Seasoning of choice: olive oil, lemon zest, fresh herbs
Heat the milk in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add salt and stir occasionally to avoid burning the milk. As soon as the milk starts to simmer (about 180-190 degrees), pour in the lemon juice and vinegar and stir. The milk should begin to curdle – if not, add in a little more lemon juice or vinegar. Turn off the heat and let the milk rest for about 10 minutes. Line a colander with at least two layers of cheesecloth. Pour curdled milk into the cheesecloth, tie cloth and hang over a bowl for a 1/2 hour – hour to ensure all the whey has drained (be careful not to let it hang too long, as the result will be too dry).
Once drained, open cheesecloth and either refrigerate cheese immediately or transfer to a plate to serve. If serving immediately, season with your favorite items: olive oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper and/or favorite fresh herbs such as thyme, parsley and oregano.
This mild cheese is great on crackers or on your favorite crostini. I recently served it up over a crostini topped by tomatoes, basil and olive oil.
For Christmas my Father surprise us with a Traeger smoker for our new home and we couldn’t have been more excited. We immediately set it up and started smoking – tri tip, steaks, veggies, you name it. Recently, I had some beautiful salmon fillets left over and decided to throw it on the smoker for about 25 minutes for these easy-to-make smoked salmon cakes.
2 small salmon fillets
1 cup panko plus extra for coating
2 eggs, beaten
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (or any other herbs you prefer)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper
If you’re using a Traeger, start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 325 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10-15 minutes. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place the salmon directly on the grill grate and cook for 25 minutes. Remove fish from the grill and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes. (alternatively, you can grill, bake or pan fry the salmon).
Once the salmon has slightly cooled, lightly pull the salmon into chunks. In a bowl, beat the eggs then mix together the salmon, panko, onions, herbs, cheese, lemon salt and pepper. Divide the mixture and shape into medium sized patties.
Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Dip the patties into the extra bowl of panko and evenly coat both sides. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and serve warm with a lemon aioli (mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper).
After a long day at work, home alone and not one inch of me wanting to shop or order take out resulted in this dish. Which I can say was easy, delicious and pretty, so naturally I fell in love and now make it all the time.
The best part of this dish is that it can be different every time. Keeping a box of pasta in your pantry at all times is a must for this reason! Then add in any veggies or protein you have for a quick satisfying bite.
What you need: (For this version)
Box of your favorite pasta (gluten free or regular both work)
1/4 cup of milk
2 Italian sausages
1/2 red onion
Micro greens (topper)
Salt, pepper, chili powder and chili flakes
What to do:
Bring a large pot of water to boil
Drizzle a lil bit of olive oil and cook pasta for about 6 minutes (if gluten free) to al dente
In another saucepan:
Drizzle olive oil and start to heat slivered red onions – on med-high
Add in chopped up sausage after onions start to brown a lil
Turn down heat to medium
Then add in chopped shitakes
Sprinkle salt and chili powder to liking (not too much cause you can always add more)
Mix til everything looks about cooked and turn to low heat
Throw in micro greens
Time to combine:
Drain pasta and let it sit while all the mixings cook
Add pasta back into the pot and add milk
After the milk starts to boil and your pasta starts to get coated add in your toppings and mix til you get a good balance of everything in one bite
Serve with fresh herbs sprinkled on top and a pinch of cheese