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December is Pear Month: Caramelized Fennel with Pear, Almonds and Parmesan plus a Giveaway!

Caramelized Fennel & Pear Hash with Almonds and Parmesan

If there’s one thing I really enjoy about fall & winter it’s…well, it’s sweaters, actually. But, besides the sweaters, it’s pears. I like them even more than apples. Because of this, I substitute pears for apples in a lot of recipes — pear pies, pear sauce, pear wedges with brie, pears with caramel dipping sauce. In fact, I just made some Parsnip & Pear Pancakes that were completely delicious.

Recently, USA Pears offered to send me a whole box of pears to create a recipe for National Pear Month in December. I was so excited I actually came up with two recipes and this one is my favorite: Caramelized Fennel with Pear, Almonds and Parmesan. The fruit really brings out the sweetness of the mellow, caramelized fennel and the almonds and Parmesan cheese just make it more awesome. It’s great as a side dish with chicken or turkey or even just on its own.

Caramelized Fennel & Pear Hash with Almonds and Parmesan

Adding to the excitement, I am also giving away a box of pears from USA Pears! Hooray! All you need to do to enter is . . . → Read More: December is Pear Month: Caramelized Fennel with Pear, Almonds and Parmesan plus a Giveaway!

Twelve Spice Seared Tuna with Mustard Mint Sauce

Twelve Spice Seared Tuna with Mustard Mint Sauce

After a super filling meal of turkey, stuffing, roasted vegetables and pumpkin pie it always seems like a sensible idea to eat some fish, right? Especially when you think back on all the cheese, crackers and wine that was part of the holiday (week) too. Or maybe it’s just me? Or maybe it’s just that when you spend Thanksgiving in Fargo, North Dakota you need a lot of snacks to keep warm?

It doesn’t matter which really, because this tuna is awesome! A crusted, flavorful piece of fish with a spicy, minty sauce. And while I normally prefer my seared tuna with an Asian twist, this (Latin-Mediterranean-Middle Eastern-fusion type) spice blend makes a wonderful compliment to the richness of the tuna. With some whole wheat pearl couscous and kale chips on the side you’ve got a delicious meal that isn’t going to make you want to take a nap afterwards (unless you’re already very tired, I guess). Like all of the recent fish dishes I’ve been posting about lately, the tuna came from Flying Fish Company on Hawthorne.

The original recipe used four different types of chili powder but I just . . . → Read More: Twelve Spice Seared Tuna with Mustard Mint Sauce

FFwD: Sriracha Cheddar Mini Puffs (Instead of Herbed Goat Cheese)

Sriracha-Cheddar Mini Puffs

So, really, I was originally thinking that I would just sit this French Fridays with Dorie out. It’s a very busy week coming up and I just didn’t think I would have the time. Then, I saw that the recipe for Friday was Goat Cheese Mini Puffs and decided that I really, really had to make them, time management be damned.

Of course, I forgot to go to the store and get goat cheese. That’s a problem. After looking around my kitchen crazily for a bit I came up with the idea of Marscapone (cream cheese’s fancy-pants Italian cousin, which I did have in the fridge), Parmesan, herbs and low fat Greek yogurt for the cream. But then…I saw the sriracha. And some cheddar cheese. And that was that.

I also quartered the original recipe and wound up with six puffs. The quartering worked fairly well. The only issue I had was getting the lone egg to incorporate into the dough smoothly. After beating a bit in the stand mixer, I decided to use a rubber spatula and arm power — that seemed to work and the dough came together.

Srircha-Cheddar Substitute Filling: I used . . . → Read More: FFwD: Sriracha Cheddar Mini Puffs (Instead of Herbed Goat Cheese)

Wheat Germ & Herb Biscuits and a Super Food Giveaway!

Wheat Germ and Herb Biscuits

Recently, I was offered a free jar of Kretschmer Wheat Germ to try and also a jar to giveaway on my blog, which is really great but honestly, I already knew about the awesomeness of wheat germ. I’ve been a fan for awhile and use it all the time for coating chicken, adding to granola and cereals and even baking. Did you know that you could do all of that with wheat germ? Well, you can.

And also, wheat germ is a super food. It’s an excellent source of nutrients including vitamin E, the B vitamins, and folic acid. Wheat germ can easily be a substitute for breadcrumbs for coatings and toppings and, like I’ve done in this recipe, it can be used to replace some of the flour in a recipe for an extra nutritional boost! And speaking of these biscuits, they turned out really well — flaky and herb-y, they’d be a great addition to a Thanksgiving meal. And if you need more inspiration, there’s a lot of recipe’s right here.

Wheat Germ and Herb Biscuits
All of this…can be yours (well, just the coupon).

So, want to try some Kretschmer . . . → Read More: Wheat Germ & Herb Biscuits and a Super Food Giveaway!

Copper River Salmon Cakes with Spicy Avocado Sauce

Salmon Cakes with Spicy Avocado Sauce

On the last shipment from Copper River Salmon, I got a package filled with smoked and canned salmon goodies. Such a nice way to end my time on the Fresh Catch Crew! The canned salmon was the last to be used and here’s what I did: Salmon Cakes.

Salmon Cakes with Spicy Avocado Sauce

So easy to make, something like this is perfect for a weeknight dinner! And if you do have an avocado, I recommend making the sauce too. Very zippy and creamy. Unfortunately, my avocado was extremely pale, so the photos don’t really do the sauce justice. You’ll just have to trust me. It was delicious and very avocado-y. Also, this could certainly be made with leftover, cooked salmon if you had some.

I also find that there’s no definitive recipe for meals like this — a can of salmon (5oz? 7oz? doesn’t really matter!), an egg, diced onion, bell pepper, maybe chopped olives, salt, pepper, whatever and then bread crumbs until it’s the right consistency. This is a great type of recipe to experiment with, so have fun!

Copper River Salmon Cakes with Spicy Avocado Sauce
Adapted from a recipe . . . → Read More: Copper River Salmon Cakes with Spicy Avocado Sauce