Friday, July 30, 2010

July 25th - BBQd Whole Herb Stuffed Salmon with Basil Butter - Salsa Verde - Babaganoush

BBQ Salsa and Baba Ganoush ingredients
We had folks over to see some of our photos from the Galapagos and glory in the return of our BBQ.  Yay!  We like having and eating with S & G.  They love food as much as we do and cooking with all that Vancouver has to offer.

We made a few things to snack on including D's much fanfared Salsa Verde. I have been hearing about this salsa for years and for the first two, D put off making it claiming we could not find reasonably priced Tomatillos in Vancouver.  It is true.  They are more expensive than California where he first made it.  The rest of the time, I think he was afraid the salsa just could not live up to expectations ;^P It did.
BBQ Salsa Verde

D's Diabolical Salsa Verde (BBQ'd of course)

1 medium Red Onion
1 lbs or 10-12 Tomatillos
1 lb Poblano Chilis (look like dark Anahiems or dark, elongated Bell Peppers, you can use Anaheim in a pinch but I wouldn't)
2-3 Jalapenos
2 cloves Garlic
1 Lime Juiced
1/2 c Cilantro

Wash and peel the husky skin/ leaves off the Tomatillos.  Wash the whole Poblanos and Jalapenos.  BBQ until slightly charred and the Tomatillos are slightly charred.

Add the BBQd veg to the rest of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until even textured and as fine as you like.

I also made the BBQd Roasted Baba Ganoush we have made a few times on this blog.  It is super simple and super EASY on the BBQ. The most difficult or rather annoying bit about making it is how long it takes to roast the Eggplant in the oven.  They are done in a flash in the BBQ.  One thing I will call out from this recipe is that I think the Eggplants we used this time were slightly larger or more starchy.  I had to add more acid.  I did not want to use another Lemon but you could or should have.  I simply added another 2 T of white Vinegar.

BBQ Baba Ganoush

BBQ Roasted Baba Ganoush

BBQ Whole Herbed Stuffed Salmon

Whole BBQ Herb Stuffed Salmon

1 large (4-5lbs) Salmon, cleaned
2 Lemons, washed and sliced
1 c Fresh Basil (about half a bunch)
1/2 c or 2 fluffy sprigs of Fresh Dill, whole + 1T
1/4 c Fresh Chives, whole + 1T
Cooking Twine
1/2 c Butter, room temperature (20 minutes)

Chop 1 T of the Dill, Chives and 1/2 cup of Basil. In a bowl, mix the slightly softened butter thoroughly with a rubber spatula as you would fold cake batter but perhaps with a bit more gusto as it will be stiffer of course.

Cut a few slits down the sides, on both sides of the outside of the Salmon.  Stuff a slices of Lemon and Basil in each of the slits with the handle of a butter knife or other dull wide implement.

Place all the other herbs and remaing Lemon inside of the fish and head. Smear the entire fish with the Herbed Butter.  Reserve 1/3 of the Butter for serving. Tie the Salmon closed at four points along the length like you are wrapping a butcher's package.  I suggested to D that we buy one of those Grill Baskets in the shape of a fish that hold a whole fish together and allow for easy flipping.  He would not hear of it.  I am going to buy it anyway.  We always make a mess on the flip.

Carefully place the fish on the grill and grill for 10 to 12 minutes.  Do not touch it or move it slightly as tempted as you may be.  It will tear the skin if you do.  It will be easier to move once it has cooked. Use a large wide Fish spatula or two spatulas to turn the Salmon. Turn over for 10 minutes more.  Ours was still quite ruby in the middle but that is the way we like it.  You may want to go to 12 and 12.  We also checked with a thermometer before pulling it off. 130F can be acceptable if you are confident in the source. 135-140 is normal by most fish monger standards. Over 150 you are getting close to catfood.

Herbed Edamame

Simple Herbed Cous Cous with Edamame

(for 4 people as a side)

1 1/2 c Cous Cous
2 1/4 c Boiled Water or Vegetable Broth
1/8 c fresh Basil, chopped Chiffonade (ribbons)
1/8 c fresh Mint, chopped Chiffonade
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1/2 t Salt
2 T Olive Oil
1/4 c Edamame Beans

In a large mixing bowl, place the Cous Cous and pour over the Boiled Broth.  Cover and set aside for 15 - 20 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.  Add the Lemon Juice, Salt, Herbs and Oil and toss thoroughly. 

Steam the Edamame Beans until done, 2-3 minutes.  Rinse under cold water.  Drain thoroughly.  Toss into Cous Cous.  Cover and set aside until needed.  Perfectly fluffy and tasty cous cous.

Olive Oil Orange Cake

D got this recipe from a restaurant in Whistler.  He was there for work and everyone at dinner liked the cake so much that D asked for the recipe.  The chef wrote it down on a piece of wax paper. 

D does not remember the name of the restaurant.  How odd is that?  There are not that many up there that would serve this cake.  Anyhoo.  It turned out a bit differently than he remembered and there are a couple of things I would tweek to make it extra scrumptious but I have transcribed it here as it was given to us and exactly as D did it except 1 thing.  We used 1 pan.  I highly recommend you use 2.  Oh, one other thing, I added the instruction that you should drain the Oranges.  Oddly, the assumption was made but if you look at the liquid in the rest of the recipe, it is the correct choice.  We were stressed there for a bit.  I wanted to reduce the boiling liquid as a syrup but D wanted to go straight up for the first try. Booo!

2 large Oranges or 3 medium
1 2/3 c Sugar
2 1/2 c Flour
2 t Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
1 t Vanilla Extract
1 Vanilla Pod (optional add by us)
4 Large Eggs
6 T or 1/2 c Olive Oil
Sea Salt for garnish

Preheat oven to 350C and grease 2 round cake tins

Trim the ends off the Oranges and cut into quarters.

In a medium pot, blanche aka dump in enough boiling water to cover for 15 seconds. Remove and refresh water three times.

In the same pot, add 1 c Sugar (additional to the above) to 4 c Water and 1 split Vanilla pod with the Oranges and simmer for 15 minutes.

Drain and cool Oranges.  When cool, pulse in a food processor until chopped evenly but chunky.

Add the rest of the ingredients listed above.  Run the processor for 45 - 60 seconds.

Pour the batter into 2 greased, round cake tins.   Bake for 35 - 40 minutes.  Test that a wooden toothpick or skewer comes out of the centre clean. (crumbs are okay but not batter).

When D first had this, everyone at the table though it was cornbread.  It is rich and delicate.  It will not be fluffy.  Very orangey.  Yum.

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