The Firelands Kitchen

The Firelands Kitchen by Erin Howarth

I Like To Think I've Made Some Progress



I like to think I’ve progressed somewhat in the chapter of life titled ‘Making Doctor Appointments for Your Children’. In the past several weeks both girls came down with separate illnesses. Each time, I took one look at the sickly child, knew an antibiotic was likely in order, called for an appointment with the pediatrician, headed to said appointment, got the diagnosis I suspected, and headed to the pharmacy for the meds. Bada bing, bada boom – kiddos were back on track within a couple days.

I smiled to myself after this most recent instance on Friday, thinking of the days when the girls were babies/toddlers. Oh, the fretting I would do! Should we go in to the doctor? Is this really something or nothing?

Will we come home having picked up a worse illness just by sitting in the waiting room? Let me call Eric and get his input.

Let me speak with the nurse and see what she (it was always a she) thinks. New mom, babe not seeming quite right: Oh my, yes, I would get myself in a tizzy. So, so very uncertain.

So yes, Friday I smiled (maybe even smugly) to myself at the progress I have made over the last 13 years. I didn’t consult Eric either time. His input would just complicate things.

The nurse on call? I knew from experience it seemed they were trained to advise, “Yes, bring her in if you are unsure.” So, I didn’t call the nurse either. Because when it came down to it, I just knew. And I trusted myself, my instinct.

I think God has a way of sorting these things out in a timely fashion because shortly after my smug smile I realized there are plenty of new parental things I feel quite uncertain on, some real heavy-hitters, as a matter-of-fact. Sigh . . .

There isn’t too much time allowed to rest on one’s laurels, is there?

Have a great week, one and all!

Basic Salmon Cakes

Cook salmon in a foil packet with a little olive oil. Crumble the salmon in a large bowl. Mix in panko crumbs, beaten eggs, a few squirts of mayo, some lime juice, a cup of parmesan cheese, some chopped green onion and a little Worcestershire sauce. Shape mixture into patties and fry in olive oil until crisp brown.

Herb Roasted Fish

8 ounces boneless fish fillet, such as snapper or cod

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Tbsp. good olive oil

1 large sprig fresh thyme

2 large green olives with pits

Extra-large egg

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Place the fish fillet on a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle it with the salt and pepper. Drizzle the lemon juice and olive oil over the top of the fillet. Lay the thyme on top and place the olives next to the fillet.

Beat the egg together with 1 tablespoon of water for an egg wash.

Brush the egg wash around the edge of the parchment paper and fold it in half. Carefully fold the edge of the parchment paper under and around the fish to make a package.

Place the package on a sheet pan and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. Serve hot in the parchment paper.

Mustard-Roasted Fish

4 (8-ounce) fish fillets such as red snapper

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces creme fraiche or sour cream

3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard

2 Tbsp. minced shallots

2 tsp. drained capers

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. (You can also use an ovenproof baking dish.) Place the fish fillets skin side down on the sheet pan. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Combine the creme fraiche (or sour cream), 2 mustards, shallots, capers, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish fillets, making sure the fish is completely covered. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until it's barely done. (The fish will flake easily at the thickest part when it's done.) Be sure not to overcook it. Serve hot or at room temperature with the sauce from the pan spooned over the top.

Salmon Stir Fry

Bake the salmon in the oven, with flavors of choice, until it’s almost cooked. At the same time stir fry the vegetables in a large frying pan. Once vegetables are stir-fried to a tender crisp, put the salmon into the frying pan with the vegetables, gently stirring the salmon to break it up as you mix it in. Serve with whole grain rice.

Old-Fashioned Fish Pie

Use chunks of mixed fish lightly cooked in milk with peppercorns, bay leaf, etc. Use the flavored milk to make a creamy white sauce. Mix together with the fish in a deep dish, top with mashed potatoes and a little grated cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes.

Pan-Fried Fish

Make a crust of roughly chopped nuts, garlic, breadcrumbs and fresh parsley. Press it into trout or sea bass fillets. Pan-fry it in a little olive oil, crust side down first. It’s gorgeous served with a green salad.

Citrus Fish Chunks

4 (6 oz.) thick Haddock, cod or white fish fillets, fresh or defrosted and skinned.

