Brown Rice Bowl with Roasted Salmon

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Being a person that cooks a lot, is an avid restaurant searcher, farmer’s market groupie and all around food obsessed person, I get asked what my favorite food is A LOT. Which is the hardest question in the world to me. I have many answers (pork buns, ceviche, baguette and dark chocolate, fish tacos, meatloaf is up there, etc) but salmon has always been an easy one for me. I love it cooked every way. Fish and summer time just kind of go together because fish is light and easy. This is a great summer lunch or dinner but an equally great winter or fall lunch or dinner because it’s as light as it is filling.

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Best thing about making a grain bowl is its really versatile. You can add pretty much whatever you want on top. The first time I made this I had brown rice, black beans, corn, steamed onions, salmon, cilantro and simple guacamole. The next few times I left out the beans and corn (cause I’m lazy). Once I added a soft boiled egg (pictured above) because I didn’t have much salmon left. It became my favorite lunch. So much protein and you can add greens or swap a dressing for the simple guac. Basically I’ll give you an easy recipe and then you can make it yours BUT you have to keep the steamed onions, they make this.

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Brown Rice Bowl with Roasted Salmon

serves 2 (easily doubled)

  • 1 large yellow onion, cut in large rings then halved
  • A large piece of salmon about 6″ (can be bigger if you want extra)
  • 1 1/2 cups of medium grain brown rice
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • olive oil, kosher salt and pepper
  • lime juice
  • Simple Gucamole (recipe below)
  • 1 can black beans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add 3-4 cups water to a medium saucepan on high heat and bring to a boil. (I check on the rice and see if I need to add more water halfway through) Add rice and lower heat till simmering and cover with lid for about 20-30 minutes. When rice is done, fluff with fork, add a drizzle of olive oil, squeeze of lime, salt and pepper to taste. (Follow directions on your rice bag if you buy a different grain of rice all absorb differently)
  2. On a lined baking sheet, place the large salmon filet on one side. Pour about 1 tbsp olive oil on and massage into the top AND bottom of the filet. Add Salt and pepper to the filet as well.
  3. In a large piece of parchment, add the onions to the center. Add 2 tsp of olive oil and generous salt and a pinch of pepper. Mix it together. (Now we’re going to make a pocket). Fold over the parchment in half, onions still in center. Tightly roll in both sides then continue around rolling tightly until it is sealed (Picture above). Place the packet on the tray next to the salmon and place the tray in the oven. Roast for 30-40 minutes. This depends on how thick your salmon is. If you get a tail end, its thinner and might need only 20 minutes. Just cut into it to see if it’s done. The onions need 40 minutes so leave them in extra if the salmon is done first.
  4. To assemble, place rice in a deep bowl. Add, the steamed onions, and then the salmon along with some of its juices (from the parchment, best part!), top with cilantro and simple guacamole. Add hot sauce and pour yourself a large glass of something (ROŚE!), Enjoy 🙂

Optional for beans and corn: place a can of drained black beans, 1/2 cup defrosted or fresh corn in a saucepan with 1/2 tbsp olive oil, cilantro, 1 clove of minced garlic, cilantro sprigs, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp chili powder, salt, and pepper. Cook on medium low for about 10 minutes until warmed and starts to come together, add that to the bowl before the onions.

Simple Guacamole 

Serves 2

  • 1 medium or large ripe avocado
  • juice of 1 small lime of 1/2 large lime
  • tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 5 chopped cherry tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a small bowl mash up the avocado with a fork until desired texture, add lime juice, cilantro, tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste.

 

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Simple White Peach Sorbet

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Summer is here! Like, really actually 80 degrees everyday, here. Every summer I have huge plans for myself. A big trip, picking berries every week, a garden finally, pickling, canning, basically a new fun activity every waking moment. But, usually my Summer’s are kind of disappointing. Granted, I’ve been living in a city off and on during summers for the past 6 years so half the time I’m no where near nature. But I’m not in a city this summer, no more smelly street garbage for me! And, I started a garden. So, the prospects are very high for a great summer. Ideal summer this year looks like: being near the ocean once a week (at least!), gardening and cooking my vegetables, one fun trip, swimming A LOT, farmers market every Sunday, pickling, canning and storing all my heart desires, planting flowers, making ice cream, custard and THIS SORBET (I just got an ice cream machine!), and most importantly having lots of dinner/lunch/afternoon snack/ cocktail parties! Wow, haha, maybe my most ambitious summer yet…..

