Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Pesto Salmon with Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Fresh wild Alaskan salmon is readily available this time of year.  However, after just seeing the Disney Nature documentary Bears recently, I could not help feeling a bit guilty that I may be depriving those Brown Bears like Skye, Amber, and Scout of their food source, even if it was only 1 fish.  But since I had already stocked up at Costco beforehand, short of pasting it back together and teaching it to swim back up to Alaska, I had better make use of it.

Pesto Salmon Recipe


2 Salmon Fillets
Pesto – see below for Pesto Recipe or you can used jarred pesto as well
2 Tbsp Breadcrumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Spray baking sheet with olive oil
  3. Place salmon on oiled baking sheet
  4. Spread pesto on top of fish and sprinkle breadcrumb over pesto
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes (fish should flake easily)
Pesto Recipe

2 cups of basil leaves
1/3 cup of pine nuts
Handful of parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic
Olive oil


  1. Add basil, pine nuts, parm and garlic to food processor and pulse it a few times until it is chopped
  2. Scrape any of the ingredients from the side of the processor to mix it through
  3. Turn on the processor and stream in some olive oil until the mixture pulls away from the side of the processor and it reaches your desired consistency. 
Price:  $12 for 3 servings = $4 per serving

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I could not resist picking up a 5 lb bag of russet potatoes when it was on sale for $1 not with anything specific in mind.  A week later, I thought I had better start using some of it before it goes bad.  Remember no matter how cheap something is if you do not get around to using it and it is perishable, you are literally just throwing money in the garbage or down the drain. 


6 medium russet potatoes peeled and cut into cubes
¼ cup of milk
1 Head of Garlic


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut about ¼ in off the top of the garlic head to expose the cloves
  3. Wrap in aluminum foil cut side up with a drizzle of olive oil and a little salt over the exposed heads
  4. Close the foil and roast in the oven for about 35-45 minutes (it is done when the cloves are soft and can easily slide out of the skin).  Make sure it is cool enough to handle before removing from skin
  5. Mashed the garlic into a paste
  6. As the garlic is cooling and waiting to be removed from skin, place cubed potatoes in a pot with enough cold water to cover the potatoes
  7. Bring water to a boil and cook for about 10-12 minutes until tender
  8. Drain potatoes and return to hot pot
  9. Mash the potatoes with the milk and the roasted garlic
Price:  $1 for 4 servings = 25 cents per serving

Friday, June 26, 2015

Great Summer Make Aheads

With summer here, schedules will be filled with BBQs, potlucks, and just all around get-togethers with friends and family.  Our first one for the summer was already on the first day of summer since it was coincidentally Father’s Day this year.  Usually I would just need to make 1 dish to share that would be enough for 20-30 people.  This year due to extenuating circumstances the different families broke off to celebrate with just the immediate family which left us with 11 people for our get together.  That meant I needed to figure out 2 dishes to bring and ones that can be made ahead that morning, stuck into the fridge throughout the day and still taste good at room temperature that evening. 

This is when this blog can come in handy as it became my recipe box of over 200 different ideas by now.  Majority of course does not quite fit my parameters as they are best served fresh and hot but I did settle on two that works very well together as they are both lime juiced based. 

Portabella Mushrooms fit the bill perfectly as I only make this dish when there are 15 people or less since they are on the pricier side and it needs at least 4 hours to marinate in the refrigerator to meld in the flavors of the garlic, lime juice, and cilantro.  The last time I made it with Italian Parsley but I love the taste of cilantro with this dish.  Served chilled or at room temperature, this was a no-brainer. 

