Pop$ is in town

Cookin’ up some grub for my Pop$!

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Roasted Salmon with Green Herbs from Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That?

Serves 6

This is a great last-minute dinner. I can pick up the salmon on the way home, and I’ve usually got some herbs in the garden, and the rest of the ingredients in the pantry. Roasting is so much less stressful than grilling and the salmon stays very moist. I have needlenose-pliers in a drawer for removing any pesky pinbones that the fish store misses.

1 (2- to 2 ½-pound) skinless salmon fillet
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup good olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup minced scallions, white and green parts (4 scallions)
½ cup minced fresh dill
½ cup minced fresh parsley
¼ cup dry white wine
Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the salmon fillet in a glass, ceramic, or stainless-steel roasting dish and season it generously with salt and pepper. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice and drizzle the mixture evenly over the salmon. Let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the scallions, dill, and parsley. Scatter the herb mixture over the salmon fillet, turning it so that both sides are generously coated with the green herbs. Pour the wine around the fish fillet.

Roast the salmon for 10 to 12 minutes, until almost cooked in the center at the thickest part. The center will be firm with just a line of uncooked salmon in the very center. (I peek by inserting the tip of a small knife.) Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Cut the salmon crosswise into serving pieces and serve hot with lemon wedges.

Carmageddon

We were very good this weekend and didn’t get in the car at all. We rather enjoyed Carmageddon. Here’s what we ate to celebrate the reopening of the 405!

Peach and Heirloom Tomato Salad – I grill panned the peach and served it on a green salad.

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  • 2 ripe peaches, pitted, sliced
  • 2 medium heirloom tomatoes
  • 4 Tablespoons of Olive or grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme
  • goat cheese

1. In jar or medium bowl, combine vinaigrette ingredients well: oil, salt, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and thyme.

2. On plate, assemble sliced peaches, tomatoes, crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle with vinaigrette on top. Serves 2 people.

Linguine with Pea Pesto – even better the second time around. Of course, gotta have it with a lil’ crostini. (Tip: If you think you’ll have leftovers, keep a little extra pasta water to mix in when you reheat. But you might not have leftovers.)

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Linguine with Pea Pesto (Smitten Kitchen)

1 1/2 cups (from approximately 1 1/2 pounds peas in pods) fresh pea or a 10-ounce package frozen peas, defrosted
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup (1 1/8 ounces) finely grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon table salt, plus more for pasta water
1/3 cup olive oil
12 ounces dried linguine
Garnish (optional): thinly slivered basil or mint leaves

If you’re completely maniacal about your peas getting overcooked (I am!), prepare an ice bath, a large bowl filled with ice water. Bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add peas and cook for 2 minutes (this leaves them with a bit of structure). Drain peas then add them to the ice bath (if using) and drain again. If you haven’t used an ice bath, let your peas cool to lukewarm before making the pesto.

Set aside 1/2 cup of your cooked peas. Whirl the remaining cup of peas in the work bowl of a food processor with garlic, pine nuts, 1/3 cup parmesan and salt until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary. With the machine running, drizzle in olive oil. You can stop right here, toast some baguette slices and make some fine, fine crostini. Or, you can continue…

Cook your linguine until al dente. Reserve about two cups pasta cooking water (yes, this is a lot, the pea pesto will be surprisingly thick) then drain linguine and return it to pot. Over moderate heat, toss pasta with pesto, reserved peas and as much reserved pasta water as needed to smooth and distribute pesto; let cook for one minute so that the pesto adheres. Adjust salt to taste, add freshly ground black pepper if desired. Serve immediately, garnished with fresh herbs, if using, and remaining parmesan for passing.

Cool Wohnung Our take on Cool Haus, the extraordinary ice cream cookie sandwiches that you can get from their traveling truck or at Whole Foods. (If haus means house in German, well, we live in an apartment, so our homemade version is a very cool wohnung!)

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Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Martha Stewart) with our favorite Three Twins ice cream

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Old Bay

How good is Old Bay?!

Shrimp Boil (with some of our new favorite Shisito Poppers and an arugula salad)

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Shrimp Boil (Food Network)

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons, halved, plus wedges for serving
  • 1/2 cup Old Bay Seasoning
  • 8 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 large red onion, quartered
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 pound baby red potatoes
  • 4 ears corn, husked and snapped in half
  • 1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Hot sauce, for serving (optional)

Directions

Fill a large pot with 4 quarts of water. Squeeze the lemon juice into the water and add the squeezed lemon halves. Add the Old Bay, garlic and onion. Tie the thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine and add to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook about 5 minutes.

Add the potatoes to the pot and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add the corn and cook 5 more minutes.

Meanwhile, slice along the back of each shrimp through the shells; remove the veins and rinse the shrimp. Add to the pot, cover and cook until the shrimp curl and are just opaque, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the shrimp and vegetables with a slotted spoon or skimmer to a large bowl. Add the butter and about 1 cup broth to the bowl and toss until the butter is melted. Transfer the shrimp and vegetables to a platter. Serve with the remaining broth, lemon wedges and hot sauce, if desired.

Shisito!

How nice of the new guy at the farmers’ market to show up with shisito peppers! Memories of our favorite robata joint are now distant… because we can cook ’em up ourselves! They may not be pretty, but they sure do taste good!

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Shisito Poppers (Emeril Green)

Ingredients:
12 to 18 shisito or other small, but not too hot peppers, such as Serrano or jalapeno
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Method:
Wash and dry whole peppers. In a hot skillet, heat olive oil until almost smoking. Add the shisito peppers and toss in hot oil until blistered, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to bowl and sprinkle with kosher salt.

Yield: 2 to 3 servings

Pea pesto

I have nothing to say about this other than: delicious. Oh, and easy. Okay, two things. Three: make it!

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Linguine with Pea Pesto (Smitten Kitchen)

1 1/2 cups (from approximately 1 1/2 pounds peas in pods) fresh pea or a 10-ounce package frozen peas, defrosted
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup (1 1/8 ounces) finely grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon table salt, plus more for pasta water
1/3 cup olive oil
12 ounces dried linguine
Garnish (optional): thinly slivered basil or mint leaves

If you’re completely maniacal about your peas getting overcooked (I am!), prepare an ice bath, a large bowl filled with ice water. Bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add peas and cook for 2 minutes (this leaves them with a bit of structure). Drain peas then add them to the ice bath (if using) and drain again. If you haven’t used an ice bath, let your peas cool to lukewarm before making the pesto.

Set aside 1/2 cup of your cooked peas. Whirl the remaining cup of peas in the work bowl of a food processor with garlic, pine nuts, 1/3 cup parmesan and salt until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary. With the machine running, drizzle in olive oil. You can stop right here, toast some baguette slices and make some fine, fine crostini. Or, you can continue…

Cook your linguine until al dente. Reserve about two cups pasta cooking water (yes, this is a lot, the pea pesto will be surprisingly thick) then drain linguine and return it to pot. Over moderate heat, toss pasta with pesto, reserved peas and as much reserved pasta water as needed to smooth and distribute pesto; let cook for one minute so that the pesto adheres. Adjust salt to taste, add freshly ground black pepper if desired. Serve immediately, garnished with fresh herbs, if using, and remaining parmesan for passing.