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Salmon Burgers

 

There's something about a good burger that tickles my heart: a warm soft, crusty bun, a nice flavorful patty oozing with juicy goodness and that magical condiment that just brings it all together.  I've never really dappled with fish burgers. I mean I usually correlate a burger with a thick beef patty, the kind that melts in your mouth and makes your stomach smile on the inside but suprsingly, I found true love in a salmon burger this time.

I used this recipe I found through Food and Wine and made a couple modifications -- I made the aioli yogurt based to give it a healthier touch and the results were fantastic. The best part is, you can freeze the left over patties to use for later. Just simply defrost and sear them in a pan or you can even freeze cooked patties to save a little extra time.

 

 

 

 

 

Salmon Burgers

Recipe Type: Entree
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • Ingredients
  • 1 pound skinless center-cut salmon fillet, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce (3 crabs brand)
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • ½ tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs or panko
  • 3 hamburger buns, toasted
  • Lettuce, onion, tomato, sliced for burgers
  • avocado ailoi (see recipe below)
  • ——–
  • 2 Hass avocados
  • ⅓ cup yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 seeded serrano chile or unseeded jalapeño, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, pulse the chopped salmon about 10 times, or until minced. Scrape the salmon into a bowl. Mix the egg with the fish sauce, tabasco, garlic, shallot, ginger, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, 1 tablespoon of the mint, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Add the mixture to the salmon along with 1 cup of bread crumbs. Fold the salmon mixture together with a rubber spatula. With lightly oiled hands, pat the mixture into 4 burgers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add salmon burgers to skillet and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until well browned but barely cooked in the center, about 7 minutes.
  3. Spread the Avocado Aioli on the rolls. Add the salmon burgers, top with lettuce, onion and tomato, close the sandwiches and serve.
  4. Avocado Aioli
  5. In a medium bowl, coarsely mash the avocados with a fork. Fold in the yogurt, basil, garlic, lemon juice, lime juice, chile and shallot. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

When fish is responsibly farm raised, it's a great way to go as it's a smart option to help deal with our current issues with over-fishing and usually comes at a lower price.  Be sure you do your research to find a good supplier. I used some Cooper River Salmon fillets I still had frozen from the peak of Summer and do feel free to experiment with other types of flaky fish like cod or mahi.

This recipe is also a great heart-healthy option for ones that are watching their cholesterol. Fish are rich in Omega-3 oils that are important for our cardiovascular and brain health and helps lower triglycerides in our blood. Food that tastes good and heals the body? I'm diggin it.

Eat well. Be mindful. Live Happy!

Peanut Butter Nutella Crepes

Summer came and went with a whisper, as time slipped through my fingers -- another year has almost past, though sometimes I wish it wouldn't. Amidst a flurry of work and struggles, it all becomes overwhelming and you realize you forget. You forget to take time to tend to relationships, you forget to take time to really see what's around you, but most importantly you forget to take the time to honor yourself. And what a tragedy that must be.

Though fortunately enough you have those that truly love you-- that dig deep and force you to wake up. You're suddenly able to hear your voice again -- Be present. Be steadfast. Be strong. As time waits for no one, so what better reason than to make the most out of every minute, every hour, every day.

I spent some time this Summer visiting Collin's Grandparents out in Linville, North Carolina where we went on hikes, explored the mountains, played cards, cooked -- it healed me to say the least, but most importantly reminded me the frailty of life itself. From the billowing clouds that hung above the rolling hills, down to the intricate butterflies that fluttered about, to the babbling creek I'd wake up to every morning -- quickly my inner calamity faded and was replaced by a sense of peace, happiness and pure love. Nature can work in mysterious ways but I choose to not question it but instead, experience it to the fullest extent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I thought back to this trip this Summer, I made a promise to myself: make more time for Me. And making more time for Me really entails making myself feel important by making fancy breakfasts. These Peanut Butter Nutella Crepes are anything but hard to make and even better, you can freeze un-filled crepes to use for later. So plan accordingly and you can have these for breakfast EVERY SINGLE DAY. I know, you're welcome. Feel free to add bananas or maybe even top it with a little whipped cream. I chose to top mine with a little drizzle of Dude Sweet Chocolate's Love Potion (oooooh-la la!). Thanks to Alton Brown for the wonderful crepe  base recipe.

