Smoked Salmon with Apple Yogurt and Chive

When we were getting ready to leave for our Texas trip, Eric and I joked that we should pack stretchy pants. Looking back, we probably should have. If you've been following any of our travels throughout Austin on Twitter or Instagram or his Tumblr site, you may have seen some pictures of what we've deemed our "foodcation". We're pretty proud of ourselves... we've managed to hit all of the places on our list (and some food trucks along the way). Go us! But, yeah, we're getting back into a serious gym routine when we return.

There's a lot more planned these next four days as we head off to Dallas. There are some distilleries we want to check on our drive up and a few restaurants to stop at along the way. There's talk of going to the State Fair, where you can get just about anything deep fried (hamburgers, Oreos, butter... or so I've heard).  And we might just go to a shooting range on our last day. Seems like the thing to do in Texas.

Before we left, I whipped up this little appetizer, which won raves from the husband.  As we get closer to Thanksgiving, I've been trying out recipes that I'd like to serve. Thinking this one might make it on the menu.


Smoked Salmon with Apple Yogurt and Chive

Yield 4 servings

Tools Small mason jars or bowls

Ingredients 1/2 lb hot smoked salmon fillet, cut into four pieces (alternatively, you can use sliced smoked salmon) 1/2 cup full fat Greek yogurt 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced into paste Kosher salt Black pepper, coarsely ground 1 honeycrisp apple, cored and cut into 1/4 inch pieces 1 tablespoon, chopped chives


1. In a bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt, dill, and ginger.  Season with 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt. 2. Spoon 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt mixture into each jar or bowl. Sprinkle chopped apple on top. 3. Add the smoked salmon and sprinkle chopped chive over it.  Season with coarsely ground black pepper.


Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

"Clocks slay time... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels;

only when the clock stops does time come to life." - William Faulkner

When we arrived to open the Cape house a few months ago, we noticed that the kitchen clock had stopped working.  This wasn't terribly surprising, since it had been around for quite some time.  To fill the empty space, a platter in the shape of a fish was propped up against the wall.  Eric and his brother like to joke about it. "Hey, what time is it?" one asks... to which the other replies "I think it's half past a fish."

It never gets old.

I've grown to really appreciate the absence of the clock.  So much of my day is spent scheduling that to be in a place that doesn't have a visible clock is refreshing. Somehow life slows down in the most miraculous way when you aren't always checking to see what time it is.   Eating when you want to.  Drinking when you want to. Napping when you want to.  It's a wonderful thing.

Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

(mildly adapted from Tom Colicchio's recipe in Food and Wine Magazine, August 2013)

Servings 8-10


1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 1/2 pounds mixed cherry tomatoes 2 large garlic cloves, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1 1/2 pounds small squid, cleaned, bodies cut into 1/3-inch rings and tentacles halved 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 1 cup lightly packed small basil leaves


1. Add the oil to a skillet and set over medium heat.  Add tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes blister, approximately 4 minutes.

2. Add the squid and cook on low heat for approximately 5 minutes, or until they become opaque.

3. Stir in the rice wine vinegar and basil and season with salt and pepper.

Grilled Bluefish Salad

Isn't it neat how the weather directly effects our eating habits?  A month ago, a dinner of soup or stew or pasta wasn't out of the question.  But now the mere thought of turning the oven on makes me sweat.  Thankfully, I have a talented grill-master of a husband who knows how to cook fish perfectly, so we've taken most of our food preparation outside.

Over the last few weeks, we've been preparing a lot of bluefish.  Caught along the East Coast, bluefish is meatier and more oily than a lot of other seafood from this region.  It's a turn off for some, but I find that grilling it takes care of the "fishiness."  The price of bluefish, which is usually found in local stores for $7 or $8/lb, makes it very appealing as well.  We'll often buy an extra portion or two to make this salad, which we enjoy for lunch throughout the week.  Credit must be given to our friend, Kat, who served a bowl of this when we were together on the Cape last month and had mixed in some minced lemon slices.  It's a wonder I hadn't thought to do the same before, since I'm known for adding lemon zest or juice to almost everything I make.  It provides a surprising amount of zip, which is exactly what I want in summer fare.

