Tag Archives: Recipe

Salmon with Cilantro Pesto

Every July my family heads to the Kenai River with our nets to dip salmon. As a family of four, we are allowed to keep 55 salmon – mostly reds – which weigh in at around 7 or 8 pounds. Add to that up to 10 flounder, and that’s a lot of fish to clean all at once! But honestly, we don’t eat that many fish, so we generally limit ourselves to 25 salmon and 1 flounder if we happen upon one large enough to bother with.

We smoke about half, and freeze or can the rest to enjoy all winter long. Here’s one of our favorite salmon recipes!

Salmon with Cilantro Pesto

In a food processor or blender, pulse together until smooth:
3/4 to 1 cup fresh cilantro
3 T. olive oil
1 T. white wine vinegar
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. slivered almonds
1 garlic clove
1/8 t. salt

Prepare about five 6oz salmon filet portions by sprinkling with salt and pepper. Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Place salmon filets, skin side up, in the skillet and cook four to five minutes or until golden. Flip and cook another five to ten minutes until the fish is almost opaque (do not overcook – the salmon will continue to cook slightly even off heat.) Remove fish to serving plates, leaving the skin behind (some people eat it, but we don’t care for it) and dollop each filet with the cilantro pesto. Serve immediately. Great with hot cooked rice or noodles and a side salad.

Grandma’s Cooking

My grandma was my inspiration for cooking and baking. She was always creating new recipes, some for people with allergies, some with new food items she’d discovered, and always with a discerning palette. Several of the recipes in my cookbook originated from recipes she developed.

Grandma no longer cooks. She lives in a single room in a retirement community where her meals are provided. But I was delighted to receive this photo of her reading my cookbook.

Grandma reading You Can Eat ThisThank you, Grandma, for your love, support, and encouragement!

Do you have someone who inspires you to cook?

Diabetic Flourless Chocolate Cake

English: Disengaged base and wall of springfor...

Image via Wikipedia

I have a bumper sticker from Penzey’s Spices on my refrigerator. “Love People, Feed Them Tasty Food.” Why do people pull together around food? Food is a deep, primitive need that binds us together as humans. What do we do at social gatherings? Eat and drink. Where do people always end up gathering in a home? The kitchen.

Yet I have a lot of friends with special food needs. Diabetics. Vegetarians. Lactose intolerance. Nut and seafood allergies. I myself am gluten intolerant. But that only makes our potlucks that much more fun. “I brought these gluten free pretzels for you.” “I made this with soy milk.” “This is sweetened with agave.”

We make each other happy with food.

Here’s one of my favorite recipes that most of my friends can enjoy. (Warning, this is not for the faint of heart when it comes to chocolate.)

Diabetic flourless chocolate cake

  • 7 oz good quality dark chocolate (I use 2 Lindt 85% bars, but you can go lower percentage)
  • 7 oz butter (or margarine for the lactose intolerant)
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup xylitol, separated (it’s a natural diabetic sweetener – look in the health food section.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Line a 9″ springform pan with parchment paper on the bottom. Preheat oven to 350.

In a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate until smooth. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, mix 4 egg yolks with 1/2 c. xylitol. Fold the two mixtures together.

With an electric mixer, beat 4 egg whites until soft peaks form, then slowly add another 1/2 c. xylitol, beating until stiff peaks form. Add a teaspoon of vanilla. Fold this into chocolate mixture.

Pour into the springform pan and bake for 40 mins. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes, then with a thin blade, run around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake before releasing the springform. Cool completely before serving. May be served with whipped cream (you can also buy soy-based whipped cream.)

Let me know how you like it!

Using agave syrup amendment: 12/28/2011 If you’d like to try making this with agave syrup, replace the 1 cup of xylitol with 3/4 cup of agave, separated.

© Tam Linsey, 2011. All rights reserved.

How To Make Fermented Garlic Dill Pickles

With the height of summer finally releasing a bounty of cucumbers, I thought I’d share with my readers my recipe for old-fashioned garlic dill pickles. These are great because they are not too salty, and just pleasantly sour. I’ve made this recipe for years, and keep the jars in the fridge (yes, they take up a lot of space, but there is nothing like a fresh, never-been-cooked pickle.) Canning is an option, but it inevitably takes away some of the fresh crispness that make these pickles so wonderful. Make sure you scrub all your utensils and crock before starting in order to prevent unwanted bacterial growth. To be extra sure, I do a final rinse of the crock with boiling water.

To make the brine, in a gallon crock or jar, mix together

8 cups water

¼ cup pickling salt (do not use regular table salt)

6 garlic cloves

2 Tablespoons dill seeds

2 Tablespoons mixed pickling spice

2 Tablespoons dried dill weed OR 6 dill heads or sprigs of fresh dill

*optional* 1 small Thai dragon pepper– a Thai dragon pepper will make a very spicy pickle. Any hot pepper will do, or if you don’t like spice, leave it out.

Next, wash and trim 2-3 pounds of pickling cucumbers. Make sure they are young and firm, and cut off about an eighth of an inch at the blossom end. There are enzymes in that end which will make your pickles soft. Add the cucumbers to the crock. If you don’t have quite that many ready, you can wash, trim, and add a few more to the brine over the next two days as they ripen in the garden.

Finally, fill a plastic bag with 1 Tablespoon of pickling salt and 2 cups of water. Seal it and gently lower it into the crock so that it presses all the cucumbers and garlic under the brine. Any not under the fluid will mold and rot instead of ferment. I use salt brine in the bag because one year a bag leaked plain water and diluted the pickle brine, with bad results.

Keep the crock at room temperature for 3 to 5 days. It will take less time if it is warm, and more time if it is cool. Here in Alaska, my house stays about 68ºF all summer, which is the perfect temperature for fermentation. Check the crock every day. If any scum develops at the top of the brine, skim it off.

After three days, taste a pickle, and if it is good, drain the brine and boil it in a non-aluminum pan for 5 minutes. Let it cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, re-pack the pickles into sterile quart jars. Once the brine is cool, pour it back over the pickles, put a sterile lid on, and store them in the refrigerator. They keep for me all winter. Unrefrigerated, these pickles only keep about a week because they are low salt, so eat ‘em, cool ‘em, or can ‘em!

Anyone else make pickles? What is your favorite?

PS I forgot to add that sometimes if I want a more sour pickle, I will add about a quarter cup of white vinegar (NOT cider) to each quart of pickles when I pour the boiled brine in the re-packed jars.

If you like articles like this one, sign up for my monthly newsletter!

© Tam Linsey, 2011. All rights reserved.

Here’s a great photo of finished pickles.