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Oven-Roasted Salmon with Green Romesco Sauce

Salmon with Green Romesco

Romesco, a Spanish pepper and nut-based sauce, is typically made with red bell peppers, producing a bright red and flavorful summery sauce. This version mixes it up a bit with mildly spiced poblano peppers and it’s easily one of my most favorite things to do with poblanos. It’s also suitably fall-ish, in my opinion.

Besides, no matter the season, what’s not to like about roasted peppers, vinegar, garlic, olive oil, and nuts? This romesco recipe is adapted from the cookbook, Grilling for Life by Bobby Flay. But really, I’ll let you in on a little secret–you don’t have to grill anything if you don’t want to. You can of course, but your oven will do all the work quite easily.

Speaking of the oven, the salmon gets a sear in a hot pan, then finishes cooking in that very appliance. When we had this meal, some warm and tender lentils were tossed with a little of the romesco sauce for a great side.

And if you do find yourself with any leftover sauce, it’s especially tasty with pasta with some crumbled goat cheese on top.

Salmon with Green Romesco

Salmon with Green Romesco

Salmon with Green Romesco

Salmon with Green Romesco

Oven-Roasted Salmon with Green Romesco Sauceserves 4; easily halves* or doubles

Green Romesco
2 Poblano chiles
1 green bell pepper
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup blanched almonds, toasted
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Stem and slice all the peppers in half and place on a foil-covered baking sheet. Press down to flatten. Turn on your broiler and toast the peppers until the skin is blackened. Place peppers in a bowl and cover with foil to steam for about 10 minutes. Afterwards, you should be able to easily peel off all the blackened skin. Chop and set aside.

Heat the olive oil up in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft and golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the almonds, and the peeled and chopped poblanos and bell pepper. Cook for about a minute or two. Using a slotted spoon, remove and place in a food processor.

Add the vinegar to the empty pan and simmer for 1 minute to deglaze. Add it to the food processor along with the water, cilantro, and honey. Process until smooth, then season with salt and pepper – taste and adjust as needed.

Salmon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 salmon fillets, 6-8 oz each

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Add the oil to a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and let the oil warm up for a minute or two.

Sprinkle each fillet with salt, pepper, and paprika. Place skin side up in the skillet and let sear for about 2 minutes. Flip the fish over and give it 30 more seconds.

Remove from the skillet and place fish on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 8-12 minutes depending on the size of the fillets. If you like your salmon on the more rare side, check after 6 or so minutes in the oven.

Serve salmon with the green romesco sauce, topping with additional cilantro to garnish.

* Just making dinner for two? You might still want to make a full recipe of the romesco so you will have leftovers for pasta!

Three Days in Montana: Roadtripping, Eating, and Drinking in Big Sky Country

Three Days in Montana

I think if I had to live somewhere other than Oregon, I could maybe live in Montana. Maybe. And while I would miss the ocean and the desert of my adopted home state, I would cherish the big blue skies and the quirky mountain towns of the Treasure State.

During a roadtrip to our eventual destination of Fargo, North Dakota we spent a few days in Big Sky Country—it’s an incredibly long state to drive through. Missoula in the western region is almost 350 miles from Billings in the east and once you hit Billings, you still have another 247 miles until you finally come to the North Dakota border.

Watch out for rattlesnakes

If you do find yourself roadtripping along interstates 90 and 94, there are a number of Montana communities that are definitely worth your time, here are a few of them.

Three Forks, Montana

This small town between Butte and Bozeman offers a few things—the historic Sacajawea Hotel, where you’ll be offered a glass of bubbly when you check in. There’s a summer farmers market in Three Forks and a quaint main street for strolling after a bison burger (complete with fire roasted . . . → Read More: Three Days in Montana: Roadtripping, Eating, and Drinking in Big Sky Country

Fried (or not) Avocado Tacos with Creamy Poblano Ranch

Avocado Tacos with Poblano-Buttermilk Dressing

If you haven’t already tried coating avocado with breadcrumbs and then frying, what exactly have you spent your life doing?

It’s okay. You can start now. Using this preparation, the outside gets delightfully crunchy and inside, the avocado is all ripe and creamy. But, if you’d rather not fry, you can achieve pretty much the same results by baking the coated avocado wedges in the oven.

This recipe produces wonderful summer tacos–little avocado wedges on a tasty refried beans pillow. Garnished with shredded cabbage and cheese, as well as salsa, you really can’t go wrong here. Plus, if you prepare the Poblano Ranch Dressing too, you’ll make it better!

I’ve made these tacos both ways; frying in peanut oil and baking in the oven. I found that the frying leads to a bit more of a uniform and golden crispiness, but rotating the avocado wedges in the oven did a fairly good job of even browning as well.

Since avocados can be bland, the key to maximum tastiness is to season the flour well and also to hit the finished avocado wedges with a sprinkle of kosher salt.

Avocado Tacos with Poblano-Buttermilk Dressing

. . . → Read More: Fried (or not) Avocado Tacos with Creamy Poblano Ranch

Kerrin’s Multigrain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Multigrain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Really, what is better than a fresh gooey chocolate chip cookie straight out of the oven? Air conditioning? Well, yes. But…it’s not the chocolate chip cookie’s fault that August 4th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! Do not blame the cookie if the weather is too hot to even think about turning on the oven.

That said, and as I write this on the 3rd, we’re about to break records for the hottest day ever on Earth in the Pacific Northwest (108 degrees F in Portland), so let’s think back to a cooler time–gentler time when I opened up my copy of Dorie’s Cookies and found this amazing and alt chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Buckwheat flour! Whole wheat flour! A sprinkle of fleur de sel on top! They are healthy! Kind of…for cookies. In this version, I also added vanilla and I upped the nuts, as one tends to do if the occasion calls for it.

So, if you can safely turn on your oven, you might want to celebrate August 3rd by baking a batch of these wonderful and interesting chocolate chip cookies.

Spoiler: The cookie dough needs to chill in the refrigerator for at . . . → Read More: Kerrin’s Multigrain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Stick a fork in a cool summer salad

Edamame, Corn, and Green Bean Salad

Ah, summer! Full of hot weather and the desire to eat cool foods for dinner.

Here’s a dish that will definitely win you over with healthy edamame, crunchy bell pepper, avocado and even roasted nuts. Okay, yeah, and some cheese. The dressing is especially flavorful–a mix of fresh ginger, soy sauce, maple syrup, olive oil, and rosemary.

This can be kept vegetarian or you can add some shredded, cooked chicken breast. Also, raw corn is so delicious in salads. Try it, you’ll thank me.

Edamame, Corn, and Green Bean Salad

Removing corn kernels from an ear of corn

Edamame, Corn, and Green Bean Salad
Adapted by a recipe for BLD’s fresh vegetable salad in the LA Times; serves 3-4
2 cups frozen, shelled edamame
1 cup (about a big handful or so) green beans, trimmed and chopped into about 2-inch pieces
1 cup raw fresh yellow corn (about two ears), husked
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1/2 cup toasted cashews or almonds *
Optional: 1 cooked chicken breast, shredded

Dressing:
1-inch piece of ginger, grated
1/4 of a small shallot (I usually peel the shallot, then slice a small piece off) – you can always add . . . → Read More: Stick a fork in a cool summer salad