Starch-less Vanilla pudding in a pinch

7:32 PM and the husband and kids just left the building. Water park time after a day of skiing. I’ve got the excuse of my monthly gift from above that allows me to stay where it’s warm and dry, in front of the fireplace, an entire hour and fifteen minutes of peace. Wash my hair? Clean the condo? Nope.

I race to the kitchen, all the while considering my options for the fastest, creamiest, thicket desert possible, feeling like a convict imprisoned for making a cake with regular bread flour. I’m on the lam and in a rush. Flan? Creamy to be sure, but cold and takes too long. Rice pudding? Sounds divine but I don’t have my mom’s recipe, and even if I did, I don’t have the oranges or the rice. Pudding though hits a button. I flip open The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, knowing I lack the cornstarch in my cupboard but hoping for options.

This once again proves my theory that most
American food is some combo of egg, sugar, flour and
butter w/a titch of vanilla extract and salt,
 though not necessary in that order

There it was, page 166. The Vanilla Pudding recipe (cook time 11 minutes), was right above the Banana Pudding recipe (35 minutes to cook). I combined the two (well, using the flour from the second recipe instead of the cornstarch from the first) and changed some of the measurements. In no time flat, I had a full cup full of creamy, vanilla pudding, appropriately hidden in my cup, disguised as warm milk, should my family arrive and catch me in the act.

Creamy Vanilla Pudding 

Ingredients
1/3 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup)
2 tbs flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk (I used 2 cups whole milk plus 2 tbs whipping cream)
3 egg yolks (original recipe calls for 2, but since this is w/out the cornstarch, I bumped it up)
1 tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Process
1. Combine sugar, flour and salt in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, gradually adding the milk, cooking approximately 6 minutes or until a boil (I used a timer and guess what…at exactly 5 min 55 seconds, it came to a boil).
2. Beat egg yolks 2 minutes or until thick and pale. Gradually stir in 1/4 of the hot mixture in to the egg bowl, stirring constantly. Take this mixture and add back in to the mixture on the stove, bringing to a boil and cook about 3 minutes.
4. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla.

Pour in to small, unassuming little cup and use the smallest spoon possible to elongate the pleasure that will slide down your mouth.

Add bananas if you so desire, or toasted coconuts. Divine.

Sunday dinner– Roast and Pecan pie

During my childhood, mom had a routine on Sunday’s that included making easy yet impressive all-in-one meals that provided a great lunch but also lots of left-overs. Prepping for the afternoon meal meant she put a roast in the oven before we left for church, allowing it to cook to perfection as we sang to the heaven’s above. When we arrived home, the roast was ready, along with the vegies. All she had to do was make the buttermilk biscuits and gravy as we set the table (as we aged, she allowed us to take over the biscuits). Fifteen minutes later, we were sitting down to dine like we were at King Arthur’s Court.

Meal in one: The Perfect Roast

Mix of fingerling potatoes (my fav), carrots and onions

My favorite is my clay pot meat roaster. It’s divine for keeping the juices in the meat, capturing the gravy and circulating the air for the vegies. That said, I’ve made 2-sponge breads in it as well, because it turns out a perfectly formed loaf that is brown on the sides and spongy in the middle. The food is restaurant quality (serious).

Ingredients

  • Roast
  • Vegetables: sweet onion(s), carrots, potatoes (your preference) and any other vegies you’d like
  • Broth-your choice
  • Salt and pepper

Prior to the onions and additional vegies

Process
1. Heat oven to 500 degrees.
2. Brown all four sides of the roast, on all four sides. Salt and pepper to your hearts desire.
3. Cut one onion, lining the bottom of the roaster.
4. Place the meat in the roaster, covering with the onions.
5. Cut and place carrots and potatoes around the meat.
6. Add about 3/4-1 cp of vegetable, meat or chicken broth.

Once you have loaded up the claypot, place it in the oven and cook away.

Now I completely spaced to get the ‘after’ photos, so I’ll have to do it when I made the next one. Trust me, it comes out perfect. The serve..

