Saturday, December 12, 2020

ChezCindy: Salmon Pasta with Asiago Cream Sauce


Salmon Pasta with Asiago Cream Sauce is one of the first recipes I created years ago.  I'm not sure why it has not made it to the blog until now.  It is a family favorite, lovingly nick-named as Stephanie's favorite pasta for my niece.  

This is one of those restaurant dishes where I first had a similar dish at a local restaurant.  They took it off their menu and I was determined to make it at home.  I'm certain what I created was not what the restaurant served, but we liked it so much, I stopped trying to make theirs and it became my own.    

This recipe is best served and eaten when made fresh.  It does not reheat well for left-overs as the sauce breaks and separates.  It serves a lot of people so make it for friends and family.  

Salmon Pasta with Asiago Cream Sauce
1 - 1 1/4 pound of salmon, skin removed
2 tablespoons olive oil,
1 teaspoon kosher salt
black pepper to taste

8-10 ounces bowtie pasta

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 small shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or just a pinch depending on taste
1 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch of white pepper
1 cup finely grated Asiago or Fontina cheese
fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place the salmon onto a heavy-duty sheet pan.  Drizzle the olive oil evenly over both sides of the salmon.  Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.  Once the oven has reached temperature, place the sheet tray with the salmon into the oven, center-rack, roasting for 15 - 18 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees, or the salmon feels firm to the touch.  Remove from the oven, set aside for the pasta dish.

Cook the bow-tie pasta as directed on the package.  Drain and set aside.

Begin to make the sauce when the salmon and the pasta are nearly done cooking.  The sauce comes together quickly and does not sit well for a long period of time.  It is better to have the salmon and the pasta waiting, keeping warm while you make the sauce.  

Working in a large stainless steel or non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add in the minced shallots, garlic and chopped sun-dried tomatoes, cooking for 1-2 minutes.  Add in the heavy cream, bringing to a shallow boil.  Cook until slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes.  Turn off the heat.  Add in the red pepper flakes, season with salt and white pepper.  Add in the cheese.  Stir to combine. 

Bring it all together:  Place the cooked pasta into a large bowl.  Pour the sauce over the pasta, mixing to combine.  Break the salmon into medium-sized pieces, adding it to the pasta cream mixture.  Gently stir the salmon into the pasta to coat with the cream sauce.  Sprinkle with extra cheese and chopped parsley.  Serve immediately.  

Saturday, December 5, 2020

ChezCindy: Asian Sloppy Joe Sliders


I'm kind of a magazine hoarder.  One could guess that I subscribe to numerous food magazines.  After I read through each one, tearing out recipes of interest, the magazines get stacked in a spare room.  There are good intentions to organize or do something with the pile that keeps getting larger and more unruly.  Finally with some spare time, I decided to sort through the magazines as a project.  Somehow, a random issue of Food & Wine from 2013 was mixed in with the stack from recent years. True confession, I had magazines from all of 2020, 2019 and some from 2018 to sort through.  When I discovered the 2013 issue, of course I had to stop what I was doing to look through it.  I came upon an interesting recipe for Asian Sloppy Joes, served at "the upcoming Boston gastropub Blue Dragon" owned by chef Ming Tsai.  Chef Tsai offered these as sliders in the bar of Blue Dragon for $1 per slider.    

Below is my adaptation of chef Tsai's recipe as published in Food & Wine January 2013 issue.  The recipe offers a fun twist on a childhood favorite, perfect to satisfy a grown-up palette.  

By the way, I finished my project of sorting through the magazines, tossing out some, but keeping most.  I'm certain I will again discover many over-looked recipes gaining inspiration to share.  

Asian Sloppy Joe Sliders
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 pound ground beef or ground chicken
1 tablespoon Thai sweet chili sauce, such as Maggi
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup ketchup

Slider buns
Butter for toasting the buns

Working with a large skillet, heat the oil, adding in the chopped onion and celery.  Cook until softened.  Add in the minced garlic and ginger, stirring to combine.  Add in the ground beef, stirring to break up the meat, combining it with the softened vegetables, cooking until the beef is browned.  Stir in the sweet chili sauce, hoisin sauce, drained chopped tomatoes, and ketchup.  Continue to cook until fully cooked through and the sauce has thickened.  

Toast the buns, first lightly spreading softened butter onto the cut side of the buns.  Then place the butter-side down into a hot non-stick skillet.  Remove the buns from the pan when nicely browned.  

To serve, place a generous spoonful of the sloppy joes onto the bottom toasted bun, cover with the top bun.  

Asian Sauces