Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cooking Up a Storm!

   One of the advantages of completing my teaching assignment in Gorman, and being back at home (except when I am doing desk time in the real estate office), is I have more time to cook. Back in ancient times, aka my college days, my boyfriend's mom taught me how to make salmon loaf. Friday, I made salmon cakes, that were pretty darn tasty. We had artichokes (on sale at a lot of markets right now) & steamed rice for sides. I, of course, did not use an actual recipe, but here is a basic breakdown:
Salmon Loaf or Salmon Cakes
  • 1 can of fresh caught salmon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 -1 cup of smashed Ritz or similar crackers
  • Seasonings to taste: e.g. pepper, dried basil, etc. Avoid anything with salt, as the salmon easily gets too salty
  • Finely chopped onion (can also add bell pepper & celery, but if you add too many extras, it is more difficult for them to hold their shape).
Mix ingredients. You can remove bones or smash for the nutritional benefit. I prefer keeping them in. Because canned salmon is cooked at a high temp, the bones are soft. You can form into cakes and pan fry, as I did (used cooking spray for a healthier version than frying in oil), or, double the recipe, and make a salmon loaf. You spray a loaf pan w/non-stick spray, & bake at 350 degrees for about 20 - 30 minutes. For a loaf, I would recommend covering it with aluminum foil, until the last 5-10 minutes, so it doesn't dry out.
   I am going to make Cajun salmon cakes for my Zatarain's Mardi Gras party Friday. They have a mix just for salmon, but if I can't find it, I'll use their crab cake mix. Speaking of which, I got some GREAT plates, napkins, and decorations at Dollar Tree (remember this mountain Martha Stewart is grounded in reality, and is part of the 99% of us). I put a feather mask on our cow skull, since it kind of goes with Valentine's Day. Once that is past, I will put up the rest of the party decorations. I think I'm going to decorate the skull for every holiday (how about a green bowler for St. Patty's?).
   Doesn't the cow look cool? LOL

Yesterday was a very busy day. In the morning, I made 15 creme brulees for a dinner party we were invited to. I made chocolate, Kahlua, and one with both. This photo shows the brulees cooling. Creme brulee is easier to make than cheesecake. Basically, to make 6-8 brulees (depending on the size of your ramekins), you need this recipe:
Creme Brulee
  •  8 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla (I always use more than the recommended teaspoon.
Preheat oven to 300º. Whisk the egg yolks until light yellow, whisk in the sugar until light & creamy, then add the cream and vanilla. You then add whatever extra flavors you want, like cocoa powder, amaretto, etc. Bake in a water bath at 300º for about 40 minutes (remove while middles are still soft). Cool in water bath, chill in fridge for at least two hours. Before serving, sprinkle with sugar, & caramelize tops with hand torch. The brulees were a big hit last night, even the kiddos ate up theirs.

   After I made the brulees, it was time to host my free storytime/craft at The Sweet Galley, in Frazier Park. We read George Washington's Teeth and Chocolatina. The craft was edible. We made apple 'mouths.' The children spread sunflower seed butter (to accommodate peanut allergies), placed yogurt covered raisins at the edge, & put the two pieces together. Voila! The recipe I found online called for peanut butter and marshmallows, so I tweaked it. Sunflower seed butter is surprisingly yummy! The monkey ate his all up!


  1. I LOVE salmon cakes. Being an Eastcoaster, I don't see them in restaurants very often. Looks like I need to make my own. Great recipe and thanks for stopping by my site.

    1. Your shrimp wontons were a HUGE hit with my friends the other night. I esp. loved the peanut sauce. :)