First of all, if you’ve never seen the movie Slammin’ Salmon with Michael Clark Duncan, please rent it! You’ll die laughing. Now back to the recipe – there’s this little shack of a place in Sag Harbor called The Dock House. Every summer we make a special trip there just for the salmon burgers. They have plenty of other seafood too, but there’s something about those burgers. This summer we haven’t been able to make the trip, so I tried to recreate them myself in the last week we have of this wonderful season. I’m sure The Dock House has a special seasoning they’ll never reveal, but these burgers are damn close.
In a food processor, puree the salmon until smooth. Add in the onion, eggs, mustard, lemon juice, bread crumbs, and the rub. Grill the burgers on each side for about 10 minutes or until brown. You can also pan sear them, or broil them for 15 minutes. While they’re grilling, whip up some homemade tartar sauce for a dollop on top.
This past weekend I was in East Hampton visiting family, and I heard through a PureWow email (I’m obsessed with PW) that Martha Stewart would be making an appearance at Guild Hall -“A Conversation with Martha Stewart”. Who was I to pass up this opportunity with the one and only Martha Stewart? And for $15?! Yeah…
My friend and I snuck in a couple minutes late (don’t get me started on parking) and although we only snagged seats in the back, we could still see her clear as day.
Florence Fabricant, a critic for the NY Times, was casually talking to Martha over a cup of coffee as if 200 eyes weren’t hanging on each tip she gave. I whipped out my phone so I wouldn’t miss any of it, and could share it first hand with all of you. In fact, she gave so much information I didn’t want to overload you with it. The second post on Martha’s holiday tips will be coming out in a couple of weeks. But now, to get you through the last few weeks of summer…
Martha’s seafood tips
The best lobster: The best time to buy and cook a lobster is right after they molt (shed their shell). You can tell when the time is right because they are a much brighter red than the rest. This is when the shells are the softest and the meat is the sweetest.
Cooking clams: Forget about boiling water, it’s much simpler than that. Get a big skillet and spread the clams in one layer on the bottom. Grind some black pepper over the top of them and cover. Cook on medium heat until they open, anywhere from 5-10 minutes.
Want to make some crab meat salad? Peking crab meat is the sweetest, and in her opinion, the best.
Her favorite pasta dish to make includes bottarga (salted fish ro from mullet or tuna). Buy the bottarga pressed so you can shave it over the pasta noodle of your choice. For the sauce, combine breadcrumbs, parsley, chopped onions, and capers.
Her favorite kind food is Japanese. (Fun fact: Although it may seem simple to prep, the ingredients take years to cure. Seafood for instance can take up to 24 months to dry.) If you’re ever in the NYC area, her favorite sushi restaurants are Sushi Nakazawa and Ichimura.
Her favorite dish, however, is her mother’s perogies.
On health: sadly her sister recently passed away from a brain aneurysm. Martha was adamant about taking care of yourself, no matter how hectic your schedule. “Exercise everyday, get regular doctor check ups, and drink green juice.”
I always admired Martha Stewart because she was “Martha Stewart!”. However during this conversation, you could see she’s more than just the brand. She exudes passion for everything she does; from sustainable farming, family recipes, to living a healthy lifestyle.
The sun is shining, breeze is blowing, I’m grilling salmon burgers…but I forgot the sauce. S**t. I know this has happened to all of you at least once (me, more than I’d like to admit). I’m not one to just up and run to the store, so what did I do? Made my own of course!
I never gave a second thought as to what goes in to tartar sauce, but it’s a lot easier than you think. I’m almost positive you already have all of the ingredients.Plus, I don’t know about you, but I could never use a whole bottle of the stuff before it expires. So the next time you’re cooking and have an “oh, s**t” moment, don’t panic!
1/2 cup mayo (Miracle Whip if you like it really tangy, Hellmann’s if you like it creamier)
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsps minced onion (if you don’t have it, don’t worry about it)
2 tsps lemon juice
Mix it all together, and I mean really blend it. Put a dollop on your salmon burger (or fish tacos) and you’ve officially saved yourself a trip to the store.
Can I just tell you, I freaking LOVE LOVE LOVE the Morrocan chicken salad at CPK (You know California Pizza Kitchen, yes food blog people DO go to chains) Anyway, I am obsessed with it, BUT its SOOO expensive! Literally, I spend $16-$18 on the salad (the range is because the tax/tip usually makes it $17) which is totally cray to spend on a salad and yet I do. A) because of the convenience of grabbing it after work en route to my night MBA class B) because it is beyond delish! It has all the taste bud pleasing elements you can think of: sweet, savory, crunchy, creamy, etc! Anyway work was slow this week and I have an online class this semester so I am not running around as much and I figured its time to replicate this salad. Especially because I need to save my money for pedicures. Oyi my feet are looking rough! woof! Ok back to the tasty salad prep. As always this is going to reuse ingredients from other recipes. At CPK they use a champagne vinaigrette, so I grabbed a bottle of the Trader Joe’s pear champagne vinaigrette used in one of our salad recipes and a chicken dish to toss my greens with. Then the beets were in the last salad recipe as well-ha can you tell I really like them?! Might be the new truffle, lol just kidding that would never happen.