6. Remove the vegies, place in a serving dish and keep warm (covered is best, in the warming oven).
7. Make the buttermilk biscuits (will add link).
8. Top off with pecan pie or chocolate mousse.

I recommend a lid with a handle that fits tightly.
This is enough to feed a family of four or 6, depending
on the ages of the kids.

7. Place in the oven at the appropriate temperature and timeframe based on the size of the meat. (6 min/pound at 500 degrees).

Perfect Pecan Pie

It’s a fallacy to think that pecan pie is only suitable for the holidays. Many restaurants in the states serve it year around, warmed, with a huge dollop of vanilla ice cream. It’s no wonder. It’s very inexpensive, requires only a handful of ingredients and is practically idiot proof.

The essentials. Use good ingredients. Don’t skimp on the butter. Use a quality brand, and make sure its salted and sweetened. Using unsweetened, unsalted butter results in a bland pie.

Pre-cooking

Another essential is the corn syrup. I’ll admit, I avoid corn syrup like the plague. The impact on my health is just not worth the stuff. My lone exception to this (and of course, my justification) is that it’s worth it for the pie. Why corn syrup? It is a good thickener, and recipes without it have a different texture (and tend to be runnier). The tip? If you want a slightly thicker pie, use more corn syrup–not much though. A little goes a long way (e.g. if you increase the amount from a 1/2 cup to a 1 cup, it will almost turn to candy. You’d have to cut it with a bit of butter).

Make my tried and true perfect pie crust ahead of time

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 to 1 1/5 cup pecans

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. On the stove top and low heat, melt the butter, add the sugar and the corn syrup. Heat until melted, stirring constantly.
3. Remove from the stove. Let cool (this means you can insert your finger w/out getting burned).
4. Mix the eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl.
5. Add egg mixture to the butter/sugar mixture. (hint: if your mixture is too warm, the eggs will cook, ruining it, and you will have to discard and start over).
6. Add pecans
7. Pour in to uncooked pie crust. Cook for 50-55 minutes.

The make or break aspect of pecan pie is not to overcook. The top should “bounce-back” to the touch (place your index finger on the top, in the center). If it’s hard, it’s overcooked and will be unedible. If it’s mushy, you need to cook it a bit longer.

When you remove the pie, place it on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes. This will ensure it sets and doesn’t run. Serve warm with ice cream.

This is the butter, corn syrup and sugar.. ..nicely melted

As it’s melting (and in between stirring, chop the nuts)

Test the mixture for “done-ness” (my Don-kingism). The mixture should drop easily from the spoon

Take off the stove and cool slightly. Add the nuts
Now, you might exclaim “why nuts! those belong at the end”. I’ll tell you why.
you must wait for the mixture to cool, or else you will curdle and cook your eggs
(in other words, they will scramble). Since you have nothing better to do,
you might as well get busy and add the nuts, stirring it around.

When the mixture is sufficiently cooled, add the eggs

This is the final mixture–slightly brownish. NOW you may add to the empty sheel

Photos…

No-Fail Pie Crust

With nearly 70 cookbooks, you’d think I’d reuse the same pie recipe over and over. Until recently, the problem was I was making pies so infrequently that I’d forget the one I liked most. Then I’d buy a new cookbook, feel compelled to try a new recipe and start all over again.

Starting with the dry ingredients

Fortunately, Southern Living is a mainstay in my cookbook library, and it was what I reached for over the holidays. I made five pie crusts, each one turning out perfectly. The sixth one–not so much– I didn’t put in the exact amount of shortening. The entire batch had to be discarded. The lesson learned? Do not mess with a perfect pie crust recipe.

