Monday, July 14, 2014


Hungry? If you've got some staples in the fridge then your about 20 minutes away from a healthy delicious meal.
Many moons ago one of my regular chores,  as a child,  was to clean the refrigerator with my Father as supervisor and companion. Not the most glamour of jobs, but my Father always made the chore fun and exciting. Primarily because he believed that the creative culinary imagination could run wild and manifest some amazing dishes from things already in the icebox.
First step... take everything out and decide what goes and what stays... or in plain English what can be eaten or what has gone bad. Toss out the bad and use your imagination with the rest. We'd make sauces, craft an interesting rice dish or expand the a regular potato dish into a flavorful potato mash up.
The tradition continues in my kitchen. I recently purchased fresh salmon and decided to use new seasoning from Oakland Spice Shop. The fragrance from Poivre a la mode Citrus Pepper begged to be sprinkled on the salmon with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice. The combination of hand mixed black pepper, lemon zest, coriander, amchur, Aleppo Chile, thyme, minced green onions and turmeric complimented the salmon perfectly. There are many ways to cook the salmon. In the oven, steamed in a foil or parchment paper wrap or if you're hungry, as in my case, I place it skin side down in a cast iron skillet, on med-low temp, with a 1/2 cup of white table wine. Put the lid on it and forget it ... at least for 5 minutes. The fish will be tender, flaky and zesty.
The farm fresh corn cut from the stalk was tossed gently with olive oil, salt and pepper in a sauce pan until tender. The best dish is the fresh spinach. In a sauté an put two tablespoons of olive oil and whole garlic cloves. Allow the garlic to cook gently in the pan for 1to 2 minutes only and try not to burn the garlic ... it can go from fragrant to bad very quickly so keep an eye on it. Once the garlic has perfumed the oil remove it and toss it away. It's done its job for this quick dish. Immediately place hands full of fresh spinach. This will go quickly as well. Stir with a wooden spoon and before you know it the hot olive oil has cooked the tender leaves and it's ready to eat
Plate and voilà! It's dinner. Where the starch? Bread? Potato? Not this time. I saved the starch for desert with an ice cream sandwich. Light and refreshing dish on a hot summer day.
As always cooking with love, makes any recipe taste better... and even quickies are a good thing. LOL.