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This week was the hottest yet, 95 degrees. After a long week of cool rainy days it was a nice surprise. I went to the market and got a big bag of fragrant ripe white peaches. Standing in the kitchen of my new house in the warm sun, listening to Otis Redding and biting a peach until juice runs down my face was pretty amazing. One of those moments in life where you stop and realize that this is a moment. It’s hard to recognize moments like that sometimes, I’m glad I felt it. Maybe one of the reasons a summer has never meet my expectations is I didn’t have an ice cream machine. Yup. I’m blaming that. Since I’ve never had one I became a fan of ice cream and sorbet recipes that didn’t require one. This is one of those recipes, it has only four ingredients and is so simple on a summer night. I did finally buy an ice cream machine this week so my life might change but honestly I will always favor an easy recipe that leaves more time to eat peaches in the sun.

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Simple White Peach Sorbet

  • 8 very ripe small/medium white peaches
  • 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar (you can add more if you want, see below)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup of water
  1. Peel and cut up peaches (discarding pit) and put on parchment lined tray. Freeze for at least an hour (or more) until firm.
  2. Mix the sugar into the water until roughly dissolved. Add the peaches, water and sugar mixture and lemon juice into a blender. Blend a high until smooth (if you taste it and want it to be sweeter you can dissolve a tablespoon or more into a small amount of water and add it in at this point).
  3. Pour mixture into a freezer safe container with a tight sealed lid. Freeze for a few hours or overnight. It has a beautiful texture. Keep up to 3-4 days.

Note: Might need to let it defrost a little bit or warm for a few seconds in the microwave before scooping out if you freeze overnight.

Enjoy!


Roasted Cherry Icebox Cake

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Icebox cake and I have a love story. We met in New York. We met on the Upper West Side. We met in a cafe from my favorite movie. Said cafe has a very long dessert case that will stop your heart. Usually, I walk around and figure out what catches my eye. But, not this time. On a cool autumn night, I dragged my roommate Amanda across town to get dessert with me. This was only my second time at this cafe and I couldn’t stop talking about it. It was as if the universe had captured my whole heart into one place (if you hadn’t guessed before, I am a romantic). On this night, with the help of my waitress, I decided on a slice of vanilla icebox cake. It arrived very tall and soft from the many layers of whipped cream. I took one bite and fell in love. I don’t know if it was with the cake or the moment. I was in love with it all.

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An icebox cake, for those who don’t know, is a “cake” made from chocolate wafers and whipped cream. It sits overnight in the refrigerator which is how it gets it’s name and it’s texture. The whipped cream moistens the wafers so they are soft. They are layered so high. One bite is heaven. I am a pie person. If there’s ever an option for cake I choose the other. But, this cake changed my life. It’s the birthday cake I always want and the treat I always wish was in my fridge. The version I made is with roasted cherries. I combined two summer classics. I made the whipped cream with the cherries and also topped the cake with them. My version is also not perfect. It is messy and made with love (that’s why it’s pink). No matter how it looks, it always tastes the same–unforgettable.

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The next time I went to my cafe after I tried the cake, they didn’t have it. This was almost three years ago now. Every time I’ve been back since, they don’t have it. I always ask, they always tell me no. I always tell them to bring it back, they always politely smile. It breaks my heart. However, it does give me the chance to try other things. No new proclamations of love yet, but there are contenders.

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Roasted Cherry Icebox Cake

Makes one 8-inch cake

  • 11/2 packages Nabisco Chocolate Wafers
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 cups sweet cherries
  • 1/2 teaspoon cherry extract
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Put the cherries in a roasting dish or two and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Roast in oven for 30 minutes until the cherries have released juices and are dark in color. Remove from oven, and wait until cool. Pit 2/3 of the cherries and blend them until smooth in a food processor/blender/etc. Reserve the rest for later.
  2. Add the cream, extract, and granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer (with whisk attachment) and whip to soft peaks. Add the pureed cherries. Continue whipping until stiff peaks are achieved.
  3. On a large platter/plate, arrange 6 cookies in a circle with one in the center. Spread whipped cream gently over them. Repeat those steps until you run out. Top with whipped cream.
  4. Let sit in refrigerator overnight. Top with reserved cherries (remember to remove pits as you eat). Slice and enjoy.

Note: I don’t strain the pureed cherries because I like the look of small cherry bits in the whipped cream. If you don’t, I would strain after you blend so you have a smooth syrup.


A Summer Night Dinner (with friends)

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I never thought August would come. I find myself in a race. A race to spend time with as many people as I can before I move at the end of the month (!!!!). My favorite way to spend time with people is over food. I like throwing a dinner party because I get to plan something, be in charge of something, and very often try new recipes. Summer to me is a very low maintenance cooking season. Fresh produce is king and anything is praised when cold, in fact it’s preferred. Read More


Brown Butter Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

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This spring was the first time I really tried rhubarb. I had tasted it before, overpowered by strawberries in a pie or two. Never on its own. I am usually a person with two speeds; “not interested” or “utterly in love with”. Feeling pure love for food is not something new to me. But feeling pure love for rhubarb was, and boy is it great. Read More