Cooking Salmon

The one cardinal rule is: NEVER OVERCOOK SALMON. Although it is an oily fish, overcooking makes the flesh dry and dense, and it can become quite chewy in texture.

Baked Salmon
With Dill Mustard Sauce

1 (2- to 3-pound) salmon fillet, 1 1/2-inches thick
3 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of an ungreased broiling pan with aluminum foil and spray broiler rack with vegetable-oil cooking apray. Wash salmon and pat dry. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper, and place skin side down onto rack.

In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, Dijon mustard, dill, lemon juice, salt, and pepper; over bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Bake, uncovered, 8 to 12 minutes or until a thermometer registers an internal temperature of 140 degrees F (salmon will be slightly opaque in thickest part). Remember the salmon continues to cook after it is removed from the heat source. Carefully remove salmon from pan and transfer onto individual serving plates. Serve with the cold mustard dill sauce.

Approximately cooking times for salmon:

1/4 to 1/3-inch - 3 to 4 minutes
1/2 to 3/4-inch - 4 to 6 minutes
1 to 1 1/2-inch - 8 to 12 minutes

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Salmon Stronganoff

4 cups cooked wide egg noodles
1 can salmon, drained, bones and skin removed
1 jar (4.5 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 jar (2 oz) diced pimientos, drained (I omitted these)
1 1/2 cups small-curd cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) sour cream
1/2 cup mayo
3 T grated onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t salt
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
2 T butter

In a bowl, combine the noodles, salmon, mushrooms and pimientos. Combine cottage cheese, sour cream, mayo, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and salt; add to noodle mixture and mix well. Stir in cheddar cheese. Transfer to a greased 2 Qt baking dish. Toss bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over the casserole. Bake, uncovered, at 350¡ãF for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly. Yield: 4-6 servings.

Salmon Loaf with White Sauce

1 can (7-1/2 oz.) Salmon, drained and flaked

1 1/2 to 2 cup diced cooked potatoes

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup milk

1 egg

3 to 4 tbsp. chopped chives

1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel

Pepper to taste

Creamy Dijon Sauce


Combine all ingredients except Creamy Dijon Sauce; mix well. Press into lightly greased 1-1/2 quart baking dish. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until set. Serve with Cream Dijon Sauce.

Makes 4 servings.


Cream Dijon Sauce: Saute 2 tablespoons minced onion in 1 tablespoon each vegetable oil and butter until tender. Blend in 1 tablespoon flour; stir in 1 cup milk. Cook and stir until thickened; stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard.

Makes about 1 cup.



Baked Shrimp

8 ea Large cleaned shrimp
4 tb Lemon juice
1/2 c Butter
1/2 c Chopped parsley
3 ea Cloves garlic (minced)
1 c Bread crumbs
2 ts Paprika

Butterfly shrimp but don't cut all the way. Spread and flatten. Place Shrimp in individual baking dishes. sprinkle with portion of lemon juice. Combine butter, 5 tbl parsley and garlic in a bowl. Place some of the mixture on each shrimp. Combine crumbs, remaining parsley and paprika and place some on each shrimp. Bake at 400 deg for 15 minutes. Garnish with lemon wedges.

Chinese Shrimp

1 lb Medium shrimp
2 tb Minced garlic
3 tb Soy sauce
1/2 tb Black pepper
2 Spring onions, chopped
1 Carrot, thinly sliced
1 Stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 Hard peel snow peas

Boil shrimp in hot water for approximately 8 minutes.

Rinse in cold water. Shell and de-vein.

In a heat proof bowl, add shrimp, soy sauce, and garlic. Then all remaining ingredients and top with black pepper.

Place bowl in steamer and cook for approximately 25 minutes.

Dry Fried Shrimp With Ginger

4 tb Peanut oil
2 lb Cleaned, unshelled shrimp
2 tb Minced garlic
1 ts Minced fresh ginger root
4 tb Coarsely chopped scallions
2 tb Chinese rice wine -=OR=- Dry sherry
2 tb Light soy sauce
1/2 ts Dark soy sauce
1 pn Salt
1/4 c Chicken broth

Heat a wok over a high flame. Add the oil, and when it is hot, stir-fry the shrimp quickly until they turn pink. Add the remaining ingredients. Continue stirring until the shrimp are cooked (about 3 minutes).


