the foie gras broth through a fine strainer into the saucepan. Warm the broth over moderately low heat, whisking constantly; do not boil. Season with salt and pepper.

Rewarm the gnocchi. Spoon the gnocchi and the reserved lentils into 6 small bowls. Ladle the foie gras broth over the gnocchi and garnish with the onion wedges. Drizzle each serving with aged balsamic vinegar and serve right away.

MAKE AHEAD The boiled gnocchi can be lightly tossed with oil and refrigerated overnight.


  1. Micaela P. Torregrosa-MahoneyNovember 21, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    banging my head against a wall... somebody please explain to me why I don't live close enough to you to just "drop by for dinner"!!!

  2. I'm overwhelmed by all of these wonderful dishes. and I am shocked and dismayed that you didn't make the quinoa yourself (insert sarcastic tone here). Okay, so, give me salmon that tastes like pastrami served on top of gnocchi and Foie Gras on the side with a chicken on top. Thank you.

  3. Yes, Janis really did own a shop called YARN!.  I used to go there on Wednesday nights.  And our Super Bowl Sundays were so much fun.  So, you go, girl - open a shop called GNOCCHI!

  4. Can I come eat at your house now? Right now? Even if it is our recipe for the salmon, I want you to make it--and call everyone a liar at the table!

  5. You always crack me up!  I've never seen foie gras in soup form, so you're definitely a genius =)