The second dish was a little bit trickier to figure out but with lime juice on my mind already from the mushrooms and seeing the bag of quinoa in my pantry, I settled on a quinoa “salad” which is delicious warm or cold, and a great way to use some more of the cilantro I bought to go with the mushrooms.  Again, another dish that required at least 30 minutes chilled to let the flavors set, making this another great make ahead.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Portuguese Sausage and Eggs over Rice and Hanalei Poi

I had just picked up a container of Hanalei Poi from Takahashi Market in the Peninsula while I was there stocking up on Ono Shrimp Chips for a Father’s Day goodie bag.  I know that more than half of you may be grimacing because I mentioned poi and it did take me 3 tries before I consider “liking” it but if you want to give it another shot, Hanalei Poi may be the way to go.  Unlike other poi which can be sour and to some true aficionados, the sourer, the better, Hanalei is on the sweeter side making it more palatable for first timers and yet to be converts.  It is also super smooth like pudding right out of the container without any additional water or stirring to be done. 

So I normally would pair poi with kalua pork as it complements and offsets the saltiness of the pork giving me that “aha” moment years ago that I could actually like this Hawaiian staple.  But I did not have any on hand so I scrounged around my freezer and came up with a Portuguese Sausage I picked up intending to make fried rice with.  I quickly defrosted that and made a common Hawaiian breakfast that is great as a BLD, breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 


3 Eggs beaten with a dash of milk
½ Portuguese Sausage


  1. In one pan, add your beaten eggs and scramble it with chopsticks over medium heat until cooked thoroughly and “fluffy”
  2. In the second pan, pan fry your Portuguese Sausage until outside is brown and heated through
  3. Line plate with scoop of cooked rice, top with eggs, and finish with Portuguese Sausage and with optional poi on side
Price:  $3 for 2 servings = $1.50 per serving without the poi (Container of poi on the Mainland was $10 or $11)


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Breadcrumb Crusted True Cod

In the past I had made a baked pesto salmon with a breadcrumb crust and thought I would try a similar preparation for the true cod since it was on sale for $4/lb recently.  Because true cod is already mild in flavor, I did not want to overpower it with the pesto but instead went for a milder lemon flavor with the breadcrumbs.  The mayo and mustard holds the breadcrumbs in place while keeping the fish moist. 


Olive Oil
4 True Cod Fillets
1 ½ cup of bread crumbs
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp mustard
Salt and Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Lightly spray a baking sheet with olive oil and place cod on top
  3. Mix the mayo, mustard, and S&P in bowl and spread onto cod
  4. Combine breadcrumbs and lemon juice in separate bowl and top the fish with the breadcrumb mixture
  5. Bake for 18 minutes until crust is golden

  1. If you are able to, try to get middle pieces of the fish so that it will all cook evenly
  2. If you have both tail and middle pieces, you may need to remove the tail pieces a couple of minutes earlier or keep the middle pieces in a couple of minutes longer.  Fish will flake easily once done
Price:  $8 for 4 servings = $2 per serving

Friday, June 19, 2015

Impromptu Breakfast

I had one sad singular English Muffin that I had picked up at a breakfast recently but never got around to eating it so has been sitting by its lonesome on my counter.  Normally that would scream Eggs Benedict but the pain of having to clean the pot just to make one poached egg at 8 in the morning did not seem very enticing.  So I just scrambled an egg and top it with a slice of leftover proscuitto from my prosciutto wrapped peaches earlier this week and on the other plate, a 1 egg omelet topped with burrata cheese and prosciutto, another delicious combo!!  Voila, an impromptu breakfast for about a buck per person and tasting much better and fresher than anything you can get off McDonald's dollar menu.  

Price:  $2 for 2 servings = $1 per serving

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Chicken Paillard Pizzette Style

I had to restock up on chicken breast this past weekend since we stopped at Farmer Joe’s anyways for the Straus Family milk, but was not sure what to make with it.  I ran across this recipe that was not only a perfect use of the chicken but the fresh mozzarella cheese we made.  Paired with the heirloom tomato and fresh burrata cheese -
  1. Since we already had the cheese, the price does not reflect the mozzarella. 
  2. This was a last minute decision so I just used what I had on hand which meant no arugula topper and a can of San Marzano tomatoes for the sauce vs. fresh cherry or grape tomatoes. 
 Price:  $10 for 4 servings = $2.50 per serving