Pan Fried Salmon with Cannellini Bean Purée

I recently got a new cookbook called easy everyday. One recipe really stood out to me and I gave it a try tonight. Fortunately we are still working on our freezer full of salmon compliments of my father. This recipe is absolutely a winner that I would make again.

Ingredients
2.5 oz arugula
3.5 oz baby spinach leaves
2 oz watercress
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 T olive oil
4 garlic cloves, halved
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Cannellini Bean Purée
14 oz canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 1/2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 T freshly chopped thyme
2 t olive oil

Reserve a few arugula leaves for serving then put the remaining arugula, spinach and watercress in a salad bowl. Add the cherry tomatoes and set aside.

To make the cannellini bean purée, put the beans, put the beans, garlic, lemon juice, thyme, oil and 2 tablespoons water in a food processor or blender. Season to taste, then process to a smooth, soft purée. Add a little more water if necessary. Transfer to a saucepan and heat gently for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until piping hot.

Meanwhile, to cook the salmon fillets, heat the oil in a nonstick skillet. Add the garlic and fry gently for 1 minute. Add the salmon and cook for 5-8 minutes, turning once halfway through.

Drizzle the salad with a little balsamic vinegar, season to taste and toss well. Put a spoonful of the bean purée on each of the plates. Put the reserved arugula leaves on top, followed by the salmon. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately with the salad.

(I wasn’t able to find watercress at my grocery but it was delicious without. I also made a balsamic vinaigrette rather than just drizzling the vinegar which was delish.)

Here are a couple pics.

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Christmas Cut-outs

Steve has been requesting Christmas cut-out cookies for weeks now and I finally agreed. They are so time consuming but my all time favorite cookie. I use my Nana’s recipe which is by far my favorite (recipe follows). As always they turned out wonderfully and I froze half for next time. I can eat these cookies like chips! Enjoy!!!

Cream
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 cup softened butter

Mix In
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Blend & Stir In
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

Refrigerate dough for 2-3 hours. Roll out half at a time. Cut and bake at 375 for 7 minutes.

For the frosting, I just mixed powdered sugar with a little butter, milk and vanilla.

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Christmas Tea

For many years , the women in my family have been getting together around Christmas time and going for tea. We have tried The Fairmont, The Queen Mary and The Sorrento. This year we went to The Sorrento and as always it was lovely. All the nieces were in their holiday finest and the rest of us took the opportunity to dress up as well.

We always start off with a kir royale (shirley temples for the girlies) and then have the afternoon tea. As for food, I recommend ordering extra sandwiches. The scones were by far my favorite this year. This is always one of my favorite holiday traditions and this year did not disappoint.

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**Photos compliments of my mom.

A Gastro Adventure

This weekend my parents took a trip down to Seattle and we took the opportunity to try some restaurants we had been talking about for a while. We started our night off at Mistral Kitchen where we took advantage of their happy hour (daily from 5-6:30pm). Highlights include the margherita pizza and $1 oysters.

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Pork Belly Slider

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Margherita Pizza

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Hamachi Crudo

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After happy hour we headed to Spur Gastropub, this was an experience like none I have had (to say the least). Mostly I feel that my taste buds were confused but I have always been intrigued by things with foam and sous vide items. I can’t say that I will go back but I am very happy to have had the experience.

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Lamb Tartare

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Slow Cooked Pork Cheeks

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This dessert somehow involved chocolate, beet sorbet and various other beet accompaniments.

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House made ice cream