Grilled Bluefish Salad

Servings Grilled Bluefish (alone): Serves 4 for dinner Grilled Bluefish Salad: Approximately 8-10 people for lunch


For the grilled bluefish 2 - 1 lb bluefish fillets, bones removed 4 tablespoons olive oil Coarse ground black pepper 2 garlic cloves, sliced 1 tablespoon minced ginger Curry powder 1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds, seeds removed Soy sauce

For the salad 1 tablespoon mayonnaise 1/4 cup chopped cucumber 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped 1/2 shallot, minced 1 teaspoon minced flat-leaf parsley 2 grilled lemon slices, minced

Pita bread, for serving


1. Prepare the bluefish for the grill.  Place the fish fillets in a large glass baking dish. Rub each fillet of fish with 1 tablespoon olive oil, curry powder, and black pepper. Spread and gently smoosh (yes, smoosh) garlic slices and ginger into the flesh of the fillet.  Top with lemon slices.  Pour 3 tablespoons of soy sauce over the fillets. Let sit for 30 minutes.

2. While the fish is marinating, prepare the grill.  Pour some canola oil on a paper towel and rub this over the grates of the grill.  Preheat the grill to medium heat.  Once it has preheated, place each fillet, skin side down, on the grill.  Close the cover of the grill and cook for approximately 10-12 minutes until the fish is firm and starts to flake as you lift it.  If necessary, cook for an additional 3 minutes and check again.

3. Transfer the fish to a large platter.  At this point, you can eat some of the fish as a meal and just use leftovers for bluefish salad, or you can make one large batch of bluefish salad.

4. Before you make the bluefish salad, make sure the fillets have cooled. Once they have cooled, remove the skin from the fish.  Don't worry if a little remains.  Transfer to a mixing bowl and flake the fish with a fork.  Add the cucumber, carrot, shallot and minced grilled lemon slices.  Add the mayonnaise and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and, if necessary, add salt and black pepper.

Bean Salad with Lemon-Anchovy Dressing

I know I'm strange. I like weird things like fish sauce and smoked salmon and whitefish salad and pickled herring and gefilte fish and all those things that make the majority of the population go Ewwww.  Oh and I can't forget anchovies.  I'm pretty much sold if a dish has anchovies in it.  Salad Nicoise remains one of my favorite dishes to order.  It stems from my childhood, on nights when my father had to work late and my mom and I created large platters with stacks of seared tuna, green beans, hard boiled egg, olives and anchovies (the latter two are on my dad's list of despised foods, hence why we made it when he wasn't around).  If I had a last meal... you know, if we were playing that game where we said what we'd want our last meal to be if we were on death row... that salad would be on the list (along with sushi, cheesecake, linguini with clam sauce, and a warm, freshly baked baguette served with a wedge of triple creme cheese).  I just can't get enough of the textures, the bright flavors, and the depth that the anchovies bring to the salad.

On the day that I made this dish, I did my very best to save some for dinner.  However, my will power failed me and half the bowl quickly disappeared, which is often the case in these situations.  As wonderful as this is on its own, or would be paired with roasted salmon, I can attest that it works when tossed with pasta, served hot or cold.  No matter what you do with it, though, you can't go wrong.

Bean Salad with Lemon-Anchovy Dressing

serves 4 as side dish


1 1/2 lbs green beans, rinsed and ends trimmed

1 - 16 0z can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 garlic clove, minced

3 anchovy fillets, from can, drained of oil

1.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Salt and black pepper, to taste


1.Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

2. Cut the green beans into 2 inch pieces.  Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes.  Drain green beans and rinse under cold water. In a serving bowl, mix together the green beans and cannelli beans.

3. Using a mortar and pestle (or with a bowl and metal spoon), blend together the anchovy fillets, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, garlic clove, and parsley.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the smashed anchovy mixture, the remaining lemon juice, olive oil, and red pepper flakes.  Season dressing with salt and pepper.

