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Margaux says…

It’s been awhile since we’ve posted anything, and I never would have thought that I would break our silence with potato salad. But potato salad is definitely a favorite around here…we’ve posted quite a few! And this one is definitely my current favorite! I’ve made it two times in the last week, and also made a batch of just the pickled onions and celery for us to munch on with our sandwiches at lunch. And I hope I can make some time to post some of the other delicious things we’ve been eating this summer!

Potato salad with quick pickled onions and celery

adapted from Martha Stewart Living June 2016

3 lbs red new potatoes
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp celery seeds
3/4 cup packed fresh dill, chopped
4 stalks celery, cut into 1/4″ slices
1 medium sweet onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with 2 inches of water; season with about a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, cook until easily pierced with a knife, 12-15 minutes. Drain and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, celery seeds, and dill. Add celery and onion and toss, and set aside to sit for about 15 minutes. Quarter potatoes when completely cool and add to bowl along with olive oil. Toss and serve.

Aunt Suzy says . . .

As with so many things I cook, I saw a recipe which made me think of something else from which I created an amalgamation.  The recipe that triggered this meal was a riff on the burrito bowl – Caribbean Jerk Salmon  Bowl which included mango salsa.  It reminded me of a recipe I’ve made from Joy of Cooking – a grilled chili-crusted flank steak with mango salsa.  Shazam – this spicy salmon served with the Joy of Cooking mango salsa!   This is both elegant and easy to make, a combination I adore.  Enjoy with green rice (made here with 100% arugula) and a dry rose wine.

This makes 3-4 servings with 1 pound of salmon 6-8 servings with 2 pounds (depending on appetites)

The Mango Salsa

1 small red onion, diced

1 large or 2 small mangoes, peeled and diced (the link will take you to a how-to video)

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 small red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 clove garlic minced

1 fresh jalapeno, minced

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup fresh cilantro or mint, chopped

Salt and ground pepper to taste

Placed the diced onion in a bowl of water and set aside for 10 min.  Meanwhile, prepare the mango and put into a medium bowl with the lime juice.  Drain the onions and add to the diced mango with the remaining ingredients. Set aside while preparing the salmon.

The Spiced Salmon

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste

1-2 lbs salmon fillet, wild-caught if possible

Preheat the oven to 425°.  Blend the spices together and rub on the salmon.  (You will likely have leftover spice mixture.)  Line a baking sheet with foil and place the spiced salmon on it, leaving the skin on.  Bake for 6-9 minutes depending on thickness.  Be careful not to bake too long and dry out the salmon!  Take out of the oven and let sit for a couple of minutes.  Remove the salmon from the skin by inserting a spatula between the skin and the flesh.  The skin will have stuck to the foil, making it easy to peel the flesh from the skin.   Cut the salmon into serving pieces and serve with the mango salsa.

Spiced Pear Butter

January 23, 2012

Aunt Suzy says . . .

I saw this recipe on recently on Pinterest, and coincidentally, I had just bought a bag of Anjou pears (my favorite!) so I thought I’d try it.  The original recipe was for double the quantities listed below. It just so happened that my bag of pears was exactly half the weight called for.  The recipe also said it made way more than it did for me – not sure how I ended up with a smaller quantity of finished product.  It said the yield was 4 cups, so I recommend having on hand 4 sterilized half-pint jars and lids just in case.

I can testify that this is delicious on English muffins and sour dough toast.  I have a hunch it would be also great with pancakes, biscuits and scones.  The original post recommended stirring it into oatmeal – that sounds good too!

These quantities yielded about 2 1/2 cups of pear butter for me

3 1/2 pounds pears, preferably Anjou or Bartlett

1/4 cup water, a little less if the pears are extra juicy

Zest and juice of 1 small lemon, Meyer if available

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 teaspoon cardamom

1/3 teaspoon nutmeg

Peel, core and dice the pears.  Put in a stainless steel saucepan with the water, lemon zest and juice.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Let cool.  Puree the pears with a hand-held blender, keeping some of the texture.  Do not liquefy.  (Alternatively you can use a food processor with a metal blade.  Just be careful not to over process.)  This step can be done up to 1 day ahead of time.

Add the sugar, vanilla and spices to the pear puree.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer at a medium bubble, uncovered, until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally.  This took me about 45 minutes.  This will vary depending on how “liquidy” the puree is to start.

While the pear butter is cooking, prepare the jars.  Pour boiling water into half-pint mason jars.  Place lids and screw rings in a saucepan and simmer until ready to use.  When the pear butter is to the consistency where it holds together in a spoon, spoon the hot pear butter into the jars (emptied of the water).  Tamp the pear butter down and add a little more to fill the jar.  Dry the lids and rings with a paper towel. Place the lids on and tighten with the rings.  To seal, turn the jar upside down immediately and leave to cool.  Refrigerate when cooled.