Perfect, no fail pie crust recipe

Ingredients
For a 9 inch pie crust
1 1/4 cup flour (unsifted)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar (this is my add. I like sweeter crusts)

Mix by hand

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening (also my add. 2 tbs vs 1 makes the dough just perfect to hold together and roll)
3-4 tablespoons chilled water (put water in a glass of ice)

Process
1. Place flour, sugar, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl
2. Cut in the shortening
3. Hand-mix (I prefer this. It’s much better than a Cuisinart mixer as the dough is softer/flakier)
4. Add in the water. The dough will slightly moist and should hold together well.
5. Roll in to a flat ball, wrap with Saran wrap and chill for 1-3 hours or overnight. It will hold for several days.
6. Roll out when ready to use (follow directions for the pie you are making)

The dough should resemble peas in size

I doubled the batch, enough for a pie and a few mini-pies

Roll and fold in preparation for placing in the pie
Place crust in the pie dish

This is the mini-pies

Mold the edges of the crust
Add the filling–pecan


Pie filling-pumpkin

Spiritual Fitness

Today, whilst I was running on the treadmill, contemplating what topic to write about for ‘workout Wednesdays’ it struck me that I have thus far focused only on the physical aspect of health. That’s only half the equation, for what is the body without the spirit? (so said the Mrs. Steve Jobs in the bio I read over vaca). What indeed?

I’m no swami, but have a strong faith that serves to carry me forward through dark times, enlightens my mind and keeps me focused on family. I was taught at an early age that the spirit, and all aspects therein, must be exercised or else it grows weak, just like the flesh. Over the holiday, I read the Jobs bio on my Kindle (it was darn depressing, I tell you), yet it had a few redeeming qualities. One being the eternal search Jobs had on the Zen part of his existence, searching, striving, and seeking more. Of course, searching is not enough. One must apply what one learns. Through the school of hard knocks (e.g. choice and consequence), I’ve developed a few daily exercises or I grow weak spiritually–my energy ebbs, my outlook on life is grey rather than blue, I’m not listening (or receiving) promptings to help others etc.

1. daily prayer. Obvious, I know, but when I say daily, what I’m really saying is ‘meaningful’ in a way that requires me to verbalize my thoughts outloud. As a writer, I find it interesting that concocting words in my head is one thing. To say them outloud is another. Any good writer (and all books on becoming a better writer) council to speak the written word outloud. It’s requires thought. It carries meaning. The clarity quotient skyrockets.

Daily also means ‘whenever I want’, not just in the morning at night or at mealtimes. It means before a big meeting or presentation. I was seriously praying (silently however) backstage before I was to go on live TV with a movie producer from LA during the launch of my book last year. (I ramble, I get confused. I just asked for calm, peace and the ability the articulate my thoughts). My prayers were answered. My responses were short and concise (a miracle in itself). I smiled. I was calm.

2. Study-not just read-the scriptures. It’s strange. Sometimes I get nothing from reading the scriptures and other times I get a lot. Know the difference? Reading is just that–a straight through reading while on the treadmill or couch that I do. This is good (how can this activity ever be bad?), but not the best. About 2 years ago, I found my ability to truly learn and grow in the experience was found by following a 5-step process.
1) pray before hand that your mind will be enlightened while reading.
2) plan a specific time every day. Dedicate this time and have a routine.
3)have a pad of paper and pen to take notes, write down questions (therein is the studying part)
4) search/answer above questions. It doens’t have to be more than a verse (I used to set goals for reading–five chapters or 15 minutes type of a thing). Searching and answering can be much more or less.
5) pray upon completion that the words read (messages, meaning, understanding) can be remembered and applied.

Once I employed the above guidelines, I found the effort of scripture study much more enjoyable (and yes, it is still an effort), but interestingly enough, I began to look forward to it instead of dreading it like an obligation (like the treadmill).

3. Open your heart to being a help to another. This element of spiritual health brings benefits to others as well as yourself. Have you ever been inspired to call someone and done so, finding that the call was ‘just what was needed,’ to the person on the other end? What about writing a note of thanks for a job well done, then later learning your hand-written card (or email) was much appreciated? These little promptings are called ‘tender mercies,’ but also fall in the category of running God’s errands. Opening your heart to the prompting is the first step, but acting on the prompting is the fulfillment for both you and the recipient. I’ve found that the more I act on these promptings, the more I hear.

As with my own physical health, my spiritual workouts are stronger some days than other. The key is to keep moving forward, even if a bit at a time, to be as strong spiritually as one is physically. Ironically, the body will get weaker over time. The same cannot be said for the spirit.

