Category Archives: What’s For Dinner

It’s What’s For Dinner: photos, inspiration, recipes

Grilled Salmon Salad

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As good as this salmon was… the salad was the star.

We marinaded the salmon in a makeshift teriyaki (sugar-soy-water-sake) for several hours before seasoning it and grilling it.

We roasted halved little potatoes in the oven.

And grilled a romaine head, sliced in half lengthwise.

While the salmon was resting we assembled the salad by chopping the grilled romaine, and tossing with halved grape tomatoes, roasted potatoes, and sliced cooked bacon.  Then tossed the whole thing with a lemon vinegarette (lemon-oil-salt-pepper).

Together it was wonderfully fresh and flavorful.  We loved the smokey grill with wilted bits and charred bits in the lettuce.  The roasted potato and bacon were the perfect complement.  It was a healthful, delicious supper.




Peach Shrimp

Years ago I had a friend that introduced me to this old appetizer.  I haven’t made it in forever, but it was at the time a go-to appetizer.  He started with a quick filling of pre-cooked bay shrimp (the small ones), mayonnaise, and chili sauce.  He put the filling in a halved avocado.  The avocado was pre-scored and easy to eat and went very well with the shrimp filling.

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It’s peach season, and I have lots of really nice peaches, so i resurrected this old appetizer, using yogurt instead of mayonnaise… and a peach that I enlarged the pit hole for the receptacle.  I dressed it with a bit of cilantro and sprinkling of oregano.  It was fresh, juicy, and delicious.  Definitely an easy make again.  Yum.

Herb crusted rack of lamb

Today’s mushroom dish had mushroom as a side rather than a main.

The main attraction was herb crusted rack of lamb… seared in a pan, then finished in the oven, and coated with mustard and a panko-herb mixture then baked for just a couple more minutes.


The lamb was served over a red pepper sauce with pan seared mushroom, crispy polenta and grilled zucchini.


Mushroom Trio

I do what I call ‘tuna trio’ with our sushi grade tuna.  I prepare 3 separate tuna preparations on the same plate.  It allows me to experiment with different flavor profiles and hopefully add something to my repertoire to make again.  Some preparations may not make the grade and could get modified or dropped from the future menus altogether.

Since I have 6–10 lbs of porcini we just foraged, I have lots of mushrooms to play with.  While I dehydrated bunches, there is nothing like fresh porcini.  So I decided to do a mushroom trio – 3 different preparations of fresh porcini on the same plate.


From right to left we have:

  1.  Nostursium Leaves – Red pepper sauce – Boursin – butter pan roasted porcini
  2. Greek yogurt – grilled lemon – thyme – parsley – pan seared porcini
  3.  Bresole (thin sliced italian cured beef) wrapped around Bacon chipotle cheddar mash potato – tomato, garlic cream sauce – pan seared porcini

And the winner is…….

Number 1 – far left.  While they were all good, the red pepper sauce and the boursin cheese wonderfully complemented the nutty meaty texture of the porcini.

Though those bresole wrapped potato mash were good all by themselves!

Mushroom Ragout

It’s mushroom season again on the mountain, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  We just love the idea of foraging for our food.  What’s not to like about a nice walk in the woods with something to quest for, or the excitement that results when you spot a fresh porcini, yelling out those now familiar words, “I found one!”.  It’s great fun, and makes for delicious meals and experimentation at home to make more and more interesting and amazing dishes.

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For our first mushroom feast, we made a super flavorful mushroom ragout using a mix of exotic mushrooms like oyster and porcini.  We started by sautéing onion and garlic, to which we added our diced mushroom medley.  We then deglazed with a bit of wine.  Once that was evaporated we added a cup of chicken broth and let that simmer until reduced.  Finally we added 1/2 c. whipping cream and a variety of chopped herbs.

We served the mushroom ragout over a bed of creamy polenta (4 parts liquid to 1 part polenta).  We simmer 1 c. milk + 1 c. chicken broth, then add 1/2 c. polenta and simmer, stirring constantly until the polenta starts to pull away from the side.  Then we add butter, parmesan cheese, whipping cream, and herbs.

Finally we grilled some shrimp to put over the top.  But honestly, the shrimp was overkill.  The polenta and mushroom ragout were enough… and with plenty of deliciousness of their own.

Madeleine Scallops

My friend Maureen turned me on to this new kitchen tool… a shrimp / scallop pan.  This pan goes in the oven, and had little divots for the shrimp or scallop to hold the garlic butter or other flavor agents.  It’s true I own a lot of kitchen gear and tools.  (I just can’t help myself.)  These days however I have to think twice before buying more gear.

I just got through making a batch of Madeleine’s (you know the little shell shaped cake-like cookies), with my special Madeleine pan.  When Maureen showed me this pan online, I thought maybe I could get another use out of my single-use Madeleine pan.  So I thought I’d try her baked scallops…. and while I was at, why not play in the kitchen.


So I made a variety of different versions – 2 each, one for myself and my husband.

We had fun with combinations like:

  • jalapeno butter
  • chile sauce + mayo
  • garlic, parsley, lemon butter
  • tomato, yogurt, salsa verde
  • chili oil, cilantro
  • BBQ spice
  • yogurt, chili

The fun part was I could have done all kinds of other combinations I thought of afterward.  They were fun to make… and to eat.


So… what did I think of the pan idea?  Truth is, it was kinda cool and very fun.

The part I didn’t like was I lost all those great juices when I transferred them to my serving spoons, as I didn’t want to serve in the pan.  If I tried to pour the juices out, I lost all the scallops.

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So instead, I wound up with no juice / dry scallops.  My favorite combinations were those where the juice ‘stuck’, like the yogurt based ones.  I’d definitely try it again, as I thought it was fun… but next time I’ll just bake them in my spoons. (I wonder if they are oven proof?).


Marinaded seabass with summer squash skewers

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We actually made this dish camping, which gives you an idea of how easy it was.

I made the marinade for the seabass at home and put in a baggie to marinade the seabass filet:

  • sugar
  • soy
  • water
  • sake
  • chili sauce

For the veg, I stacked 3 thin slices of summer squash on top of one another, then rolled and skewered…. alternating radish in between each summer squash roll.  I marinaded the skewers in a salsa verde, and drizzled with oil.

At dinner time we grilled the seabass and the summer squash skewers for a perfect summer time outdoor meal outside a great setting… see here.