1 (7 oz.) can of mandarin orange segments in juice

1 (7 oz.) can grapefruit segments in juice

1 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard

1 small onion, peeled and sliced

1 Tbsp. sunflower oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Chopped parsley to garnish

Drain the juice from fruit segments and reserve 1/2 pint.

In a large saucepan heat the oil over a medium heat and fry onion until soft. Add mustard, fruit and reserved juice to the pan and stir to mix. Carefully add the fish fillets to the sauce. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes.

Garnish and serve with baked potato and steamed vegetable of choice.

One-Pan Salmon Asparagus

For the Salmon and Asparagus:

2 lbs. salmon filet cut into six 6 oz portions

2 lbs. (about 2 bunches) asparagus, fibrous ends removed

Salt and black pepper

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small lemon sliced into rings for garnish

For the Lemon-Garlic-

Herb Butter:

6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened (see quick softening note)

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice from 1 small lemon

2 garlic cloves pressed or minced

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit with oven rack in top third. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, trimming the paper to just fit so it doesn't go over edges of pan (this prevents the paper from charing under broiler).

Place salmon filets in a row down the center of your lined baking pan. Arrange trimmed asparagus on the sides of the salmon. Drizzle asparagus lightly with olive oil and roll to coat. Sprinkle both asparagus and salmon with salt and pepper.

In a medium bowl, use a fork to mash together all ingredients for flavored butter. It takes a couple of minutes to come together but keep mashing and it will happen. You can also use a food processor for the job if you prefer.

Spoon 3/4 of your flavored butter over the salmon and spread evenly (no need for perfection). Dab remaining butter mix over the asparagus. Top each salmon filet with a slice of lemon and bake uncovered at 450 degrees fahrenheit fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes (a thinner fillet will take 10 minutes and larger fillet takes 12 minutes). Set the oven to BROIL and bake another 2-3 minutes to give the salmon a golden glow. Bake until salmon is flaky and cooked through.

How to Speed-Soften Butter: Place wrapped stick of butter in airtight Ziploc bag and submerge bag in warm (100 degrees fahrenheit fahrenheit) water, placing a weight over the top so it doesn’t float. Let sit 10 -15 minutes until softened.

Roasted Salmon with Soy-Marmalade Glaze

1/4 cup orange marmalade

1 1/2 tsp. lower-sodium soy sauce

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets

Cooking spray

2 Tbsp. thinly sliced green onions

4 lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit. Combine marmalade, soy sauce, salt, black pepper, and garlic in a small bowl. Arrange salmon fillets, skin sides down, on a

foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush fish fillets evenly with half of marmalade mixture. Bake fish fillets at 450 degrees fahrenheit for 4 minutes.

Heat broiler to high (do not remove fish from oven); broil fish 6 minutes. Spoon remaining marmalade mixture onto center of fillets. Broil fish an additional 3 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Sprinkle fish evenly with green onions; serve with lemon wedges.

Fish Chowder

2 Tbsp. butter

2 cups chopped onion

4 fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 stalk celery, chopped

4 cups chicken stock

4 cups diced potatoes

2 pounds cod, diced into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup clam juice

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning, or to taste

Salt to taste

Ground black pepper to taste

2 (12 fluid ounce) cans evaporated milk

Cooked crumbled bacon (optional)

In a large stockpot, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Saute onions, mushrooms and celery in butter until tender. Add chicken stock and potatoes; simmer for 10 minutes. Add fish and simmer another 10 minutes.

Mix together clam juice and flour until smooth; stir into soup and simmer for 1 minute more. Season to taste with Old Bay seasoning, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in evaporated milk. Top each bowl with crumbled bacon, if desired.

Loaded M&M Oreo Cookie Bars

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted

1 large egg

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

18 Oreo Cookies, coarsely chopped; another type of chocolate sandwich cookie may substituted, or about 2 heaping cups of coarsely chopped add-ins including leftover cookies, graham crackers, chocolate-covered pretzels, etc.)

About 1/2 cup M&M’s (I used plain, use your favorite flavor or other chopped candy)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.

In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.

Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don’t scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.

Add the flour and stir until just combined, don’t over mix. Stir in the Oreos.

Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.

Evenly sprinkle the M&Ms over the top, lightly pressing them down with your finger or a spatula.

Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes, or until done based on add-ins used. Top should be set and edges slightly firm. A toothpick inserted in the center (if you can find a bare patch to test) should come out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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