Perfect Skin Secrets – Products & steps

Over the holiday, yet another layer of my rose-colored classes were scratched. I recently learned that many of the women in my circle have been using products for years, and I had no clue.

Sorry to do this-but you had to see the
skin results–no injections etc etc. a’course,
I’ve since gone back to blond, but the skin
remains the same…43 yrs old

 “No one reveals beauty secrets,” I was told by a female relative as she listened to my story, her voice including a bit of humor for my denseness. When I left San Fran for the netherlands of civilization, I didn’t have a need to apply facial products. Now that I’m older and have gotten a clue, that has all changed. A good moisturizer no longer suffices. From the articles on what men do for their faces, they’ve figured it out as well. Products help, especially those that get rid of the top layers of dead skin. Like every other non-sacred topic in my life, figure I might as well share what I’ve learned about facial products. Heck, I share everything else, so why hold back on the most important–or rather–most visible line of learning I’ve had??

Like other women, I paid a Dr a visit, got a slew of products, handed over my credit card, closed my eyes and followed this regimine precisely.

1.       Neova Herbal Wash, 8 oz. $24 w/out tax
2.       Neova Smooth Gel, (Glycolic 10%), 2 oz, $26.00
3.       Neova Complex HXplus, (Hydroquinone, 4%) Rx only, 2 oz $65.70 (includes tax)- this is the skin lightener for spots (the prescription version above can’t be had except from the Dr. This lower version is available on line).
4.       Neocutis Bio Crème, Bio restorative with PSP, Anti-aging. $109.00
5.       Neova TI-SILC GT SPF 60, 4 oz, $43.00
6.       Neova Retinol ME .30%, 1 fl oz, $49.00 (this is prescription only and I couldn’t find it on line)
7.       Vivite Replenishing Cream, 2 oz $79.00

For the 6 week regime, the routine was different than the one I am now on. During the 6 wk period, where I had dramatic results, I didn’t use the night cream (#7) nor did I use the Bio Crème at night (#4). The whole point of the intensive regime is to dramatically tighten and lift the skin, which it did. I noticed a huge difference after just 2 days. That’s because of the twice a day application of the smooth gel, and then retinol every 2nd evening. For my face now, I am on a maintenance program, and it’s a bit more laid back, and includes the moisturizer.

Here’s the starter program.

1.       Herbal wash (w/luke warm water), pat dry face
2.       Apply glycolic smoothing gel and leave on for 3 minutes
3.       Rinse off w/herbal wash. Apply the #3, skin lightener (if you have dark spots). Leave on.
4.       Apply #4 (restorative crème) then #5 (SPF 60).
5.       Put on make-up as desired.

For the evening:
1.       Herbal wash (w/luke warm water), pat dry face
2.       Apply glycolic smoothing gel and leave on for 3 minutes
3.       Rinse off with herbal wash.
4.       Apply retinol (avoiding the corner of the eyes and the corner of the mouth. It will burn and make wrinkles worse. Also, not on eyelids). Leave on overnight. Remember to rinse off first thing in the morning, as the skin will be ruined if the sun hits the skin and you have it on (burned red permanently).

When you are done w/the 6 wk routine, you modify by:
1.       Cutting back on the retinol to once a week (Saturday is best, since it leaves the skin a bit reddish). And replace with:
2.       #4 restorative lotion followed by
3.       Vivite night cream.

A few tips:

1.       when you use the smoothing gel, you also can put on the eyelids and around the eyes. It’s makes a huge difference.

2.       Go all the way down to mid-neck. If you limit it to just the jawline, it looks freaky. A smoother transition to the neckline is natural.

Traditional Swedish Sausage

Traditional Swedish potato sausage

My last note on potato sausage was a bit cryptic and apparently seriously irritating to my readers in Poland and Russia, who in a fit of internationalism, were going to try and replicate this recipe. Keep in mind that I’ve already written a post on this once-but I guess I had great pics on that but not-so-good direcions. This is round two. I’d recommend you read this first, then go to the other blog on 20 min sausages for the pics.