Baked Clams

12 Cherrystone clams
2 tb Butter or margarine
1/4 c Finely chopped onion
1 Clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 Egg, slightly beaten
1/4 c Seasoned bread crumbs
1/8 ts Dried oregano leaves
1/3 c Seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 tb Butter or margarine, melted

Remove clams from half shell and chop coarsely. Set clams and shells aside. In a medium-sized, heat-resistant, non-metallic mixing bowl place 2 tablespoons butter. Heat in Microwave Oven 30 seconds or until melted. Add onion and garlic. Heat, uncovered, in Microwave Oven 3 energy 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Add egg, the 1/4 cup bread crumbs, chopped clams and oregano to onion mixture. Spoon mixture into reserved shells. Place shells on a heat- resistant, non-metallic serving platter. In a small bowl combine the 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs and the 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle buttered bread crumbs on top of clam mixture. Heat, uncovered, in Microwave Oven 5 minutes or until heated through.

Clam Chip Dip

Garlic; thin sliver
6 oz Cream cheese
8 oz Clams, minced; drained
1 tb Clam broth
1 ts Lemon juice; fresh squeezed
1 ts Worcestershire sauce
1/2 ts Salt
ds Pepper

Put all ingredients into blender container and blend until smooth.

Stuffed Clams

24 ea Clams, shelled, and minced or 2 large cans minced
1/4 lb Butter
1 ea Onion, chopped fine
Bread crumbs
Jarlsberg cheese, grated
2 t Lemon juice
1 t Oregano
2 ea Green peppers, chopped fine
Hot pepper sauce

Simmer clams, lemon juice, oregano and butter in saucepan for 15 minutes. Add hot pepper sauce to taste, bread crumbs, onion, and green peppers, until mixture is the consistency of oatmeal. Fill clam shells with mixture and top with grated Jarlsberg. Bake in 325 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until mixture starts to bubble.


Chinese Crab Rice

2 Green onions, chopped
1 Piece fresh ginger, 2-3 cm, grated
4 tb Dry sherry
3 tb Light soy sauce
3 Blue crabs
400 g Glutinous rice
1 tb Soy sauce
1 tb Oil
1 ts Sugar

Finely chop 2 green (spring) onions and grate 2-3 cms of fresh ginger. Combine them with 4 tablespoons dry sherry and 3 tablespoons light soy sauce. Prepare three green blue swimmers crabs. Chop two of them into several pieces with a large knife or cleaver and crack the hardest pieces of the shell with a hammer. Crack the third crab thoroughly all over but do not chop up. Pour the sherry-soy sauce mixture over the crabs and leave to marinate for an hour. Wash 400 grams glutinous rice in several changes of water until the water runs clear.

Put the rice into a saucepan and pour over it 1.5 L water. Bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes. Drain.

In the bottom of a heatproof dish at least 12 cm deep and of a size to fit into your steamer, pack in the chopped crab pieces, reserving the marinade. Pour the rice over the top and pack it down. Press the intact crab into the top of the rice. To the marinade, add a further tablespoon soy sauce and a tablespoon oil, teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar. Pour over the crabs and rice.

Put the dish in the steamer over boiling water and steam for 35-40 minutes. Serve. Diners deal first with the top crab, now half buried in rice, then fish around, for the rest of the crab pieces in rice.

 Hot Spiced Crab Soup

1/8 lb Butter
1 lg Onion, chopped
2 cl Garlic, crushed
1/2 ts Tobasco or other pep sauce
1/8 ts Cayenne pepper
1/4 c Chopped parsley
1 Bay leaf
1 Bottle of *dry* white
Drinking wine (26.5 oz. bottle)
1 cn (14 oz) chicken broth
2 lg Cooked Dungeness crabs (about 2 lbs. each), cleaned and cracked
Lemon wedges

In a large kettle (at least 8 qt.) heat butter until bubbly; stir in onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until onion is soft. Stir in hot pepper seasoning, cayenne, parsley, bay leaf, broth and wine; heat to simmering. Add crab, cover, and simmer about 10 minutes or until crab is heated through.

