of July 29, 2007
Ways to Cook Salmon
Season salmon, then brush with olive oil. Place
in a greased baking pan and cook in a preheated
oven at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes
per inch of thickness. Measure at the thickest
point. Salmon should flake when done.
Use a steamer or steaming basket. Arrange salmon
portions on rack, then pour liquid (wine, water,
etc.) over fish into pan. Lightly season salmon
and add spices and herbs to water. Cover and bring
to a boil. Steam salmon one minute per ounce over
medium heat. You can also wrap your fish portions
in cheese cloth to remove them from steamer in
Assemble poaching liquid of a mix of chicken broth,
white wine, water. Add one teaspoon of bouquet
garni and bring to simmer. Be sure there is enough
liquid to cover fish in a skillet. Poach 6 to
7 minutes. Can serve warm with lemon dill sauce
or chill in refrigerator and serve cold.
Broiling: Preheat oven and broiling
pan at least 10 minutes beforehand. Quickly wash
your fillets or steaks in cold salt water. Then
dust the salmon lightly with flour. Light spray
the top of the fillets with olive oil and seasonings.
Place on broiler rack about 2 to 3 inches from
heat. You do not need to turn salmon fillets while
they're broiling, however, you should baste the
other side with oil. Add a seasoning as desired.
Salmon steaks should be turned once to cook both
sides and basted as well.
If you want to pre-season, it's best to remove
skin first so the fish is seasoned on both sides.
Season to taste. Try simple seasonings like salt,
pepper and dill, or sprinkle with Old Bay or similar
seasoning. (If you marinate, do not let salmon
or any other fish sit in a marinade more than
15 minutes before cooking, as the acidic ingredients
will begin to break down the flesh and make it
Preheat the grill to medium-high. Lightly oil
the grill rack, two-sided grilling basket or aluminum
foil. Cook the fish until opaque, turning once
during cooking. This will not take long, about
8 to 10 minutes, so watch it carefully. Make sure
that no flame touches the fish directly.
of July 15, 2007
to Choose the Best Summer Melons
Cantaloupe, the most popular member of the melon
family, is also one of the hardest fruits to choose
well. Youhave probably seen people shaking, squeezing,
weighing, and smelling them. A ripe, un-refrigerated
cantaloupe will emit an earthy and sweet aroma,
but unless you're fortunate enough to shop in
an outdoor market, this isn't much help as most
indoor markets keep fruit refrigerated.
some fruit guides attest that a "heavy"
melon equals a ripe melon, the lift test is not
always ideal when confronted with a mountain of
melons at a crowded market. Another tactic for
choosing cantaloupe is to go for the one with
a rosy glow. (more of orange color poking through
the netted skin than green.) A cantaloupe should
also give ever so slightly to pressure on the
blossom end (opposite the stem end). Cantaloupe
is at its finest from June to September.
The honeydew is one of the most mysterious melons
out there. Though the same rules generally apply
as for cantaloupe (a sweet smell when unrefrigerated,
a yield to gentle pressure on the blossom end),
a honeydew's opaque rind and large size make it
more difficult to distinguish the good from the
bad. The honeydew's peak season is slightly later
in the year than that of the cantaloupe —
late July or August rather than June.
If you are trying to pick a sweet watermelon,
look at the area where a watermelon has rested
on the truck, or on the ground, or on the fruit
stand (where it tends to flatten out and turn
yellow). The wider the spread of this area, and
the more intensely yellow the color, the sweeter
and riper the watermelon. Though less foolproof,
you can also try knocking on the melon—a
thud indicates the melon is ripe; a hollow sound
indicates it's still got a way to go. Watermelons
are in season from May through September.
of July 8, 2007
for Choosing, Storing and Serving Vegetables
are suggestions to help you select the highest
quality vegetables when you're shopping, ways
to store them once you get home, and tips for
preparing and serving vegetables to enhance their
flavor and retain their nutrients.
for brightly colored vegetables. The best items
have blemish-free surfaces and regular, characteristic
shapes and sizes.
through and discard any damaged items. Bruises
and nicks can attract molds, which can lead
to spoilage of an entire bag of vegetables.
or greens should be crisp, not wilted.
only the fresh vegetables you plan to eat within
a few days. Long storage time reduces nutrient
levels, appeal and taste.
in-season vegetables. Typically, the closer
you are to the growing season, the fresher your
produce and the better it tastes.
packaged vegetables when out of season. Frozen
vegetables are low in sodium and sometimes offer
more nutrients than do less-than-peak-condition
fresh vegetables, as they're processed quickly
after picking. If you choose canned vegetables,
look for those without added salt.
fresh vegetables according to their type. Place
root vegetables, such as potatoes and yams,
in a cool, dark place. Store other vegetables
in the refrigerator crisper drawer.
wash vegetables before storing. Make sure all
produce is dry before storing.
away produce you've kept too long. Discard vegetables
that are moldy or slimy, smell bad, or are past
the "best if used by" date.
vegetables thoroughly to remove dirt and pesticide
residue before cooking. If possible, use a small
scrub brush to help clean potatoes, cucumbers
or other vegetables that have skin you eat.
edible peels on vegetables whenever possible.
The peels of many vegetables — especially
potatoes — contain considerable amounts
of nutrients and fiber.
many vegetables raw. Keep bell peppers, broccoli,
carrots, cauliflower, celery or other raw vegetables
ready to eat in your refrigerator.
quick-cooking techniques. Stir-frying, steaming
and microwaving are quick-cooking methods. Long
exposure to higher temperatures leads to some
loss of nutrients. Try to use as little water
as possible when cooking vegetables, and consider
reserving any cooking water — which contains
nutrients — for adding to soups, stews
of July 1, 2007
is nothing quite as satifying in the summer as
a cold glass of old fashioned fresh squeezed lemonade.
does not matter if you are trying to cool down
after mowing the lawn or just relaxing at a summer
cookout, nothing adds a bit of chill and resfreshment
like this summer time favorite.
1 3/4 cups white sugar *
• 8 cups water
• 1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed lemon
• Mint leaves for garnish
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1
cup water. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve
sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature,
then cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave pulp.
In pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon
juice and remaining 7 cups water. Serve over ice.
Garnish with mint if desired.
COOKS NOTE: I have also used Splenda® and
it tastes great too - not too tart and not too