Warning to readers–it’s a nice, bland (non-spicy) recipe that is a perfect addition to any meal. It’s also incredibly easy. To show this, I’ve gone back and dug up a few older photos that show the process (I only took some of the ‘after’ during this last go around in November).

Ingredients
1.5 pounds nice meat (I used filet mignon this last time, only because it was in my freezer)
1.5 pounds port (use a thick cut of pork chop)
7-8 pounds pealed potatoes (about 10)
3 medium size onions
Casings (also called skeins) from the local butcher

For those non-Americans who can’t take the time to figure out the switch to metrics etc., just use equal parts of both meats and use double the amount of potatoes. Easy!

Process

  1. Using a grinder (I use a Kitchenaid attachment with the large holes), slice the meats in strips then run through the grinder. Alternatively, you can chop the meet extremely fine in little bits, though this will take an eternity. Better to use a blender or something, but it can’t be mush. You need to see the bits.
  2. Peel and slice the potatoes and onions using the same process.
  3. Put all the chopped ingredients in a big bowl and set aside (near the mixer).
  4. Place a clean bowl beneath the mixture. This is where the stuffed sausage will rest.
  5. Place a clean, water-filled pot with a bit of salt nearby. This is where the finished sausage will be placed  and then cooked when ready.
  6. Change the attachment on the Kitchenaid. For this, you must remove the blade/round hole (that chops the meat/vegies) and return the internal driver that rotates the food. You will then attach the nozzle.
  7. Place the casing end on the nozzle.
  8. Stuff the top of the Kitchenaide with food, turn on the speed to medium and the sausage will start spouting out.

Tip–you need to ‘squeeze the air’ out of the sausage about every four inches (about one finger length). Not all the way through-but mid-way through the stuff sausage. This also helps push the sausage down the length of the casing. If you stuff the sausage too full, it will break and tear, causing a mess and ruining the sausage. It’s better to have a bit of air than none at all.

Tip #2. Use strips of sausage about 18 inches. Anything shorter is hard to manage and any longer gets cumbersome. Think of the old gangster movies where sausages are dangling in a cold freezer next to the dead guy. That’s about the length you want. (I’m so ghetto).

West on West: a must read for type As

I don’t watch basketball. I don’t care about basketball. Yet, I found myself purchasing a book with basketball as its main theme last Saturday, and had completed the thing by Sunday before church. It is West by West, by Jerry West, a man I’d never heard of in my life (when I ask Rog what he thinks of Jerry West he says “one of the greatest hoop players of all time. The NBA logo is modeled after him.”) Indeed.

Reality is that I was getting my weekly dose of the publishing world by reading Publishers Weekly as I was sweating out the after effects of attending a new restuarant opening in Seattle the night before. Like all aspiring authors (aspiring denoted by the lack of a book that has reached any bestseller list), I read PW for hope and inspiration that one day, in my lifetime, I’ll see my name within it’s pages. In the front of the weekly, two sections capture my attention. The first is the deal section (who is getting paid how much for what), and the second is the review section.

I’m about to turn the page because I see what I instantly categorize as ‘yet another boring biography by a former athlete I’ve never heard of,’ when I read the snippet from PW. It’s beyond glowing. I think the reviewer nearly had a personal moment when writing the review. Since I rarely read reviews from PW infused with this type of love, I go to the amazon kindle store, see the hard cover price is nearly $30, and the kindle price is about half. Sold.

The book didn’t disappoint. The writing style is raw, like the man himself apparently is in real life. The subtitle includes the word tormented for a reason, for West was a product of an unemotional, abusive home full of children his parents could barely afford or properly love. Already sensitive and withdrawn, West becomes moreso when his older brother is killed in Vietnam. Turning inward, West devotes his attention to an object: in this case, a round ball, and it becomes his life and his means out of a home he wants to leave but then can’t stand to stay away (for long). His cracked psyche manifests itself in perfectionism, a man who can’t appreciate the good because it is foreever overshadowed by the bad. This hurts himself, his wife, even the women who he slept with outside his marriage, but as he himself writes, was unable to be okay with who he was.

