Open-Faced Salmon & Avocado BLT’s

Open-faced salmon and avocado BLT's.

Open-faced salmon and avocado BLT’s.

Our weekly menus this summer have been plentiful in these two things:  hearty sandwiches and salads.  Somehow they seem like the right thing to have on a warm day when cooking is out of the question, so I’m always on the lookout for new combinations, especially for sandwiches.  I want them to be dinner-worthy which means they need to include the major components of a meal, be filling and nutritious.  This combination of tender salmon fillet with fresh tomatoes and lettuce plus crispy bacon on a focaccia roll is perfect.

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I made this one evening a few weeks ago, on a night when I was starving, so I don’t know if I was having an exceptionally good cooking night or if I was just incredibly  hungry, but it was just soooo good.

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OPEN-FACED SALMON & AVOCADO BLT’S

Yield:    Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices diagonally cut ciabatta bread or 2 large ciabatta rolls, cut in half

    Get all the vegetables ready.

    Get all the vegetables ready.

  • 4 center-cut bacon slices
  • 4 (4-ounce) salmon fillets, skinned, about 3/4-inch thick
  • 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives, or green onions, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 4 (1/2-inch-thick) tomato slices, halved
  • 1/2 peeled ripe avocado, cut into 8 wedges
  • 4 lemon wedges for serving

Directions:

1.  Preheat broiler to high.

2.  Arrange bread or rolls on a baking sheet; broil 1 minute or until lightly toasted.

3.  Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan.  Add salmon fillets to drippings in pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

Cook bacon till crisp, then cook salmon in the drippings.

Cook bacon till crisp, then cook salmon in the drippings.

4.  Combine canola mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon water, 2 teaspoons minced chives, and Dijon mustard in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

5.  Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly over bread slices; top each with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 bacon slice,  2 halved tomato slices, 2 avocado slices and 1 fish fillet.

Building the sandwich layer by layer.

Building the sandwich layer by layer.

Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 teaspoon chives.  Serve with lemon wedges.

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SOURCE:    Eating Well

 

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Sirloin Tips with Butter Sauce

 

There are times when I want to prepare a tender cut of beef,  but using our gas grille is not feasible (it’s raining outside, or too cold); or I do not want to use the oven or broiler ( it’s too hot to turn on the oven).  That’s when I turn to this recipe.   You can prepare a very delicious steak, or any other tender cut of beef very quickly.   I particularly like sirloin tips, but I’ve made it with Hanger steak, and with a sirloin steak, and they have all been wonderful.  This requires only  a few ingredients.

In addition to the meat of your choice, have ready:

  • 1 large or 2 small shallots, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Preheat a large fry pan to very hot.  Do not spray or oil the pan.  A hot pan is required to quickly sear the surface of the meat and seal in the juices.  Add the steak to the dry pan, and cook 4-5 minutes/side.  Turn once only. Cooking time is dependent on your preference for rare, versus more will-done.

Remove meat from pan to a platter.  Season with salt and pepper, and cover with foil to keep warm.

Into the hot pan add chopped shallots, and the butter.  Saute, and scrape up browned bits.  Add the lemon juice, chopped parsley, and any juices which have drained from the hot steak.  Warm through, pour over steak, and serve.

SOURCE:  Cook’s Illustrated

Spicy Tilapia Tacos with Avocado Mango Salsa

One day last week I was confronted with this situation–which happens rather frequently around here.  Mr. D. needed to work late, then go directly to a meeting before coming home for dinner.  Meanwhile, I needed to have my dinner on the early side, then go to a dance class in the evening.  My dilemma?  How to provide each of us with a nutritious meal which could be eaten at two separate times.  Are you familiar with this scenario?   I’d love to hear from you about the kinds of meals you serve when this happens.

My solution on this particular day was to make a tasty salsa that could be served with spice-rubbed tilapia, quickly cooked as needed; and served in a toasted corn tortilla.  I also prepared a tossed green salad to round out the meal, dressing to be added when eaten.

Here’s how it went together:

AVOCADO-MANGO SALSA

  • 1 cup diced peeled avocado
  • 2/3 cup diced peeled ripe mango
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix together all the salsa ingredients in a medium bowl, and set aside for flavors to meld.  This is a delicious salsa that I make often in warm weather.  I love salsas made from fresh ingredients, don’t you?

SPICY FISH FILLETS (TILAPIA)

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced fine
  • 1 pound fish fillets  (we are partial to tilapia)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 8 Corn tortillas  (6-inch)
Combine the first 5 ingredients ( thru garlic ).  Rub well over both sides of fish fillets.  These can be prepared in advance up to this point.  Refrigerate, and have ready for cooking as needed.
Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the vegetable oil to pan, swirl to coat.  Add fish;  cook 2-3 minutes per side, depending on thickness of fillets.  Remove to a platter and keep warm.
Warm corn tortillas in hot skillet, about a minute per side to warm and soften.
YIELD:  SERVES 4