Monday, March 24, 2014

Baked Salmon with Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce

Salmon.  You know it's good for you, but maybe you find the strong flavor a bit off-putting.  

This may be the salmon recipe for you.

The creamy Greek Yogurt sauce that accompanies this salmon recipe is fresh, bright and both complements and subdues the fish-y flavor of the salmon.

In other words, this could be your family's answer to a picky salmon eater.  (Take a note from my playbook:  call it fish with ranch dip--works great for my G).

Baked Salmon with Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce

1 1/2 pounds salmon
1 cup low fat Greek Yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped capers (optional--if you omit, add extra 1/4 teaspoon salt)
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse and pat dry the salmon, place on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until the salmon is fully baked (flakes with a fork, but not dry--cooking time will depend on the thickness of your salmon).

While the salmon is baking, assemble the remaining ingredients and make the quick and easy sauce:

Combine the yogurt, red onion, garlic, dill weed, lemon zest and lemon juice:

Add the salt and pepper and stir well:

If desired, add some capers (or salt):

Add some horseradish (optional):

Once the salmon is baked, top with some of the creamy lemon dill sauce and a lemon slice, if desired:

Serves 4.

Salmon.  It's what's for dinner!

Life is sweet,

Monday, March 10, 2014

Two Crust-y Solutions

They are a common site in kitchens with kids (and probably some grown-up kitchens too):

Chances are, if you are a mom, dad or have ever fed anyone under the age of 10, you know that for some kids, crusts rank right there between brussel sprouts and mushrooms in the category of "you don't expect me to actually eat those, do you?"

Since R has never been a fan of sandwiches, the issue of crusts never really arose.  But my sweet G is a huge PB&J fan.  He eats a lot of PB&Js, but PB&Js without the crusts, of course.  Which leaves me with lots and lots of bags of crusts (yes, I know, you can make the sandwich with crusts and hope that your kiddo eventually says "hey, these crusts taste okay!" and I do try this periodically, but we have yet  to hear G say this.):

Since I'd rather not waste the crusts, especially the crusts of rather pricey gluten-free bread, and since gluten-free breadcrumbs and croutons are expensive, how about a quick way to put your crusts (gluten-free or otherwise) to good use?

There are two easy and tasty solutions to the crust conundrum:  Croutons and Breadcrumbs (which taste waaaay better than canned or store-bought breadcrumbs!).

First, Homemade Crust Croutons:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Take the crusts and cut into fairly uniform, bite-sized pieces.

Add some ground pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and dried basil (about 1/2 teaspoon each to about 6 cups bread pieces--or adjust for your amount of bread):

Add a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, toss well and spread evenly on a baking sheet, avoiding overcrowding (use two baking sheets if necessary):

Bake 20-30 minutes, turning in pan one time while baking:

Voila--croutons way better than any you buy in the store!  Store in an airtight container a room temperature, or freeze to last longer.

Next up:  Homemade Bread Crumbs:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Then, use a food processor or coffee grinder:

Simply process until the desired fineness is reached:

Place on a cooking sheet or stone and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until desired brownness is reached:

Store in the freezer until you're ready to use!

Life is sweet,