It's Foodie Friday at Gollum's place and Blogland's best will be there with food to inspire, soothe, and delight. Come and join the fun! Thank you Michael- you're the best!
We are now officially in the Lenten season and in this Italian/ Irish household that means no meat on Fridays. I remember growing up when the Church rules were even stricter. My grandmothers wouldn't touch a morsel of meat on Wednesdays OR Fridays. Those were the days when going to church on Sundays meant nylons, heels, sleeves and a head covering for the ladies and men in suit and tie. If a woman forgot her hat (or didn't want to destroy a new salon coif) she would pin a dainty lace trimmed hankie on her head. If I walked out of the house with a handkerchief on my head today, my husband would...actually he might not think twice- he knows I'm a little weird.
I know it sounds funny today, but back then woe to the lady that dared walk into Sunday Mass bareheaded. She faced the wrath of Father Donovan and Sister Joanne- a fate worse than death.
Even the children were dressed in Sunday best.
Now don't laugh
My brother and I on our way to church
(our parents were apparently big Frank Sinatra fans)
Note the white gloves I wore
I can't even imagine one of my children in white gloves
though there was that Michael Jackson stage my son went through.....
These are the memories that come to my mind sitting in Church on Sunday morning. I look around and see flip-flops, and shorts, and scruffy jeans. It's a bit sad, but I am very happy to see families there. It would make my Nonna and Grandma very happy.
For this Friday, I decided to make salmon. Easy decision- it was on sale :)
I've been blogging a lot about my Italian ancestry, so this recipe is a variation of a Tuscan dish I make with braised lamb shanks. I'm serving it on a soft polenta with creamy Fontina cheese blended in. When we were in Italy for my childhood summers, polenta was a staple on my Nonna's table. We had it served, one way or another, at least 4 times a week.
Pattie's Tuscan Style Salmon
2 Tblsp. olive oil
1 Tblsp. minced garlic
1 med. onion, chopped fine
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine
1-2 yellow squash or zucchini, chopped
Saute onion, squash and pepper over medium high heat till softened. Add garlic and saute, stirring often, till beginning to brown. Add:
1 can San Marzano tomatoes, chopped or broken up by hand
1 cup chicken broth
1 jar sun-dried tomatoes, drained well and julienned
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 Tblsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Simmer over low heat. While this mix is simmering, sear salmon
4 salmon fillets or steaks
salt and pepper
Brush salmon with olive oil and sear one side on grill pan over high heat for 5 minutes. Remove and place with seared side up on sauce in pan. Cover and cook about 5 more minutes till flaky. Serve over soft polenta, grits, or couscous.
48 oz. box (6 cups) vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups polenta (yellow corn meal)
3/4 stick butter
1 cup grated Fontina
salt and pepper to taste
In a heavy saucepan, bring 4 cups of the broth to a simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, whisk together the polenta and remaining broth. Slowly pour the polenta into the broth, stirring constantly ( I use a whisk to stir-don't beat it). Cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, till thick. Stir in butter till melted, then cheese- stir till melted. Season to taste.
** This is also excellent with sauteed mushrooms stirred in-YUM
I have a bonus for you all this week
I'm also going to share another of my favorite scone recipes- just because.
Actually, it's just because I made them this morning for an early meeting and my camera just happened to be sitting on my desk.
Lucky for you guys- these are so good served with a creamy lemon curd
Lemon Cream Scones
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
Dash of salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup currants (I used dried cranberries)
egg glaze (optional)- 1 egg beaten with a little water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to blend (or whisk together in a bowl). In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, cream, vanilla and lemon zest. Cut the butter in small pieces and drop into flour mixture-pulse till evenly combined and it looks like coarse crumbs- small pieces of butter are good ( you can use a pastry cutter and cut the butter in by hand).
Put flour mixture into a bowl and stir in the cranberries and cream mixture. Stir with a fork to just combine-if it seems too dry and doesn't come together, add more cream by droplets. Turn dough out onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and pat into an 8 inch circle. With a serrated knife, cut into 8 wedges and seperate just slightly. Brush top with egg glaze and sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes till light golden. Cool on sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool
Buon Alimenti, Buon Amici,
Pattie and Allie