Peanut Butter Nutella Crepes
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Alton Brown
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 2-4
Makes about 17-20 crepes
Ingredients
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • Butter, for coating the pan
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup nutella
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.
  2. Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone. After they have cooled you can stack them and store in sealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to two months. When using frozen crepes, thaw on a rack before gently peeling apart.
  3. To make Peanut Butter Nutella Crepes simply spread 1 tablespoon of each filling (I may have used 2...) on each side and fold into quarters as pictured. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to finish and serve with fresh fruit and a cup of joe.

A few more shots I captured during our trip with the iPhone 4-S. I find myself using this camera more on trips than my professional gear. It's easy, great resolution and allows me to capture moments I otherwise might have missed. Yes, technology can be a beautiful thing :)

Ricotta Pancakes with Banana Pecan Syrup

Nothing really beats the smell of pancakes and bacon cooking on the stove in the mornings. It's a wonderful way to welcome the weekend and even a better excuse to stay in your pajamas just a little bit longer. And when it's a Paula Lambert recipe that involves whipping some of her house made ricotta cheese into the batter-- life doesn't really get sweeter than that.
Dallas Mozzarella Company (owned by Paula Lambert) makes some of the best cheeses hands down. Having won numerous awards from the American Cheese Society, Paula has been serving up fresh made cheese in Dallas for over 24 years -- that's almost a quarter century of cheese making folks. This woman is damn serious when it comes to cheese and the flavors of her products says it all.
I really fell hard for this recipe because of the light airy texture of the pancake, resulting from the whipped egg whites that are gently integrated into the batter.  Plus there's ricotta cheese in the batter, need I say more? I think the base would also serve for a great savory version as well -- maybe topped with some creme fraiche, smoked salmon and chives... Do I smell a weekend project coming on? Perhaps. But for now, enjoy this recipe!
Ricotta Pancakes with Banana Pecan Syrup

Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Paula Lambert
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 4
Light fluffy pancakes dotted with rich creamy ricotta cheese topped with a warm banana and pecan syrup. Yes. This is what heaven tastes like.
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter Unsalted
  • 1/2 Cup Pecans Chopped
  • 2 Bananas Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Cup Cane or Maple Syrup
  • 2 Cups Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 eggs Separated
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 4 Ounces Ricotta
Instructions
  1. Banana Syrup: Melt the butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add the nuts and sauté for about one minute, or until fragrant. Add bananas and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring to combine the ingredients. Add the syrup and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until syrup is well heated and thick. Remove from heat and set aside in a warm place.
  2. Ricotta Pancakes: Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt together onto wax paper or a plate. Beat the egg whites in a medium bowl with a hand beater until stiff, but not dry.
  3. Beat the egg yolks, milk, and ricotta together in a large bowl until well blended and smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix gently with a large spoon. Stir a spoonful of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites with a spatula.
  4. Warm the platter in a low oven. Heat a flat nonstick griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Grease with butter or vegetable oil. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter per pancake onto the pan when it is hot. Pour as many additional pancakes as the griddle will comfortably hold. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until air bubbles form on the surface, and then flip the pancakes over using a large flat spatula. Cook on the other side for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and place the pancakes on a warm platter.
All the ingredients for this recipe can be ordered through Artizone - a grocery delivery service that finds the best artisans in the city and showcases their goods in the form of an online market . I've been working with the company since the beginning when there were just 5 vendors. Two years later, they now have over 40 vendors and have expanded to Chicago and recently started to ship nationwide.  It's been a great experience meeting all of the vendors, exploring their passion in their craft  -- it has allowed me to take the time to appreciate the love that goes into all of their products and further more, being able to support and buy from local businesses. It's fun, addicting, and quite frankly freaking awesome.
Give it a whirl, make breakfast for your family or maybe even your boo. But whatever reason you have to cook, always cook from the heart and embrace the messes. Happy cooking and have a great weekend!
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On a side note, I was recently contacted by Love With Food to review one of their specialty food boxes. Based in California, this company not only sends you tasty snacks from great vendors they find, but with each box they donate a meal to help feed hungry kids across America. Pictured below is the box of goodies they sent me, I especially loved the hot fudge sundae sauce. I use it to top my coconut gelato nightly :) Lucky for my readers, Love With Food is actually offering a giveaway for a free 1-month trial. The winner must provide their credit card number in order to qualify and you may choose to cancel your membership at the end of your term or continue ordering away!  Also anyone who is curious to try it out can also get $2 off their next order using the coupon code JOYVIP.
To win your free one month trial for Love With Food simply leave a comment below and I will draw a number randomly next week and announce the winner. Good luck!