‘Raspberry-Mint Gelatin Cups’

Recipe Courtesy of www.MarthaStewart.com

As promised, here is the stunningly beautiful dessert from the salmon menu mentioned yesterday.  Such a perfect ending to this tasty menu–fresh raspberries are folded into a gelatin dessert made with a fresh mint simple syrup, white grape juice (I used a Rose wine instead), and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.  Served with a dollop of lightly whipped cream, the color of the dessert alone will make you smile, but the taste of the dessert will make that smile even wider.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.marthastewart.com/314022/fresh-raspberry-gelatin-and-whipped-crea)

‘Seared Salmon with Creamy Leek Sauce’

Recipe Courtesy of www.MarthaStewart.com

This colorful menu is filled with the fresh flavors of spring!  From one of my favorite all-time cookbooks, Martha Stewart’s Dinner At Home, the main event is seared salmon (we decided to grill it instead) topped with a creamy sauce made with leeks, chives, white wine and a touch of heavy cream. Half of the sauce is pureed for a smooth consistency and the other left studded with the sliced leeks for texture.  The cooked salmon is then served with peppery greens, a dilled rice salad (we added in sliced radishes), and sugar snap peas with toasted almonds.  And just when you thought the menu couldn’t get any better, a lovely raspberry and mint-flavored gelatin for dessert.  You’ll find that sweet treat’s recipe in tomorrow’s post…

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.marthastewart.com/334359/seared-salmon-with-creamy-leek-sauce)

Matcha Granola

Recipe Courtesy of The Healthy Matcha Cookbook

Recipe Courtesy of The Healthy Matcha Cookbook

My favorite store-bought granola to snack on at breakfast is the Mona’s brand (it is crunchy, flavorful and just sweet enough!), and my favorite homemade version is this recipe for Matcha Granola.  From one of my favorite cookbooks, The Healthy Matcha Cookbook, this simple recipe for homemade granola is flexible in terms of its add-ins, but gets its base flavor from maple syrup and matcha green tea powder.

Filled with concentrated healthy benefits and a great depth of flavor, the green tea powder also lends a nice, unmistakable green hue to the granola.  My favorite add-ins to the rolled oats themselves are flax seeds, walnuts, cashews, dried apricots and dried mixed berries. (But feel free to use whatever ingredients you love and have on hand).  Try this tasty granola over your favorite yogurt with fresh berries, in a parfait for a healthy snack, or as a quick breakfast idea with a touch of almond milk and a sliced, ripe banana.

(To view this recipe, click on the blue title of the blog post above*)

Sea Bass with Asparagus Hash & Horseradish Sauce

Recipe Courtesy of Real Simple magazine

Recipe Courtesy of Real Simple magazine

When you see the word hash in a recipe, you know there are yummy cubes of crispy potatoes involved.  In this recipe’s case, it is a hash of potatoes, asparagus and spring onions.  A lovely spring version of a hash that goes well with your favorite seared fish; the original recipe from Real Simple magazine recommends using cod, but I couldn’t pass up these thick, meaty sea bass fillets at the market.  (Halibut or salmon would work well, too…)  If your fish fillets are really thick like these were, follow the recipe as written, but then bake the fish after searing both sides in the pan, in a hot oven until flaky.   Oh, and not that this dish doesn’t already sound delish, but you serve everything with fresh dill and an easy horseradish dipping sauce…yum yum!

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/cod-asparagus-hash-horseradish-sauce)

‘Smoked Salmon, Asparagus & Goat Cheese Quiche’

Recipe Courtesy of Patch.com

Recipe Courtesy of Patch.com

Searching for a springtime quiche like I was?  Well search no more!  This lovely quiche is filled with ingredients that just scream ‘Spring:’ smoked salmon, asparagus, fresh dill and leeks.  Baked in your favorite pie crust along with creamy crumbled got cheese, this breakfast treat bakes in no time and is very easy to put together.  This would also be a nice light lunch or dinner option with a mixed greens salad and a drizzle of vinaigrette.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://patch.com/virginia/clarendon/smoked-salmon-asapargus-and-goat-cheese-quiche)

‘Chive & Goat Cheese Soufflés’

