Smoked Paprika and Brown Sugar Corn on the Cob

If I am hosting a dinner party or making a large meal I want to prep some dishes ahead of time.  Corn on the Cob is one of those you can prep ahead of time with foil and your seasoned butter. This rub gives you a sweet, smoky flavor that is addicting.  DSC_0617.JPG

In a bowl combine the following ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons of softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

DSC_0616.JPGRub butter mixture on your shucked corn and wrap each piece in foil.  Place in 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes turning once.  Alternatively, you can place foil wrapped corn on the grill- turning until tender (med- high heat about 10 minutes)

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Bread and Butter Pinot Noir

Thank you Food & Wine for your article on 15 Value Pinot’s You Can’t Miss (In Pursuit of the $20 Pinot) in the Oct 2016 issue.   I don’t know why I haven’t tried many Pinot Noirs but maybe like your article eluded too it is because it is a tricky grape for wineries to deal with and finding a delicious budget worthy bottle is challenging.

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After reading the article, I decided I want to try a Pinot Noir.  Usually, I gravitate to full bodied reds but it is nice to try different variety and broaden one’s horizon.  Having every intention of purchasing one of the 15 bottles mentioned in the article I headed to the store.  Wouldn’t you know it—I forgot the article!!!

Luckily, the store had one that had great rating and was $14.99 (BARGAIN!!!). I bought a 2014 Bread and Butter Pinot Noir.

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Tasting notes:  Right away I got cherry and blackberries with oak undertones followed by a peppery finish.  Very smooth with low low tannins.

This will not be my last Pinot Noir and now I have to go buy another bottle of this great find.

@breadandbutterwines #pinotnoir #palatepleaserpinot

 

 

Sweet Potato Salmon Patties

What to do with leftover salmon.  Ok Ok WHY do I have leftover salmon?  I know some of you are asking how can you have leftover salmon.     Well, during my Alaska trip this year we had the “pleasure” of butchering this one huge, monster salmon.  Let me tell you….I should taken video or pictures.  There were four of us and we took turns trying to cut these salmon steaks. This one particular salmon was a beast with a vertebrae that was making us sweat.  Needless to say, the steaks were quite large.

I had taken out two of the steaks from the freezer for dinner.  Dinner for the 3 of us includes myself, my husband and an 8 year old. One steak was not quite enough but two would leave a small amount of leftover. Unfortunately, hubby had to go out of town, but I had to cook these 2 monster steaks.  The little one and I did our best but still had quite a bit left.  You can’t waste Alaskan salmon so I had to come up with a plan for the rest.

I do make salmon patties quite often but wanted to do a little something different.  I had two sweet potatoes in the pantry and about a cup of cooked rice-quinoa mix from the salmon dinner.  You can certainly make this recipe with fresh salmon or canned salmon and leave out the rice or vegetables.  Whatever your taste prefers.  The sweet potato gives the patty a creamy texture without overpowering the salmon.

Ingredients:

  • Flaked salmon (I ended up with a little more than 2 cups)
  • 2 sweet potatoes (cubed, cooked, mashed)
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons SpinBlend (mayo/salad dressing) or stone ground mustard
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs/panko…you can add a little more if texture it too wet
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • As I mentioned I had about 1 cup of leftover rice-quinoa so I added it as well.

**You may be asking where is the seasoning?? Since, the salmon was already cooked and seasoned well I didn’t need to add more.  If you are using fresh or canned salmon you will need to add some seasoning- at a minimum salt and pepper.

Mix all together, form patties and cook in a heated pan with a little oil or on your griddle.

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Note:  My son doesn’t care for sweet potato too much so I separated out some of the mix before adding sweet potato so he would have one burger sans sweet potato.

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Great Beginnings

Every region has their own version how to start off a great dish.  The simple combinations are usually staples in any kitchen waiting to add a boost of flavor to your dish.

While I totally agree fresh is best, sometimes we are busy or have an over abundance of vegetables.  You can pre-dice your vegetables and place in the freezer to enjoy you garden treasures through the winter or to have ready at a moments notice.  Just the other day, I was deciding what to cook and while looking through the freezers found some pre-diced vegetables just waiting to be used.

mirepoix

The first cooking staple is French inspired- “Mirepoix“.  Mirepoix is a simple base of onions, carrots and celery, typically in a 2-1-1 (cups) ratio.  This mix is used in a number of dishes from soups and stew to sauces and roasts.

Down South where Cajun/ Creole cooking in popular you will hear about the “Holy Trinity“.  Similar to Mirepoix except green peppers are substituted for the carrots. Holy Trinity is the base to most Creole dishes.  The ratio is similar to that of Mirepoix or approximately 2 onions-2 stalks of  celery and 1 bell pepper.

Italian dishes will typically use a Mirepoix base but with the addition of fennel, garlic, Italian parsley, pancetta or prosciutto.  As one can imagine each family holds their “secret” recipe close to their heart.  Just try to get that family recipe out of Nonna!!

Lastly, onto Spain and “Sofrito“.  Spanish dishes frequently have the base called sofrito, which is onions, garlic and tomato.  As with any of the foundations people have made their own version but if you know these basics you are well on your way to a flavorful savory dish.

As you can see a lot of these foundations start with humble beginnings- the onion. I usually place the diced vegetables in snack size ziplock baggies by the cup full and then place several of those snack size baggies into a gallon freezer bag.  Obviously, date your bags.  You can do the vegetables individual or have some pre-mixed.  This is also a great idea if you frequent a warehouse club such as Costco, Sam’s Club or BJs and like to buy in bulk.  I hate to waste food so this is just one way we try to save $ and be prepared when we can’t get to the store.