Monday, September 30, 2013

Hoisin Glazed Salmon with Indian-Spiced Lentil Mango Salad

I cannot even tell out how proud I am of this dish. This is great stuff folks. On a Monday after work even. A crappy Monday at work. A delicious meal is one way to cheer me up. Wine is another. I don't generally drink on Monday nights. However, if I had a nice Gwurztraminer on hand I would have totally popped it open (I know nothing about wine pairing- I have no idea if that would be good with this dish. If you try it let me know!).

Have you noticed the lack of seafood recipes on Four Seasons Kitchen? We eat shrimp occasionally, but Tyler really only eats shellfish. Or battered and deep fried fish. I usually end up ordering salmon at a restaurant. Consequently I've never really cooked salmon before, so when somebody asked today how I would prepare it (yeah, I talk about food a lot), I actually didn't know.

The inspiration for this recipe a grilled salmon. I'm sure we all remember my grilling track record. That's a no go. I was going to broil it but realized the broiler on my oven isn't working. Fantastic. Well, when I doubt I roast. And cook salmon perfectly! Boo-ya. Tyler even conceded it was good mixed in the salad (but lamented the lack of tartar sauce. I told him if he put ranch dressing on it I would kick him). Parker ate all of his. I call that a win.

Adapted from Chatelaine
  • 1 piece fresh salmon per person
  • salt and pepper
  • hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup red lentils
  • 1 mango, peeled, seeded, and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 of a large cucumber, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place salmon on a greased baking sheet, skin side down. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread with hoisin sauce to cover each piece of fish with a thin coating of sauce. Once oven is heated place baking sheet in middle of oven. Roast salmon until the tip of a knife inserted in the middle of a piece of fish for 8 seconds comes out warm to the touch (don't test with your tongue- if overcooked you'll burn your tongue. I know from experience), about 15 minutes per inch of thickness.

Meanwhile, boil a small pot of water. Salt the water as you would for pasta (a good large pinch). Add lentils and reduce to a simmer. Cook to al dente, about 8 minutes. Don't overcook or they'll turn to mush.

Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl. Serve lentil salad over fish.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Potato Latkes with Homemade Applesauce

Who says it has to be Hanukkah to make latkes? Ok, maybe Jewish people do... but I say make them any time. Because they are delicious. And easy. And fulfill my craving for "bad" food today but aren't the worst thing I could put in my body so I figure it's okay.

A soon as fall weather hits I feel the urge to hibernate. This manifests itself in no motivation to work out. I usually go for a run a few times a week in the evening after Parker goes to bed. But now that it's getting cold and dark in the evenings all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch all TV. I thought I'd trick my body today and got up early to work out. The result was a craving for chips and McDonald's all day. So, sure, these latkes are pan-fried in oil but they are infinitely better than scarfing a Big Mac. And I can can still face myself in the morning.

I've made latkes once before years ago. I think the recipe was from Food That Really Schmeks. They were not nearly as good as these. These latkes hold together easily, cook quickly, and get perfectly browned and crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. To be honest, I've never had potato latkes aside from the two times I've made them, but I feel these are the ideal and all future latkes will be compared to this recipe.


This is a bit of a joke of a recipe. Chop some apples into large chunks and throw into a pot- you can forgo peeling them- cook with a splash of water and a sprinkle of sugar until soft. Puree using an immersion blender, food processor, or regular blender.

If not serving with latkes you can throw a cinnamon stick in while the apples are cooking. Or just sprinkle on some cinnamon after. This stuff is way better than the jarred applesauce at the grocery store- it's a staple in my house during cold weather.


I modified the recipe slightly. Of course. I didn't peel the potatoes. Part laziness, and partly from a health standpoint- the skin has all the fiber. Didn't seem to affect the recipe at all. I used the potatoes I had- just regular white potatoes rather than Russets. And next time I would use less salt. The recipe calls for 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt. I used 2 tsp and found them a bit too salty. A food processor with a grater attachment makes quick work of grating the potato and onion. The onion will still make you cry though.