5. Pour the dressing over the beans and toss to coat.  Season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.


Seared Scallops with Fettuccine + Kale

Every day I learn a bit more about what makes me happy.  The list changes as I go.  Cooking an elaborate meal for Eric, cuddle time with Maki, a long hot shower on a winter morning.   A song, a book, a walk, a nap.  These are the things... the seemingly "little things" that bring me joy.  As messy as life can be, these are the things that create balance and I hold onto these moments with a tight grip.

Seared Scallops with Fettuccine + Kale

serves 4


1 bunch of kale, washed and stems removed

1 pound whole wheat fettuccine or linguini

1 pound sea scallops, rinsed

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 yellow onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped

Zest of 1/2 a lemon

Red pepper flakes, to taste

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. Slice the kale leaves thinly and set aside.

2. Put up a pot of salted water and bring to a boil.  Add pasta and cook based on the directions on the box.

3. Dry the sea scallops with paper towels.  Season with salt and pepper.

4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter on high heat.  Once it begins to smoke, add the scallops and cook for approximately 3 minutes, or until it has browned on one side.  Using tongs, flip the scallops and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, depending on the size of the scallops.  Set them aside on a plate.

5. In the same skillet, cook the onions for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the kale and garlic cloves, season with salt and ground black pepper and cook for another 4 minutes.  Toss the pasta with the kale mixture.  Mix in the parsley, lemon zest and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

6. Serve the pasta and kale with scallops on top.  Grate some Parmesan cheese on top.


Fennel, Avocado and Lobster Salad

I have to laugh when I think about where I was a year ago.  I won't say that things were bad... just lots of uncertainties. I started 2012 very scared.  I was terrified not knowing what each day would bring or when work would come in. Never did I imagine such a fruitful first year of freelancing.  Nor did I expect to travel as much as I did.  Italy, Kentucky, OhioOregonMaine.  Maybe that's why these last 12 months flew by the way they did.  Lots and lots of traveling.

2013 is looking to be an exciting year.  There are projects in the works, trips planned, and the arrival of a new family member (my sister is due in March).  I'm still getting used to the life of a freelance photographer, but I don't think I've ever been happier than I am now. And I can't wait to see what's in store.

I know that lobster isn't as cheap for everyone as it is for us in New England, but if you happen to splurge on some crustaceans to celebrate the arrival of the new year, I think there are two ways of preparing them:  1) with butter and lemon or 2) this bright and beautiful salad with fennel, avocado and citrus.  One is a lot healthier than the other (it's the salad), which means you won't feel guilty if you have a couple slices of chocolate cake after (or a bottle of champagne... because if you're going to eat lobster, you must have champagne.  It's a fact).


Fennel, Avocado and Lobster Salad

serves 4

(Slightly adapted from a recipe by Jeremy Sewall, chef at the Island Creek Oyster Bar)


2 1/2 pounds live lobsters 2 ripe avocados 1 head of fennel, shaved thin 2 oranges, segmented and juices saved 2 cara cara oranges, segment and juices saved 1 small red onion, diced 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped 1 sprig thyme 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice 1 handful baby arugula Kosher salt and black pepper to taste 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


1. Make the dressing by putting the orange and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Add the thyme leaves. Reduce liquid in half. Once this happens, remove from heat and let cool. Whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

2. Cook the lobsters by steaming or boiling them. Once they are cooked, shock them in a bowl of ice water. Once they have cooled, remove the tail, claw, and knuckle meat and chop into thin pieces (but not diced).

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the orange segments, red onion, cilantro, and fennel.  Pour enough dressing on top to coat it.

4. Pit the avocado, cut it in half lengthwise and then slice thinly. 

5. On four separate plates or one larger platter, place a healthy handful of arugula on the bottom.  Top with avocado slices, then orange/fennel mixture, and, finally, the lobster meat.  Season with a sprinkle of salt and black pepper.  If necessary, sprinkle a little of the dressing on top of the salad.

Tags: Fish/Pescatarian