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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Burger Night - Salmon Burgers With Orange & Fennel Slaw

Lately I've been trying even harder than I normally do to limit our family's overall meat intake, much to the chagrin of my carnivorous husband. It's not an easy task, particularly because the only fully vegetarian meal that makes him smile is some iteration of pasta and greens (hence the veritable treasure trove of meat-free pasta dishes in our archives). 

This wouldn't in itself be an issue except that even if I am being extra charitable to myself, my girlish figure cannot stand up to multiple carb-heavy meals per week. I'll also admit to having absolutely no self control of around pasta (the ultimate comfort food), and the charming idea of just eating a smaller portion goes right out the window when I am faced with a pot full of the good stuff.

Salmon Burgers With Orange & Fennel Slaw, Photo: NK
This is why I am always eager to come up with more and more Meat-Free dinners that my family will enjoy. Piggie-backing off the success of our super easy and light Tuna Burgers, I was very excited to add another fish-based burger to the monthly rotation. Luckily my new Giada Cookbook, Happy Cooking, had a really appealing Salmon Burger recipe that looked great.  After all, we only make Tuna Burgers once,  maybe twice a month because Tuna is high in mercury content.   EWG's Seafood Calculator is a great, customizable way to plan your monthly fish meals because it tells you how many portions of each soft you can consume while still staying below the guidelines.

The Salmon Burgers are topped with Orange and Fennel Slaw -which is delicious on so many things - especially fish. That's probably what sold me on this recipe. I hope you enjoy our slightly adapted version below. It will yield four burgers. The remaining two that we didn't eat froze really nicely. Kids will eat these too! 

Salmon Burgers With Orange & Fennel Slaw
Lightly Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis, Happy Cooking
Serves 4 


1 Fennel Bulb, cored, and sliced thinly into rings (by hand or with a mandoline), some of the Fennel Frond set aside and minced (about 1 heaping Tablespoon of fronds)
1 Orange, peeled and segmented
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

2 6-8 portions Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, boned, skinned and cut into small cubes
1/3 Cup Flat Leaf Italian Parsley, leaves only
4 teaspoons Capers, rinsed 
1 Shallot, chopped
1 heaping teaspoon Orange Zest
2 Tablespoons Panko Breadcrumbs
1 Egg White
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 
4 Toasted Potato Roll Burger Buns, for serving 

Combine all the Slaw ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir and set aside.

In a food processor, combine all the Burger ingredients except the Olive Oil. Pulse a few times so that Salmon is coarsely chopped and all is combined. Remove the mixture and divide it into quarters, shaping each into a 1/2 inch thick patty. 

In a medium saute pan, heat the Olive Oil over medium-high heat. Once the Oil is hot, cook the patties for about 3 minutes per side until cooked through and golden.

To serve, toast the Potato Rolls and place patties on them. Top with Orange and Fennel Slaw. Serve right away!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Insta-Famous: Shredded Pork Shoulder & Black Bean Chili

Instagram, like Pinterest, is a fabulous destination when I'm looking for recipe inspiration or just my daily dose of food porn (usually when I'm hungry). I was reminded of its sheer suggestive power just last week when a photo of the delicious Pork Chili my husband spent most of the day preparing (by that I mean slow cooking a huge Pork Shoulder) was reposted by our favorite hot sauce company - El Yucateco.  In just minutes, it had close to 100 likes. As for El Yucateco Hot Sauce, it's true, we are addicted, and just can't get enough of their Green Habanero flavor. That's why it was a no-brainer to enhance an already fantastic Chili - the perfect food for football Sunday

Repost of our photo as seen on El Yucateco's Instagram
All this makes me want to remind you that you should definitely follow Neurotic Kitchen on Instagram for everyday dinner inspiration, and of course so many recipes you can find right here on Neurotic Kitchen. 

As for the Chili that caused such buzz, find Andrew Zimmern's perfect recipe right HERE.

We had to buy a larger Pork Shoulder than the recipe called for, so we cooked the leftover low and slow and used it to make Tacos and then Pulled Pork Sandwiches! It takes a while to make, but it's almost all inactive time and the results are so worth it. Enjoy and see you on Instagram

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Kid Tested - Cauliflower Soup With Orzo

This week I am going to do something a little unorthodox by featuring a recipe from Neurotic Kitchen's sister site, - a blog dedicated to healthy and super-fast homemade meals that picky toddlers and kids will love
While Neurotic Kitchen's theme of easy and elegant recipes for the busy home cook remains fully intact, I couldn't help but, just this once, share a recent comfort food recipe that was a huge hit with both the big and little people in our house. A light adaptation of Mario Batali's Cauliflower Soup yielded something as simple as it was wonderful. Not only will you enjoy this hearty winter soup, but I can pretty much guarantee that your kids will love it too. Bonus - this recipe makes a huge batch and will feed you for days. 
Enjoy and please follow for all my favorite healthy toddler and kids' recipes that you'll enjoy too! You'll also find recommended products and resources for a healthy home. 
Cauliflower Soup With Orzo, Photo: NK
CLICK HERE for the recipe! 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ingredient Spotlight - Blackfish Roasted with Olives & Sage

It all starts with one question: 

"What's good today?"

Blackfish with Sage & Olives + a Salad of Lambs Lettuce (Mache), Green Apple,
Shallot and Blue Cheese Dijon Dressing and Baked Potato by my Mom!
 Photo: NK
I've shared many times that I begin most of my shopping trips to the butcher, fish or farmers market with that very inquiry. The reason? It's a whole lot easier to cook great meals when you begin with excellent ingredients.  Using in season fruits, vegetables and even proteins (did you know it's Oyster season now?) can make a real difference in your food. 

Last weekend the answer was Blackfish

Blackfish, huh? I'd never really cooked with it and couldn't recall eating. "What's it like," I asked my fishmonger. "Well, they are firm, white fleshed fish. They like to eat crab, so they're a little sweet. Almost a slight lobster-y quality to them."


Say no more.
Baked Blackfish - this easy recipe came out perfectly! Photo: NK 

Even though I cook all the time there's always a little anxiety around trying a new ingredient. 

It's easy to revert to the familiar and foolproof, and with fish (we love cod, flounder, sole, tuna, and all the shellfish under the sun), cook times are much faster, so there's an even greater motivation to time things out just right.

All that said, there's only one way to learn - and that's practice.  Practice, and a good, simple recipe.  

With no Blackfish experience to speak of, I went to the internet and compared some simple preparations. It wasn't long before I stumbled on one from Serious Eats - one of my favorite web destinations for food news and recipes. The super short ingredient list was an instant sell. 

Roasted Blackfish With Olives & Sage 
Lightly Adapted Recipe By Melissa Clark, Cook This Now as published on Serious Eats
Serves 4-6 


3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 (1 Pound) skin-on Blackfish Fillets, patted until dry
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
10 Large Sage Leaves
1/2 Cup Pitted Kalamata Olives
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
Smoked Hot Paprika or Sweet Paprika 


1. Preheat Oven to 425.

2. Drizzle about a Tablespoon of Oil on a large baking sheet. Place the fish fillets, skin side down, in the pan. Season the fillets generously with Salt and Pepper. 

3. Pile the Sage leaves on top of each other, roll them up, and slice them into thin ribbons and in half again. Sprinkle the Sage over the fish and then scatter the Olives on top and around the fish. Drizzle with the remaining Olive Oil. 

4. Place pan in the oven and roast fish until it is opaque, roughly 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle fillets with Lemon Juice and dust with Paprika. Optionally sprinkle with a bit more oil and serve right away.