Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thai Curry Salmon with Baby Bok Choy

There's nothing quite like a trip to your local Asian market to catapult you out of a cooking funk. Chock-full of unique produce, meats and seafood, the new problem becomes honing in on certain ingredients and narrowing them down to one specific meal. On this particular day, I could not draw myself away from a large king salmon I had just intently watched the fishmonger fillet for an old, wise, Japanese elder. The salmon's crisp, clear eyes and vibrant, shiny scales screamed freshness...I simply had to have (what was left of) that remarkable fish!

As I stood in line impatiently waiting, with every turn that wasn't mine, I grew increasing anxious. I began viewing my fellow line dwellers as enemies, who at anytime could hostilely swoop in and snatch up that sole remaining piece. The situation called for drastic measures. THE TACTIC: to befriend my foes by engaging in idle conversation highlighting the wonderful attributes of all the other seafood in an attempt to confuse, bewilder and lure any possible salmon enthusiasts away from what I had deemed as rightfully mine! Minutes later...reaching the front of the line with sweaty palms and completely short of breath, I pointed to the glistening fish and lovingly watched the gentleman (like one might watch a young mother wrap her newborn baby) place it on the scale and tally up the price. Though still not in my possession...I felt I could finally breath!

Babies still on the mind and finding it difficult to break out of "random talking" mode, I began acting as if that king salmon fillet was the fishmonger's first born child. I commented on the salmon's pristine beauty and felt strangely obligated to explain to the man my intentions with his fish. I'm not sure he understood a single word I said, but the look in his eyes (which some may have perceived as confusion) I recognized as sadness, heart break and an uncertainty with his actions. Before he had an opportunity to rescind his offering, I quickly grabbed the package and scurried off to the check-out counter towards the front of the store. Like a fugitive hopping a train to get away and cross state lines...I jumped in my car and drove!

I was experiencing a "rush" only other food lovers would understand. Once I was far enough away, I rolled down the windows, turned up the tunes and looked over at the bag of 'goods' sitting beside me ~ the recipe that follows was the final result of my efforts that day. Stunning on the plate and equally so to the palate; I like to think the salmons' ultimate fate... would have made the fishmonger proud!

Initial Cooks Notes: We omittedthe lemongrass
Used Thai yellow curry paste
We grilled the salmon then finished in the oven
After quickly boiling the bok choy - we finished on the hot grill

Roast Salmon with Thai Red Curry and Bok Choy
Bon Appétit April 1999

Serves 4
• 8 whole baby bok choy
• 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1/2 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
• 1 13 1/2- to 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
• 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh lemongrass or 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar
• 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• 2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
• 4 6-ounce salmon fillets

Preparation Cook bok choy in pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Set aside. Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add curry paste and stir 30 seconds. Add coconut milk, chopped lemongrass and 1tablespoon brown sugar. Boil until mixture is slightly thickened and reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice and 1 tablespoon fish sauce. Set curry sauce aside.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper; add to skillet. Cook salmon 2 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven. Bake salmon until opaque in center, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bok choy and sauté until beginning to brown in spots, about 4 minutes. Drizzle bok choy with remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce. Bring curry sauce to simmer and ladle onto 4 plates. Arrange 1 salmon fillet and 2 pieces of bok choy atop curry sauce on each plate and serve.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Simple Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary, Mustard and Garlic

POST #1-Here starts my food blog~

There's something so beautiful about simple, fresh ingredients. Taking a recipe or general meal idea, gathering all its components and then taking photographs, has become a hobby of mine. I think I decided a while back, it's an excellent way to understand what you're actually putting into your body. The "full exposure" of sorts ensures that if something doesn't look right...chances are it's not.