This alone is not what makes the book interesting, (nor was it the basketball stories, though the ones he includes had a nice balance of factoids mixed with interesting human sidenotes. Even the men I didn’t know about came alive in the scenes described). I recommend this book because it gives light to the fragility of elite players at any level–high school, college, and the pros. Elite players– lets call them life competitors, share unique traits. To understand and nurture an individual blessed with the talent, drive and ego (or lack thereof) is hard a hard task to accomplish. As West graduated from player to basketball executive, his understanding of the personalities in this arena served him (and the LA Lakers well).

I recommend West by West as a cannon for anyone person who works with, for, is married to, or is in fact, in the category of a competitive, Type A personality. The ego, drive, insecurities and challenges don’t end with the clock. That’s just the beginning. West knows that now, five kids, two marriages, umpteen decades after he started his journey. Reading about it is worth the $15.

Healthy Party Appetizer-Scallops & Prosciutto skewers

Halloween in Cartegena, sans alligator

In my world, fall means I get to have fun for three solid months, commencing with the first leaf that hits to the ground to the moment the New Year’s Eve celebration ends. Halloween is the first milestone, and I’ve been off-line in pre-spooky, spooky and now post-spooky take down efforts. I did notice a spike in traffic from, of all places, Columbia, and I wondered…do our Columbian friends celebrate Halloween? Indeed. The first pic that came up was one from Cartegena, a city that will forever be embedded in my mind from Romancing the Stone…where the bad guys purrss….Carte..heeeeeennnnnaaaahhhh, before feeding a piece of meat to a pet alligator. (According to my  mother, this is going to be stuck in my brain long after I can’t remember my own name).

With that preamble, let me get to the gist of this blog, and the second major theme during the fall to NYE celebratory experience. Parties. Yes, all things that are good and delish are from, or at, parties. Not all food must be bad for the bod. This is one.

What I love….about this app is that it’s very fast, very easy, & has limited ingredients. (Furthermore, I think a certain mysticism surrounds crab and scallops when served at home–as in, people rave. I suspect it’s because both are generally overpriced at restaurants, so guests feel as though they are getting something very special when served at a dinner party).

Ingredients
Coconut oil*
1 pound scallops (or 2 pounds at Costco for $20-frozen/large).
1 box prosciutto
1 lemon
Toothpicks (or fun app stick)
Salt, Mrs. Dash seasoning or Hungarian paprika (or all of the above)

Preparation
Unthaw scallops, pat dry
Spread a bit of oil on the cookie sheet, sprinkle your favorite seasoning on top of the oil & lemon
Wrap a thin bit of prosciutto around the scallop
Slide on the metal skewer
Roll the finished skewers in the oil and seasoning mix (you can also shake on to the skewer–personal preference)
Place in convection oven for 2-5 minutes depending on the size of the scallop (you may want to turn once if you can)
Remove from the oven, cool slightly
Slide to serving tray, add toothpicks and serve

*Great served warm or even cold. I serve with a dash of wasabi sauce which is awesome.

*By now, you should have this as a part of your pantry. Pick up the stuff in a spray can and also the unrefined coconut oil at your local health food supermarket. It truly adds to the flavor of most dishes.

Preparing the cookie sheet
Thin slices of prosciutto
Wrapping the scallop


placing the scallop on the skewer–flat edge is easiest to prevent tearing

After I’ve rolled the scallops in the sauce on the sheet

On a standard dishware–my guests were already here-so I skipped the toothpick part since
they started grabbing them straight from this plate!! (Sheesh–the nerve!)

My favorite sauce for cooked seafood apps- Wasabi Finishing Sauce from Waterfront

NW Salmon Dinner

You may not live in the Northwest or even ever travel here but no matter. You can get a salmon, fix it up in 5 minutes (are you noticing a trend in my life w/this 5 min thing), and serve an impressive feast. The side dishes take @40 min to prepare, but the result is an authentic Northwest meal.

