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Hearth and home: Warm up with these delicious dishes

Dec 2nd, 2015 | Category: Cooking

by Carol Frey

Drizzly days and long, sopping wet nights- for most of us, this is winter in the Northwest. We go about our days a little hunched over to keep the rain off of noses and glasses; we splash from home to work or errands and squelch our way back home again. It is a time that reminds us to be thankful for the hearth and home that shelter our bodies and to enjoy the company of family and friends who shelter our spirits. The following recipes will also warm body and soul. They are simple enough for a casual family dinner but also elegant enough for holidays and good china.

Salmon with Cranberry-Lime Relish and Pacific Coast Glögg (background). PHOTO BY CAROL FREY

Salmon with Cranberry-Lime Relish and Pacific Coast Glögg (background). PHOTO BY CAROL FREY

Each recipe features seasonal Northwest flavors or cultural traditions. The first recipe pairs salmon with the bright flavors of cranberry and lime. You can cook the salmon in any way you prefer, but this dish really comes into its own when the fish is basted with butter for the last few minutes on the pan. The browned butter balances the relish nicely, but whichever way you cook it, this is one time you want to be sure not to overcook your fish.

For me, dressing is one of the highlights of holiday feasts. We don’t tend to eat it at any other time of the year, so its an indulgence that I don’t intend to skip even when there is no bird to stuff. This recipe makes a large portion; feel free to halve it if cooking for a small number of people. Also, be sure to use either homemade stock or a low-sodium stock from the store; regular store-bought stock may be too salty.

Turning to the salad, I have a confession: until recently, I turned my nose up at anything called  ‘massaged kale.’ It just sounded a little pretentious. That was before a friend brought a massaged kale salad over for a potluck. Even the children devoured that salad, demonstrating how a vigorous rubbing can soften and sweeten those tough leaves. If rubbing leaves isn’t your thing, you can also dress the kale with lemon juice the night before serving and allow time and the acidic lemon juice to effect a similar transformation.

The last recipe is inspired by the Swedish drink called Glögg. This version is non-alcoholic, simple to prepare and a perfect tonic after muddy adventures. The sliced ginger really makes the drink sing, but if you don’t care for ginger’s spiciness, use a little less than the recipe calls for and don’t slice it. Either way, you’ll have a delicious, warming drink that everyone can enjoy. Happy Holidays!

Salmon with Cranberry-Lime Relish



1 -2 lb salmon filet

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 tablespoons butter, melted


For the relish:

2 cups fresh or thawed  cranberries

1/3 cup red onion

1 small or ¾ large lime, zest and juice

zest of ½ orange

¼ cup sugar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated



Prepare relish up to six hours ahead. Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan. Simmer over low to medium heat until cranberries begin to break down and sauce begins to thicken. Serve immediately or refrigerate and warm gently before serving.

Pat salmon dry, season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet, then cook salmon over medium heat for 3 minutes. Brush with melted butter, then tip pan forward to collect butter for basting. Baste continuously until the pink flesh turns milky and firm. This should only take another couple of minutes. Top with warm relish and serve.


Mushroom dressing

Mushroom dressing. PHOTO BY CAROL FREY

Mushroom dressing. PHOTO BY CAROL FREY



1 pound old bread

5 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, chopped

3 celery stalks, chopped

1 pound assorted mushrooms, quartered or very coarsely chopped

1 ½ cups homemade or low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup water

1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

3 eggs, beaten



Preheat oven to 350  degrees. Slice bread into 1-inch cubes. Toast in oven until crispy. Turn oven to 400degrees. Butter a large, shallow baking dish. Set aside.

In large skillet or saute pan, heat remaining butter over medium heat. Saute onions and celery in butter until just beginning to brown. Add mushrooms and cook until tender, 10-15 minutes.

Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Add bread, stock, water, parsley and eggs to mixture. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake additional 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm.


Massaged Kale Salad with Red Onion and Roasted Hazelnuts



Massaged Kale Salad with Red Onion and Roasted Hazelnuts. PHOTO BY CAROL FREY

Massaged Kale Salad with Red Onion and Roasted Hazelnuts. PHOTO BY CAROL FREY

2 bunches kale, stripped from stems

½ lemon

2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil, or to taste

½ cup roasted hazelnuts

¼ red onion, sliced thin

3 ounces Gruyere, Pecorino or Parmesean, shaved



Squeeze lemon juice onto leaves. Refrigerate overnight or rub with clean hands in massaging motion. When the kale is ready, it will be a brighter green and taste sweeter. Toss with remaining ingredients and serve.


Pacific Coast Glögg



1 ½ cups grape juice

1 ½ cups  orange juice

2 strips of orange rind

1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger,  peeled and sliced into 4 pieces

3 cinnamon sticks

6 whole cloves

5 whole allspice (or ½ teaspoon ground)

1 teaspoon ground cardamom or 4 whole pods

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise



Simmer gently for 15 minutes, strain and serve hot.



Published in the December 2015 issue of Grow Northwest

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