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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Make the Recipe Work For YOU

Happy Tuesday all! I, along with many other teachers, are waiting with baited breath for the call as to whether or not school is cancelled tomorrow. I do love a snow day (and a chance to recover from a yucky cold **cough cough not pointing fingers but I'm pointing at one of my preschoolers cough cough**), because it's a great day to play with recipes. I recently came across a fabulous miso-inspired salmon recipe, but it required wood chips and a well-ventilated kitchen, neither of which are things that I have nearby. However I wasn't going to let that get me down! When you want to make a recipe, you find a way to make it! This recipe is fabulous, and I've included my substitutions. There's always a way to make it happen where food's involved.

Smoky Salmon with Miso-Dressed Vegetables
Michael Cimarusti from Connie & Ted's

  • 1/4 cup white miso
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • Four 6-ounce, skinless center-cut salmon fillets, about 1 inch thick
  • Piment d'Espelette (see Note)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup small hardwood chips, such as hickory or applewood
  • 1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small fennel bulb—halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 medium carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 4 baby turnips or large radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach
  1. In a saucepan, cook the miso, chicken stock, mirin, vinegar, ginger and garlic over moderate heat, whisking, until hot, 3 minutes. Whisk in the soy sauce and move off the heat.
  2. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season the salmon with salt and piment d'Espelette; add to the skillet and cook over high heat, turning once, until lightly browned, 2 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Working in a well-ventilated kitchen, wipe out the skillet and add the hardwood chips. Cook the chips over high heat until they start to smoke, 5 minutes. Place a wire rack over the skillet and set the salmon on it. Tent the salmon with a large sheet of heavy-duty foil and smoke for 5 minutes, until the salmon is medium within. Transfer the salmon to a plate.
  4. Meanwhile, in another large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the shiitake and onion and cook over moderately high heat, tossing, until browned in spots and just starting to soften, 4 minutes. Add the fennel and carrots and cook, tossing, until crisp-tender, 2 minutes. Add the turnips and spinach and cook, tossing, until the spinach is just wilted, 1 minute. Season with salt and sprinkle lightly with piment d'Espelette; add 1 tablespoon of the miso dressing and toss well. Transfer to plates. Flake the salmon, scatter it over the salad and serve, passing the remaining dressing at the table.
NOTES Piment d'Espelette, a mildly spicy red pepper, is available at specialty food shops and

Lizzy Bee's Notes:
  • I didn't have time to get Piment d'Espelette, so I skipped it - it wasn't spicy, but it was still delicious!
  • I cooked the salmon in a cast iron skillet, 5 min on one side, 3 on the other. Cook it until it's served at your choice - I like it more rare.
  • I didn't flake the salmon - I left it as whole pieces - my husband likes to feel like he's getting a good portion!
  • I served it with bread - there were many other options, but I had time to test 2 different types of recipes in one day!

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