When a good cook shares a recipe, we take notice. We loved last week's Caribbean Chicken Salad, shared by reader, Valerie Best, of Bluffton and deemed it a keeper. This week's featured recipe for Salmon Roast with Feta and Spinach, by Hilton Head Islander, Charlotte Ward, is a keeper, too. Charlotte's exceptional recipe for salmon, stuffed with a creamy mlange of Feta cheese, cream cheese, baby spinach and more, is scaled down to make two servings, perfect for those of us who regularly cook for two. A multiple winner in the Bluffton Today Holiday Cookie Contest since the inception of the competition in 2006, Charlotte is a frequent contributor of recipes appearing in this column, many coming from the home-published cookbooks created by Charlotte and husband, Lew -- gifts to their children and grandchildren. Charlotte's salmon dish is luscious and one the Wards like eating. Writes Charlotte, "Here is a recipe that we really enjoy and this one, to me, is like eating candy."
I agree. This is one sweet recipe and special enough for celebratory, joyous occasions like Easter. Sharing recipes is generous and inspires others to share, as well. If you enjoy someone's recipe, tell them. The highest compliment one cook can pay another is to ask for the recipe and, if you ask nicely, chances are you'll get it.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Recipe courtesy Charlotte Ward, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
2 (6-ounce) salmon filets, cut horizontally in half *
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese (plain or tomato and basil variety Feta cheese)
2 scallions, thinly sliced, including some of the green part
1/3 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, stems removed and finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed, or 1 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking pan, large enough to hold the fish, with aluminum foil. Place 3/4 teaspoon of olive oil in the pan and distribute it by brushing the oil all over the bottom of the pan. (This will automatically coat the bottom of the filets later.) In a small mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, lemon juice and Feta, mashing until it is well blended. Add the scallions, spinach, garlic powder and dill weed, combining well. Place half the mixture on a piece of aluminum foil, or plastic wrap, and, with your hands, form into a solid log about 1/2-inch thick and the length of the salmon filets. Repeat with the second half of the cheese mixture. (You will now have two logs.) Place two filet halves, about 2 inches apart, into the prepared baking pan. Unwrap the cheese logs, placing one log on each of the filet halves. Top each of the cheese-topped filets with the second salmon filets. Brush the top and sides of the fish with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes, or until fish is cooked through and flakes easily when pierced with fork. Makes 2 servings.
*Kitchen Ade Note: For the purposes of this recipe, I used one 12-ounce salmon filet and increased the cooking time to approximately 40 minutes. For serving, the filet was cut in half to make 2 portions.
1/2 pound (8-ounces) angel hair pasta, cooked al dente
1/4 cup light tasting olive oil
1 1/2 ounces julienne cut ready-to-eat sun dried tomatoes (I like California Sun Dry brand)
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese (tomato and basil variety is good)
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1 to 2 medium fresh garlic cloves
2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
3 medium fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips (Roll leaves into a cigar shape, then cut with a scissor. This is called "chiffonade." Save some of the strips for garnishing.)
Pinch dried hot red pepper
Place hot pasta in a large mixing bowl. Toss with olive oil. Mix in tomatoes, cheeses, garlic, parsley, basil and pepper. Garnish with additional basil. Serve hot or at room temperature. Makes 2 generous servings.
For those preferring salmon grilled or baked plain, Light Tarragon Sauce makes a nice topping
2 cups light mayonnaise
1/3 cup fat-free buttermilk
3 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon or 1 tablespoon dried
2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
1 teaspoon fresh minced mint
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
In a medium mixing bowl, combine ingredients, except salt, mixing well. Add salt to taste, cover and chill several hours to blend flavors. Makes about 2 1/2 cups sauce.
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