Oven-baked Crab Cakes

5 c Cornflakes
1/2 c Mayonnaise
2 tb Dijon mustard
2 ts Old Bay seasoning
1/8 ts Cayenne
2 lg Egg yolks
2 lb Jumbo lump crab meat; picked over
1/4 c (1 stick) unsalted butter; softened
Tartar sauce

In a food processor, pulse cornflakes until ground coarse and spread in a shallow baking pan. In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay seasoning, cayenne, and yolks and add crab meat and salt and pepper to taste, tossing mixture gently but thoroughly. With a 1/4-cup measure, form crab mixture into slightly flattened rounds about 2-1/2 inches wide and 3/4-inch thick and gently coat crab cakes with cornflakes, transferring as coated to a wax-paper-lined baking sheet. Chill crab cakes, covered with plastic wrap, at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Transfer crab cakes to a large baking sheet. Put about 1/2 teaspoon butter on each crab cake and bake in middle of oven until crisp and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve crab cakes with tartar sauce.


 Wok-Seared Albacore Tuna with Coconut Curry*

1 bunch of cilantro, washed

For the Coconut Curry

One 13 ½  –ounce can coconut milk (1 ¾ cups)

½  cup chicken stock

¼ cup mirin or sweet sake

1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce

1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste

1 teaspoon Asian sour shrimp paste or 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice


For the Dish

3 table spoons peanut oil

½ pound albacore tuna, cut into 2 X ½ - inch strips

1 ½ cups Japanese eggplant cut ¼ inch thick on the bias

1 ½ cups Napa cabbage cut into 1-inch-wide ribbons

½ cup zucchini cut ¼ inch think on the bias

½ cup seeded red bell pepper cut into slices ½ inch thick

1/3 cup peeled carrots cut into slices 1/8 inch think on the bias

2 lime wedges

Aromatic Steamed Rice

¼ cup Thai basil leaves or other fresh basil leaves


1. Pick off ¼ cup of the cilantro leaves and set aside

2. To make the curry sauce, combine the remaining cilantro leaves and stems 1 ½ cups sauce

3. Heat wok with a 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil to the wok, put in the eggplant, cabbage, zucchini, bell pepper and carrots, and stir-fry for 4 minutes.  Add the curry sauce and the tuna, and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.

  On the Plate: Serve in large soup bowls over a big scoop of rice.  Garnish with the reserved cilantro, the basil, and lime wedges.

  A Step Ahead: You can make the curry sauce a day ahead and keep refrigerated, covered tightly.

  *This recipe is made possible through the courtesy of Tom Douglas, author of the famous cookbook “Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen” and owner of the Dahlia Lounge Restaurant in Seattle.



Ling Cod in Grape Leaves with Pine Nut Fig Butter*

  ¼ cup ( ½ stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon chopped toasted pine nuts

1 tablespoon finely chopped dried figs

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

¾ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ cup dry white wine

½ cup water

1 shallot, roughly chopped

2 sprigs thyme

1 ½ pounds ling cod fillets, cut into 4 portions

Grape leaves (either from the jar, well rinsed with cold water and patted dry, or fresh, blanched)

4 lemon wedges

4 sprigs thyme(optional)


1. To make the fig butter, mix the butter, pine nuts, figs, lemon zest, and chopped thyme in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit,  In an oven-proof pan large enough to hold all the fish in a single layer, combine the wine, water, shallot, and 2 thyme sprigs.  Cover the pan and allow it to slowly simmer over low heat for 20 minutes to make a quick court bouillon.

3. Meanwhile, spread each piece of fish with some of the fig butter.  Then lay several grape leaves out on your work surface and place the fish, butter side down, on the grape leaves.  Wrap the fish in the leaves and place them, seam side down, in a pan of court bouillon so the buttered side is facing up.  Place the pan, uncovered, in the oven until the fish is cooked all the way through, 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove the grape leaves-wrapped fish from the court bouillon.

  On the Plate: Cut open the grape leaves to reveal the melted butter on the inside, still leaving most of the wrapper intact.  Serve with a lemon wedge and a sprig of thyme, if desired.

A Step Ahead: The fish can be spread with butter and wrapped in a grape leaves early in the day, and stored, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator.  The fig butter can be made a week in advance and stored, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator or longer in the freezer.

  *This recipe is made possible through the courtesy of Tom Douglas, author of the famous cookbook “Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen” and owner of the Dahlia Lounge Restaurant in Seattle.


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