Dandelion, I will eat you.

A Eurasian plant (Taraxacum officinale)

A Eurasian plant (Taraxacum officinale)

 

So I took a walk today to explore the many wildflowers that are blooming right now…

flower2Phlox, geranium, violets and wild mustard are painting the fields with the color that my winter encrusted eyes have wishes for for many months.

Duane came from the market with a bunch of freshly harvested Dandelion greens. They were quite mature and I asked myself what we would do with such bitter foliage. I sought some advice from a few internet sites and discovered that the bitter best not be covered up…for it would be no use. Better to join the bitter flavor with other complex bitters.

dandilion2

I put some fresh ginger in the pan with some peanut oil and then some garlic and onions. Can’t go wrong there. Then I added some soy sauce for salt and a splash of rice vinegar. Some toasted sesame seeds.

rice vinegar

I was also pushing and puling with the flavors of my pan cooked salmon filet. Also fresh ginger, soy, and garlic. You can see a peek of it off to the side here. The honey created a golden color.

detail dandilion

In the end I served them up side by side with some crushed walnuts (also bitter). They bit back a little, but not too hard. It was also really nice to eat them with something else kind of sweet. Sweet!

“I am no more lonely than a single mullein

or dandelion in a pasture, or a bean leaf, or sorrel,

or a horse-fly, or a bumblebee. I am no more lonely
than the Mill Brook, or a weathercock, or the north star,

or the southwind, or an April shower, or a January thaw,

or the first spider in a new house.”

– Henry David Thoreau

 

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Salmon Cakes with Yogurt Mustard Dill Sauce

salmon cake platter

I’m gonna go on a limb here and guess that canned salmon is probably not most peoples first choice of ingredients, but when it comes to cooking aboard making meals from shelf stable canned foods is unavoidable at times and when done well, is an admirable quality of a good galley-slave. This is one of my time-tested goto canned meal recipes.

  • Can of Salmon
  • Onion
  • Red pepper
  • Garlic
  • 8-9 Saltine crackers or bread crumbs
  • 1 Egg
  • Tbsp of Chef Paul’s Magic Salmon Seasoning or seasoning of your choice
    (“sugar, salt, spices, granulated onion & garlic, mustard seed, paprika”)
  • 1 tsp dill

Open and drain well the liquid from can of salmon and place in a mixing bowl. As you gently flake apart the meat into large chunks, remove any bones and fatty skin you find.

salmon cake mixture

Finely mince 1/4 of a large onion, 1/4 of a large pepper, 2 cloves of garlic and add to salmon. Crack an egg into the mixture. Crumble a few crackers at a time in your hand over the bowl till they break into fine bread like crumbs and add your seasoning.

salmon-cake-patties

Roll up your sleeves and gently mix together with you hands being careful not to over mix the salmon chunks. You’ll want the mixture moist enough to hold together into patties without crumbling apart. Add more breadcrumbs or egg if necessary. Shape into palm size patties and refrigerate till ready to cook. I found from making crab cakes that cakes tend to hold together better when allowed to refrigerate before cooking.

fried salmon cakes

Add enough olive oil to your frying pan to partially submerge the cakes, I used a small frying pan so it took a bit less oil to coat the pan and a smaller pan heats quicker. You’ll want the pan and oil nice and hot when you drop the patties in, be careful of oil splatter. Watch for the bottoms to brown before flipping, a good 5 minutes or more per side. When fully browned on both sides, place on a plate with some paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Add more oil to pan as needed to finish browning all your patties.

yogurt, mustard, lime and dill sauce

I made a cool dill yogurt dipping sauce that really complimented the flavors and crispy texture of the salmon cakes nicely.

Yogurt Dill Sauce

  • 2 heaping spoonfuls of plain yogurt
  • 1-2 Tbsp of stone ground horseradish mustard
  • 1-2 tsp of dill
  • Juice of a lime wedge

Salmon burgers

To offset the heaviness of the frying, it was lighted up with a fresh green salad of baby spinach, mini heirloom tomatoes, chopped basil and fresh mozzarella cubes.

Shrimp & Blackened Tuna Soft Tacos

There are just some foods I love so much that they’ve become regular staples of my diet. I know you can’t eat it right now, but as a water girl I crave seafood. I like eating a lean protein alongside a big salad or basically putting the same salad ingredients and protein atop a warm whole wheat tortilla and I’m loving life. It also makes dinner preparation easy. Most often the salad ingredients on hand are romaine or spinach, tomato, avocado, raw corn, kalamata olives and sometimes improvised with the addition of a bit of fruit or nuts all which taste great without any dressing or some jarred marinated artichokes thrown in with oil as dressing.

shrimp

Shrimp was on sale so I picked up a LB of it steamed and seasoned. Guacamole was 1 mashed avocado, a big spoonful of hot salsa and a dollop of sour cream and fresh squeezed key lime juice. 

Blackened Seared Tuna still pink in the middle is a specialty Chris has perfected with practice and now taught me. The whole tuna fillet is covered and pressed with Blackened Cajun spice, even the side edges. Coat the bottom of a frying pan well with olive oil and put it over a high flame, getting the pan very hot but before the oil reaches its smoking point – a few minutes. Then place the tuna carefully in the pan to avoid hot oil splatter; laying a paper plate upside down will catch any flying oil. 2-3 Minutes per side, then turn the heat off and let it keep cooking as it rests. Perfection.

tuna

IMG_2325

Magnificent Fall light on the creek at sunset.

Citrusy Yellow tail and anise

Lori here, again. Tonight I quick broiled fresh yellow tail. I put a helping of Irish butter in the pan, lay the filets on top. Sprinkled red pepper, a little cayenne, dried dill and slices of lime. I poured tangerine juice in the sides and broiled on high for, I don’t know, 5-6 min.

I cooked some anise root in a iron skillet coated with virgin olive oil. Tossed in a couple of chopped cloves of garlic and a handful of jumbo raisins. Delicious with a dash of sea salt and squeeze of lemon in the end. Perfect companion dish to the fish, both with a subtle sweetness. Can’t get enough!