Thursday, January 24, 2008

Smoked Salmon Penne with Asparagus

I was looking through a decorating magazine and came across this recipe by Michael Smith. I just love how he throws ingredients together and always seems to make a yummy dish. I made some changes based on what I had in the fridge so here goes. I'm not a salmon fan but hubby is and he really liked how this came together...

Smoked Salmon Penne with Asparagus


500 g vegetable penne
1 bunch of asparagus, chopped
125 g (1/2 cup) cream cheese, softened
4 green onions, chopped
1 lemon, juiced and zested
½ tbsp of Dijon mustard
2 tbsp of capers
8 ounces of smoked salmon
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ bunch of fresh dill, chopped


Bring a large post of salted water to a boil. Add pasta. Cook to al dente (8-10 minutes). After 6-8 minutes add the asparagus to the pasta and continue to cook until pasta is ready.

Line bowls with smoked salmon.

Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta. Place the pasta back into the pot with ½ cup of pasta water.

Immediately add cream cheese, green onions, lemon juice, zest, mustard and capers. Toss well, melting the cheese and forming the creamy sauce. Add more pasta water if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

Place pasta on salmon bowls and top with dill. Serve immediately.


Portuguese Comfort Food for a cold & wintery day...

So we've been getting a range of weather over the last couple of weeks, from the very warm to the very bitter cold. I think I've finally found the perfect soup recipe "Sopa de Couves to get us through those cold winter nights.

Sopa de Couves (Kale Soup)


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon pimento paste
8 cups of water (or low-sodium chicken stock)
1 leg of Portuguese chouriço sausage
8 mini white potatoes, peeled and quartered
½ bag of baby carrots, cut in thirds
1 tablespoon coarse salt or to taste
1/3 cup elbow macaroni pasta
½ bunch fresh kale or collard greens, rinsed and sliced thinly
1 pound (2 1/2 cups) dried red kidney beans soaked overnight covered by cold water


Heat olive oil. Add onion until soft and fragrant. Then add garlic, tomato paste and pimento paste and sauté for 1 minute.

Add 8 cups of water and chouriço. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes.

Remove chouriço and cut into quarters. Add back to the water. Add potatoes and carrots. Cook for 10 minutes.

Add salt, pasta and kale to the pot and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add beans, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Soup is ready when the pasta is done and the kale is tender.

Note: Add a touch of red wine to soup and serve with crusty bread.


Yummy Turkey...

I've made many turkeys since moving into this apartment but never as yummy or juicy as this one...

Roasted Turkey


1 (6.5 kg) turkey
Garlic salt
4 tbsp hot pimento paste, divided
2 lemons, quartered1 medium onion, quartered
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
2 tbsp garlic, pureed
1 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 Spanish onion
8 carrots, peeled and cut in 2-inch chunks 1 bag of small yellow potatoes


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove turkey parts from neck and breast cavities and wash the turkey inside and out. Dry bird well with paper towels, inside and out. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the lemons and onion.

Melt the butter. Add the pureed garlic and 2 tbsp of hot pimento paste. Sprinkle the turkey with salt and brush the outside of the turkey with the butter mixture. Tie the legs together with string and cover the wing tips with foil.

Mix the wine, chicken stock and water and pour ½ into the roasting pan. Set aside the remaining ½ for later.

Peel and slice the remaining onions, toss them with olive oil, and scatter them around the turkey.
Roast the turkey for 1 hour. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and tent the turkey with foil. Continue to roast, consistently basting the turkey with the wine mixture for about 3 hours more.

Toss the onion, carrots and potatoes with the vegetable oil and add to the roasting pan. Return the pan to the oven and continue to roast for about 1 1/2 hours more, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with foil for 20 minutes. Stir the vegetables and return the pan to the oven. Continue to cook the vegetables while the turkey rests. Slice the turkey and serve on a platter with the roasted vegetables.


Happy New Year....

Okay its been way too long since my last post and its catch-up time... We've had a rough start to 2008 but no need for it to define the upcoming year ahead of us.

Hubby and I wanted to start the New Year with having our family over for a nice lunch. Here was our Menu:

New Years Day Menu

Individual Ham & Cheese Quiches

Roasted Turkey
Stuffing with sautéed vegetables (mushrooms, red peppers, onions)
Roasted Vegetables (carrots, red onions, small yellow potatoes)
Spinach Salad (mandarin oranges, slivered almonds and red onion slices)

Toblerone Chocolate Fondue (strawberries, pound cake, ladyfingers, angel food cake)