1/3 cup Dates (Sliced in halves or quarters depending on how big yours are, I did mejdool dates)
1/3-1/2 cup Toasted almonds (I tossed them in a pan to toast when I was boiling the eggs)
6 oz. Beets (Drain all the water if using the canned stuff and chop vs. slice)
10 oz. Roasted butternut squash (I just did it with salt, pepper, and paprika)
1/2 cup Cranberries (I bought dried packaged ones from the store)
3 Grilled chicken breasts (I just did it with cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cumin, & paprika)
1 Avocado (dice into cubes)
1 medium Red bell pepper (try for the same sizes as the beets and avocado).
1 package or 8-10 oz. Mixed greens (tossed w 1/3 cup of the bottled dressing)
Chopped up boiled eggs (I did 2, but 3 without the yellow of the 3rd would be good too)
Heat up a nonstick pan (I used my grill pan since it was washed & ready from the last time I made burgers) with some olive oil and sear the chicken breasts (I had them coated & rubbed in with the spices on both sides of the breasts) until cooked through about 5-7 minutes on each side. Let the meat rest before slicing and adding to salad. While you are cooking the chicken you can toss the squash with some oil & spices as well and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. While the chicken and squash cools, chop the other veggies and eggs and mix well. This is how pretty the colors look:
I called this recipe the pseudo salad because its a knock off of the one from the restaurant and its much more filling than a regular old salad. This is meant to be an entrée and that’s why there is a bit more cooking involved than most salad recipes. Anyway its yummy, don’t worry about what the title means, just devour.
Beet Salad with Fried Goat Cheese. Oh right, like I wasn’t going to trash up the health benefits of a salad by pan frying cheese. Puhlease. I don’t eat to live, I LIVE to eat. I need it to be tasty! Now, some of you a) don’t want to take the time to fry the goat cheese b) hate goat cheese and its strong flavor. Don’t fret, my pet: use gorgonzola or mozzarella instead! Be your own boss. Anyway, I was jamming out to some beats on the way to work this morning and told myself I was going to make a salad for dinner tonight (you know more time for a dance party when there is no hard cooking involved). Hmm what do I have lying around that could make my salad awesome, yup canned beets. Now I know you are thinking “ew canned veggies” gross on the preservatives etc etc. BUT, I don’t have the time or energy to deal with real beets so get over it. Plus “lipstick” as I used to call it when I was younger (you know because of the way beets stain your lips with that gorgina red/purply color). Anyway, “lipstick” doesn’t need to be fresh, if anything the fresh stuff requires tons of work with either boiling or pickling and listen here, Id rather focus my prep time on my cheese, so there. Oh and now I am going to be a total “Cheeseball” and play MJ’s “Beat It!” for my beet salad. LOL #nerd #corny.
16 oz. log fresh goat cheese
1 can of the DelMonte sliced beets (14.5 oz. and drain them obvi).
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons of Italian blend seasoning (I added a pinch of red chili flakes since goat cheese has such a sharp flavor)
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
8 cups of mixed baby greens (or the Sorrento bagged mix at Trader Joe’s)
Extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of candied pecans, if you don’t like the sweet some toasted walnuts would work too
Freeze the goat cheese for about 30 minutes until its solid but not totally frozen. While the cheese is hardening, mix together panko bread crumbs, seasoning, salt, pepper, set aside. Set up a breading line in the following order: flour, egg, bread crumbs, parchment/wax paper covered large wooden cutting board. Remove cheese from freezer and slice into 1/2 inch rounds by using plain dental floss or a knife. If using a knife make sure to wipe it off after each cut to stop it from crumbling. If any of your pieces fall apart just pat it together and try to keep a somewhat round shape. It does not have to be perfect. Take goat cheese rounds and dip in flour, then egg and then goat in panko/herb mixture. Lay onto lined cutting board. Continue until all slices have been coated. If your cheese is really soft pop it into the freezer for about 5 minutes to chill. Take a large high-sided skillet, cover the bottom with olive oil and add to range over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, fry goat cheese rounds until crispy on both sides. Gently remove fried goat cheese from the skillet onto a paper towel lined plate to help soak up any remaining olive oil. Serve fried goat cheese warm. Toss greens with the nuts and balsamic vinegar, add the beets before laying 1-2 goat cheese rounds atop the salad.