Maple Grilled Salmon Steaks

They look like goldfish crackers

They look like goldfish crackers

This is a simple marinade for any strong flavored fish. Grill over direct heat to caramelize the syrup.

Maple Cider Marinade

  • 3-4 1 1/2″ salmon steaks
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup hard apple cider
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cardamon
  • Salt/pepper

Season salmon with cardamon, salt and pepper. Mix everything else together and marinade for 2 hours flipping once. Grill until cooked through.

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Ground Cherry Sauce

They taste like a mix between grapes and tomatoes

They taste like a mix between grapes and tomatoes

This sauce is excellent over multiple types of meat. Here it is on some roast chicken breast but really the sky is the limit.

Ground cherries are very interesting. They behave much like unripe cherry tomatoes and it is no surprise that they are used in salads, compotes and salsas much the same way. They are also excellent added to fruit fillings for desserts or as a jam. Having just discovered them I hope to find a large supply to experiment with. They keep for a week refrigerated in the paper skins and look like this.

The husks make them look like tomatillos

The husks make them look like tomatillos

Ground Cherry Sauce

  • 1 cup ground cherries husks removed and quartered
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp butter

Melt butter over medium heat and saute onion until golden. Add cherries and thyme and cook until fruit can be mashed with the back of a spoon. Add wine, bring to a simmer and add thyme and sugar. Cook down until slightly thickened mashing about 1/2 the cherries. Serve hot.

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Pumpkin Farro Risotto

Edible decorative bowl optional

Edible decorative bowl optional

There are a number of smaller pumpkin varieties in the pacific northwest, the type pictured is roughly 3-5 lbs and about the size of a cannon ball. Any type of pumpkin will work for this, just harvest enough flesh for about 2 cups of puree. Remember to toast the seeds for a tasty snack or excellent addition to the top.

The flavor of the pumpkin is perfect with the nutty flavor of the farro but normal arborio rice can be used instead.

Pumpkin Farro Risotto

  • 1 3-4 lb whole pumpkin
  • 2 cups farro
  • 1 red onion diced fine
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup grated romano
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 star anise
  • Salt/pepper

The night, or at least 8 hours, before cooking rinse farro and soak in cold water. Cut pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds and pulp. Toast seeds. Place pumpkin flesh side down on a baking sheet with 1 cup of water and roast at 365 degrees until cooked through, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.  scoop out flesh and mash into a rough puree, pouring off any excess water. If using the pumpkin halves as bowls then leave enough flesh to hold sides up. Heat chicken broth to a low simmer with star anise. Drain farro. In a large saute pan melt 2 tbsp butter and saute onion over medium low until golden. Add farro, stir to coat and cook until it begins to crisp slightly. Add wine and cook down over medium heat until absorbed. Begin adding broth 1 cup at a time the same way when cooking standard risotto. When farro begins to soften add pumpkin and thyme stir in very well. season with salt and pepper and continue adding broth 1 cup at a time until creamy. Remove from heat stir in cheese and let set 10 minutes. Serve in the pumpkin halves or not with toasted seeds on top.

Posted in Dinner, Food, Garden, Italian, Recipes, Rice/Risotto, vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Fennel Lemon Gimlet

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We had some leftover fennel simple syrup after making fennel lemonade so naturally we thought we’d mix it with gin. The herbal notes of Hendrick’s really pair well with the fennel notes of the syrup. That’s our fancy way of saying having four.

Fennel Lemon Gimlet

  • 3/4 oz fennel simple syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 oz gin

For fennel simple syrup

  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups fennel fronds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey

Combine all ingredients for syrup in a heavy stock pan and set over medium heat, stirring until sugar and honey are dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Strain into glass container and refrigerate. Mix ingredients for drink in a shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass.

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Fennel Roasted Rock Fish

So many flavors

So many flavors

This is a fun way to cook a whole fish. Red snapper or trout would work equally well. Have the fishmonger scale and gut the fish for you to save cleanup.

Whole Fish and Fennel

  • 1 1/2-2 lbs whole rock fish
  • 1 lemon sliced thin
  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • 4-5 garlic cloves sliced thin
  • Salt/pepper

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Wash fish and pat dry. Cut 4-5 thin slices into fish flesh on both sides without reaching the bone. Season with salt and pepper. Cut fennel stems from bulb saving enough fronds to chop into 2 tbsp. Core bulb and slice fennel into thin strips. Toss fennel in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and layer evenly over a 9×13 baking dish. Stuff each slice of fish with some garlic slivers and chopped fennel fronds. Pack the fish cavity with more fennel fronds and a few slices of lemon. Toss any remaining garlic with sliced fennel and then layer some lemon slices to go under fish on top of fennel. Place fish on lemon slices and layer the remaining lemon over top of fish. Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes. remove foil and continue to bake until fish is done and fennel begins to turn golden, about 10-15 minutes more. discard lemon slices and serve fish with the roasted fennel.

Here is what it looks like before baking.

It is staring at me

It is staring at me

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Fennel Lemonade

Something's tickling my nose

Something’s tickling my nose

By Katherine

On Saturday mornings we hit the farmers market in town and each week I’m tempted to splurge on fennel lemonade sold at a stand that specializes in homemade juices and gives out free samples. But I always get sticker shock when I see that it’s still $25 for a liter and know that Greg will spend that much on mushrooms if I don’t stage an intervention. (He’ll protest that he’s never gone over $20.) When we bought some fennel bulbs I figured I finally had to bite the bullet and make my own.

Fennel Lemonade

For fennel simple syrup

  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups fennel fronds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey

For lemonade

  • 1 1/2 cups lemon juice
  • 2 cups fennel syrup
  • roughly 1 cup water

Combine all ingredients for syrup in a heavy stock pan and set over medium heat, stirring until sugar and honey are dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Strain two cups into pitcher add lemon juice and water and refrigerate. Store the rest of the syrup in a glass container in the refrigerator. Add more water or sparkling water to taste when ready to serve.

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In Our Kitchen Part Two: Signs of Fall

Even small spaces can burst with flavor. We’re enjoying autumn crops, fresh seafood and decadent breakfasts.

To get a peek inside other bloggers’ kitchens hop on over to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for her monthly roundup.

0113

Fennel, Chanterelles, pumpkin, fresh thyme and rutabaga.

0099

Pears from a friend’s tree.

I spy a rock fish.

I spy a rock fish.

0109

Breakfast tacos.

 

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