Side note: do you ever have dinner parties? Even when times are good and pockets flush, dining in has the benefit of no interuptions, getting to know another couple or two and being in a relaxed atmosphere. This presumes no kids of course, if it’s an adult thing, but now, more than ever, consider staying rather than going out. There is something really personal about opening our home to another couple–our way of saying…’we like you enough and are trusting you to come in to our home.’ Just consider it.

I took this in a hurry so sorry it’s not perfect.
The salmon is on top of the cilantro-rice (left) and asparagus/muschroom
risotto on right. Not that it’s not evenly placed. This is on purpose. Some women
were vegan, and don’t want the salmon part. By doing this, you can feed both
meat eaters but others can just take the risotto or the rice.

Last mo (on a Friday), I made 1 quarter of this for a veteran TV personality and her executive husband (a salmon afficionado) and the next day, made another quarter salmon for 12 women who came to the home for a spa day. This is the step by step….

  

The meal
King Salmon (a quarter will do)
Mushroom and asparagus risotto (both optional)
Fresh corn and cilantro rice
Asparagus
*I’ll post these other items separately so it will show on blog subject listings

This family recipe has passed down from forefathers long dead. It works on any salmon.

Ingredients
2 lemons (more to garnish)
Dash (or mixed herbs)
1 large sweet onion
Dash seasoning
Raw coconut oil (not liquid. It’s solid, usually found in the speciality aisle. I use this alot so get it)

Process

  • Debone first then set aside.
  • Line a lipped cookie sheet with tinfoil (lipped= it has sides, not flat, in case the juices seep out)
  • Take 1 lemon, cut in half. Squeeze the juice from a half on the tinfoil
  • Thinly slice the onion, arrange half on the tinfoil as well
  • Take your Dash seasoning (a fast version of salt, lemon peel and other spices) and sprinkle on on the tinfoil
  • Scoop about 3 tablespoons of the coconut oil and spread on the backside of the salmon. Add a scattering of Dash on it.
  • Flip over (this is the side without the skin!) repeat (spread @3 tbls of coconut oil on the fish. Note-the oil is rather hard since its pressed. you may have to use the flat side of a knife. that’s ok. won’t hurt the fish). Add the Mrs. Dash
  • Thinly slice the remaining onion and spread on the salmon.
  • Slice the lemon and place on top of the onions (randomly. the goal is to have the natural juices from both onion and lemon seap in to the fish).
  • Give the entire thing a smattering of kosher salt. While you won’t eat the lemons once done, the onions have a lovely flavor.
  • Take a sheet of tinfoil and match to the edge of the existing tinfoil.
  • Wrap and fold all four sides allowing no air
  • Place in convection bake for @10-15 minutes. This totally depends on the size of the salmon. Don’t overcook. If that means you have to take it out after 10 min, do so, gently unwrapping the tinfoil (I can usually do this with my fingers. Tinfoil is nice that way).
    • A helpful hint…when the salmon “cracks” then it’s overdone. You want it to ‘lift’ or slightly spread but when it cracks, it’s like an overbaked brownie and is dry and hard.
Straight from the boat and Rog’s wet fishing outfit to home

This is a half of the 22.5 lb salmon. I cut in in quarters. For this recipe, I used a quarter salmon and it fed 12 women (with some leftover)

Preparing the sheet for the salmon

The white is a coconut oil. Looks gross but makes all the difference in the world. In fact, I repeated this meal a second
night for friends from out of town–the husband is a salmon freak. He said it was the best salmon he’d had in years–and wanted to know “the secret.” It’s the coconut oil. Trust me. It makes for a juicy, flavorful fish.
Adding the onions, lemons and seasoning

Fold down the tinfoil edges

All folded up and ready to go.
Again–I use 400 convection bake. You can use whatever you want–I just like the speed and even
cooking capabilities of my convection bake

For the finished product….

Let the salmon cool a bit–about 5 minutes


Forgot to note–I made the rice (on left) and mushroom asparagus risotton (right)
I placed it in front to transfer the salmon

Admittedly, my presentation was lame– (people were already eating when i snapped this)….