Last night we enjoyed a Charcoal Grilled Pork Tenderloin with 'woody' rosemary from outside (notice the thick branch), garlic, olive oil, whole grain mustard, kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper. Pulsed into a paste...these ingredients makes a simple, earthy marinade or rub for any poultry you have on hand.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon

Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley, Cold Creek, 2006, is a smooth, easy drinking Washington State cabernet in the $25 range. We enjoyed it last Sunday evening paired perfectly with filet tips sauteed in, shallot, garlic and Spanish sherry; a wilted spinach-arugula salad and warm crusty bread. Smooth on the back end with hints of plum and berries, the price was a bit of a splurge for a "non-occasion" - but then the filet was a we were craving a worthy red accompaniment. We have had it before, and we're excited to have it again! Works well with most substantial entrees. I imagine it being a very respectable "house cabernet" in a high end restaurant. Cheers!

ABOUT ~ Some Words...

Care's Kitchen

I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, neighbor and friend, who loves to cook, entertain, decorate and write. I love to take pictures and imagine. I love fresh flowers, herbs, fruit, bread and fish. I love coffee in the morning and wine at night. I love watching football, good jazz and an acoustic guitar. I love Egg Mc Muffin's, sushi, white pizza and filet mignon. I love seeing my children dance. I love the sound of crashing waves, popping corks and my kids laughing. I love my husband. I love silence. I love my childhood and my memories. I love time.

Great right?

I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, neighbor and friend who loves to cook, entertain, decorate and write, but pictures turn out bad and I can't imagine a thing. I have dried flowers and herbs, mushy fruit, stale bread and fish. Sometimes the coffee's weak, wine rack empty, my team loses, jazz is all wrong and guitar out of tune. Sometimes I approach the drive-thru one minute too late; there is no sushi, the pizza's burnt and filet well done. Sometimes I miss seeing them dance. Sometimes the ocean's still, the wine is corked and my children are crying. Sometimes we disagree. Sometimes it's loud. Sometimes childhood eludes me and a memory is sad. There's never enough time.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bunch of Aspargus

Bunch of Aspargus

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Amore Tomato Paste in a Tube

How many times have you opened a tiny can of tomato paste, only to need ONE tablespoon? Swearing this would be the time you'd responsibly extract the rest of the paste from the can and freeze it for future use...caught up in your ultimately end up tossing it away... in hopes no one's looking, witnessing your wasteful behavior! Seemingly so clear, concentrated pastes in a tube elicit thoughts of, "so smart, why didn't I think of that?!"

Available now in most super markets, if yours doesn't carry Amore Concentrated Pastes, talk to the manager and insist they pick it up today! Simply squeeze out the amount you need and store the tube in the fridge for its next use!

(Note: The ANCHOVY paste is perfect to have on hand for those homemade Caesar salads!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Alexia Waffle Fries are the next best thing to homemade and have become a permanent fixture in our freezer!

Crisp and pleasantly seasoned on the outside...soft and 'earthy' in the center...the Alexia Waffle Fries POTATO GOODNESS would appeal to even the finickiest of fry connoisseurs!

Note: directions say to cook at 450 for a total of 16 minutes (8 per side), but we've found 8 minutes in our convection oven to be just enough time. (Oven temps & cooking times varies)

Olive Print by Rose Richter-armgart at


The Fish Print seen here is one of many prints by, Sherman Foote Denton, a naturalist, artist and author in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Best known for his chromolithographs of the fish of New York State, which were used to illustrate the New York State Fish and Game Commission annual reports from 1895 to 1907.(

I purchased this particular print off of Ebay - just type in Denton Prints and many species will appear!

Beef: Diagram Depicting the Different Cuts of Meat Giclee Print at

Antique Lobster III Print by James Sowerby at

Antique Lobster III Print by James Sowerby at

Antique Crab II Print by James Sowerby at

Antique Crab II Print by James Sowerby at

Antique Crab IV Print by James Sowerby at

Rustic Fruit III Print by Ethan Harper at

Rustic Fruit III Print by Ethan Harper at

Wine Pairings I Print by Sam Dixon at

Wine Pairings I Print by Sam Dixon at

Still Life Giclee Print by Paul Cézanne at