Recipe Courtesy of Eating Well magazine

Recipe Courtesy of Eating Well magazine

Whether savory or sweet, once you learn the base recipe for a soufflé you can add in your favorite flavorings to make a spectacular side dish or dessert.  The base for any soufflé–from a hearty cheese-based souffle like this one, or a light and airy lemon soufflé for dessert–is butter, flour, milk and egg yolks cooked until thick and rich.  Then comes the whipped egg whites which is what makes the soufflés puff up in the hot oven.  The only difference between a dessert soufflé and a savory one is the addition of sugar, and whatever flavoring you love (like vanilla extract, lemon juice, or even melted chocolate…)

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/chive_goat_cheese_souffles.html)

Red Cabbage & Walnut Salad

When most people think of French food, they think of rich, cream-based dishes or heavy sauces. While this can be true in some regions of the country, the more you explore the cuisine of France in general the more you begin to realize that it is actually all about simplicity, classic cooking methods, high quality ingredients, and seasonality.  Using ingredients on hand whether from the pantry or from the local market, one thing that French cooks do amazingly well is salads.

Composed salads, simple green salads, homemade vinaigrettes and dressings– freshness and simplicity are key here.  A classic French salad is that of red cabbage and a flavorful walnut vinaigrette. With half a head of red cabbage in the fridge from a dish I made last week, I decided to put a spin on that classic flavor combination and make a thinly sliced red cabbage salad flavored with a simple vinaigrette, but with the addiiton of fresh sage and buttery walnut pieces for crunch.  The vinaigrette is made with walnut oil (pecan oil or almond oil would also work well), white balsamic vinegar, and a touch of Dijon mustard. The fresh sage adds a distinct woody taste, and the walnuts help accentuate the flavor of the walnut oil and add a lovely texture to this French-inspired side salad.

(To view this recipe, click on the blue title of the blog post above*)

Broccoli & White Bean Amandine

When you see the word Amandine in a dish description it denotes a few specific ingredients: almonds, lemon and butter.  Popular with broccoli, cooked green beans and even trout, I decided to make a broccoli and white bean version with the amandine accouterments.  First things first, you blanch the broccoli flroets until tender but still bright green in color.  The sauce is made stove-top with melted butter, a touch of olive oil, sliced shallots, and lemon juice.  I love the combination of butter and fresh herbs so I also added in some chopped, fresh rosemary to the sauce before stirring in the cooked beans and blanched broccoli. Serve the entire dish with sliced crunchy almonds and a grating of Parmesan cheese.

(To view this recipe, click on the blue title of the blog post above*)

Fennel-Rubbed Pork Roast with Tomato-Olive Ragu

Pork and fennel are a match made in culinary heaven.  For this pork roast recipe, I put an Italian flare on both the pork roast and on the luscious sauce that accompanies the pork.  The pork tenderloin is first rubbed in a mixture of fennel pollen and garlic powder before being seared to golden brown.  The pork then bakes in the oven for about an hour, along with some chicken stock to keep the pork tender.  All-the-while a tomato ragu cooks on the stove.  Not just any ragu, but a hearty ragu made with onions, garlic, green olives, tomatoes, red wine and fresh herbs–not to mention the last minute addition of peppery chopped dandelion greens for a healthy vegetable add-in.

(To view this recipe, click on the blue title of the blog post above*)

‘Blue Moon Inn Cheese Spread’

Recipe Courtesy of Southern Living Magazine: originating at the Blue Moon Inn in Montgomery, AL

My good friend Jan recently shared this fabulous recipe with me that originated at the Blue Moon Inn—a Montgomery, Alabama establishment (since closed).  Published at one point in Southern Living magazine, this cheese spread is like the first cousin of pimento cheese.  Shredded cheddar cheese (I used a mixture of sharp cheddar and white cheddar), mayo, and Worcestershire sauce are similar ingredients to beloved pimento cheese, but the twists come with the welcomed addition of toasted, chopped pecans, sweet chili sauce and sliced green olives.  The crunch of the pecans is a wonderful addition, and the briny taste of the olives pairs perfectly with the cheese.  Lovely served on toasted whole grain bread, with your favorite multi-grain crackers, or for another serving idea, stuffed into tiny sweet peppers or spread on crunchy celery sticks.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/blue-moon-inn-cheese-spread)