I like following recipes when I cook. I can take a pile of ingredients and make dinner when I need to. But I like order and I like lists and I like continuity. And I hate wire hangers.
And on a day when I’ve stubbed my toe three times on that stupid coffee table while trying to wrangle a fast & mischievous toddler (and they’re even faster when they take their clothes off!), going into the kitchen with a clear-cut plan and an orderly list of instructions is pure therapy. (And so is the beer/margarita/wine I sip on while I cook.)
But this dish didn’t quite start with a real clear-cut plan when I ran into HEB for pork tenderloin to make this recipe and found salmon on sale instead. And I couldn’t pass up on-sale salmon that was already sliced into nice, center-thickness 6oz portions. And they were so perfectly lined up in the seafood case.
I simply wrapped those salmon filets in foil with green beans and those same basic flavors from the tenderloin recipe, threw it in the oven, and then said hi to the dish that we’d go on to eat 4 times in 2 weeks (and is on my menu again this weekend).
The salmon was perfectly cooked and the simple flavors don’t overwhelm the fish. The green beans end up in that nice grey area between just tender and still crisp. It comes together quickly and clean-up is a breeze. But best of all, the lighter dinner was super welcome as we headed into and out of the holiday dinner cream cheese & carbs overload.
Foil Packet "Soy"-Lime Salmon with Green Beans
Salmon is glazed with honey, soy sauce (or coconut aminos), and lime and then baked foil packet-style with garlic and fresh green beans.
4 6-oz salmon filets
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce (I substitute Coconut Aminos)
2 tsp honey
Red pepper flakes
3 green onions, cut and divided (white and light green parts separated from dark green)
1 lime, quartered
Green beans, trimmed (I used 12-15 per packet; thinner ones work best)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 425.
Tear 4 pieces of foil 12-14 inches long.
Place a salmon filet in the center of each piece of foil.
Whisk soy/coconut aminos and honey together in a small bowl (a few seconds in the microwave will help if it's slow to come together).
Brush each filet with honey mixture until it's gone.
Squeeze 1 lime wedge over each filet.
Sprinkle each filet with pepper, white & light green onions, and pinch of crushed red pepper.
Place green beans on top of the filet (they won't all stay) and top with garlic slices, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt.
Seal the foil packet - bring the right and left sides together and fold down, sealing, and then fold up each end to seal.
Bake for 18 minutes.
Let cool a few minutes before tearing open the foil and transferring to plates.
Serve the salmon and green beans drizzled with a spoonful of the foil packet sauce and remaining green onion tops.
That looks (and sounds!) a lot fancier than it really is. It’s Eggs Benedict, dressed up with leftovers from the previous night’s Burgers Oscar.
“Oscar style” in this house involves asparagus, Bearnaise, and crab – king crab when I don’t have to sell a kidney to afford it. I don’t know what it is about Bearnaise sauce that makes you want to lick the entire pot clean but – wait, I do. It’s the whole stick of butter in the recipe.
We serve a few things Oscar style around here: steaks, crostini, and burgers. So adding it to Jason’s “desert island food” Eggs Benedict wasn’t so much a stretch. And it was equally unsurprising that it was plate-licking delicious.
If you’ve been around here a while, you know that we love our fancy burgers. And if you’ve been around here a really long time, you know that we love our fancy steaks.
Our favorite “fancy dinner” is Filet Oscar: beef tenderloin topped with crab, asparagus tips, and Bearnaise sauce.
“Amazing” sells it short. “Pricey” keeps it off the menu.
So rather than blow the grocery budget on filets and King Crab legs, we took a more economical approach. With a single on-sale snow crab cluster, a pound of ground beef, and a pound of asparagus, last week’s Fancy Burger Night got a surf & turf makeover with Burgers Oscar.
It’s a “plain” burger topped with juicy crab, grilled asparagus, and a generous scoop of Bearnaise sauce. “Over the top” sells it short. And the price won’t keep it off the menu.
Burgers, Oscar Style
Burger night gets a surf & turf make-over with Oscar-style burgers.
For the Bearnaise sauce:
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup shallot or white onion, finely chopped
3 eggs yolks
1 stick butter, cut into 8 pieces
Juice of 1/2 lemon
For the burger:
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb asparagus
Meat from 1 snow crab cluster
3 burger buns
Make the bearnaise sauce while heating the grill to medium high.
Boil wine, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve set into a medium bowl, pressing on and then discarding solids.
Whisk the yolks into the vinegar mixture, and then set bowl over a double boiler and cook until hot, whisking constantly until yolks have thickened slightly.
Whisk in butter 1 piece at a time, adding each piece before previous one has melted completely.
Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
Set aside to cool so it thickens slightly, whisking occasionally.
To make the burgers, salt, pepper, and add a few dashes of Worcestershire to the meat and form 3 burgers.
Trim woody ends from the bunch of asparagus and toss with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Transfer asparagus and burgers to the grill, cooking burgers 4-5 minutes on each side and the asparagus for ~10 minutes, rotating halfway through.
To assemble the burgers, top each bottom bun with a burger, trimmed tips of the asparagus (eat the rest on the side), 1/3 of the crab, and a generous scoop of Bearnaise.
For my week to host Project Pastry Queen, I picked the lightest recipe in the entire cookbook: Prosciutto Tostadas with Shrimp and Parsley.
A crisped flour tortilla is topped with prosciutto, mixed greens, roasted red bell pepper strips, and a garlicky and lemony shrimp mixture. It’s an easy recipe that comes together very quickly. And it’s one of those perfect light Sunday lunches to help you recover from an overindulgent Saturday dinner. You know the kind, where everything – including the plate – seemed to be battered and fried.