Tag Archives: Spinach

Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Baby Spinach

Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Baby Spinach

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Baby Spinach

Jill had a fund raiser tonight so I was left home like a latch key husband. When I am running solo I try eat foods that are lower on Jill’s list. I picked up some beautiful frozen wild caught sockeye salmon filets from Whole Foods.
Really Salmon with a little Kosher salt and pepper is all you need but I wanted to flirt with a sweet and spicy rub. I found one online and altered it based upon what I had in my spice cabinet.

The rub is both sweet but has some heat behind it too. I dried my salmon really well and in hindsight I should have just patted it down so that the spices melted on the salmon with a little more moisture. I also picked up some wood planks to cook them on which infused a little of that woody flavor to the salmon. As I have said before, when cooking salmon you need to go low and slow. Below you can see that none of the fat is leeching out which is what you see when people cook it at a heat that is too intense. Fat=flavor.

As for the spinach, really onions and garlic is all you need topped with a splash of white wine vinegar for some acid. Spinach cooks down so I used a whole plastic box of baby spinach. When I eat this meal I like getting a little spinach on my fork and then a little salmon. Just works.

Salmon (wild caught Sockeye)
Wood Plank
Salmon Rub
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbs of Kosher Salt
2 tbs of Chili Powder
1 tbs of Ancho Chili Powder
1 tbs of Coriander
1 tbs of Onion Powder
1 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Red and Black Pepper
1 tsp of Slap Ya Mama (or cayenne)

Spinach (small box)
4 cloves of garlic (minced
2 shallots diced
1 tbs of White Wine Vinegar
1 tbs of Coconut Oil
Pinch of Kosher Salt
Pinch of Pepper

1. Make your rub by combining all the spices and mix them together. Taste it and adjust accordingly. You will have rub left over for future use so have fun with it and use what you like and keep it on hand so you can pull a salmon filet from the freezer and whip up a quick and healthy meal.

2. I used frozen filets so let them thaw and then removed the moisture by patting them down. I recommend leaving a little moisture for the spices to melt into the fish. Dust the top of the salmon with your rub. I put mine on a wood plank in a 300 degree oven and cooked it for about 20 minutes. IMG_9647

3. The spinach takes about 7-10 minutes so can time it to be ready when your salmon is ready. I added the coconut oil to a medium heated pan and let is melt fully. I added my shallots and cooked them until soft Then add your garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add your spinach and stir until wilted. I then seasoned it and added a splash of white wine vinegar. If you need more moisture to help the wilting, you can splash in some veggie or chicken stock or even water. IMG_9649IMG_9650

4. Let your salmon rest a bit while you are plating your spinach. Serve and enjoy with a nice glass of dry white wine or a glass of whiskey.

Ham Gruyere Leek & Spinach Empanadas

Ham Gruyere Leek & Spinach Empanadas

Ham Gruyere Leek & Spinach Empanadas

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Jill bought me Ina Garten new cookbook “Make it Ahead”. I’m not a make it ahead kinda guy but I see the point when you are entertaining etc… She has a Ham & Leek Empanada recipe that looked good so I decided to give it a go. Wow they were amazing. Ina has always had great recipes but I think her last two books are her best. She is doing such a great job with simplicity but special recipes. Can’t wait to try some more.

People..these are for real! Pretty easy to make and the payoff is off the charts. I changed it a little bit but these babies are automatically on my “best of list”. After one try. You have a flaky delicate puff pastry filled with shaved ham and creamy Gruyere with the soft onion notes that leeks provide along with some spinach. I think the spinach was added to satisfy “healthy” guilt. She added basil that I excluded. I also doubled up on the mixture amount for each. Typical dude move.

I can see the ladies serving them at parties, showers, bible studies, book clubs, Downton Abbey watch parties, Easter etc.. Guys will like them too because they are really tasty. Gotta give em a try. Ina nailed this one.
Frozen Puff Pastry(I used 1 package, Ina used 2)
4 oz of deli shaved ham
4 oz of shredded Gruyere cheese (I used a Cheddar/Gruyere)
1 1/2 cups of Leeks (small diced the white and light green parts)
2 oz chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tbs of unsalted butter
1/3 cup of creme fraiche
AP flour for dusting pastry to avoid sticking
1 egg beaten with 2 tbs of milk for egg wash
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper.

1. Preheat oven to 400 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Defrost your puff pastry

2. Thinly cut your leeks (in half and then diced into fingernail looking pieces). Wash them well and drain the water. In a medium heated pan, melt your butter and add your leeks. Stir until soft and then remove from the burner and add the creme fraiche and stir for a minute.

3. In a large bowl add your ham and Gruyere and top with the leek mixture. stir until combined and then add the spinach and Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
4. Dust a board or your counter with flour. Whisk your egg wash but adding an egg and milk and beat until well combined. Unroll your puff pastry sheet and cut into four squares. Roll each out. Add your filling. Apply egg wash to the outer edges. Given I used all the mixture and half the puff pastry as Ina, I packed mine pretty full. I balled up the mixture so it was tight and then lifted the pastry square in one hand and folded the edges and gave them a pinch. Once sealed, I put them back on the board and used a fork to seal the edges and make them look better.
5. Place your empanadas on the parchment lined baking sheet. Don’t crowd them or have them touch each other. Brush on the egg wash to the tops of each one and then lightly salt and pepper them.
6. Bake them for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove and let them rest for 5 minutes.