Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hint: Keeping Baking Powder Dry

Kitchens are humid, hot environments at times. This is a bad place to store baking powder because moisture in the air quickly kills its leavening power. A simple fix that greatly extends the lifespan of a can of baking powder is to store it along with an open box of baking soda, tightly sealed together in a zip top heavy plastic bag. Excess moisture is absorbed by the baking soda, sparing the baking powder from loss of action. Moisture has no effect on the baking soda, which remains a useful leavening (and alkalizing) agent when combined with the acids in foods such as buttermilk.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Pan Roasted Salmon in a Dill-Mustard-Lemon Sauce

Prepared July, 2016. Our friendly fishmonger let us know that the wild-caught sockeye fillets on offer were fresh, never frozen, air-freighted from the Pacific coast. That fortunate gift from the seas led to this dish.
2 6 to 8-oz salmon filets
2 T olive oil, divided
garlic powder 
1 T butter
2 T dry white wine
1 T coarse Dijon mustard
2 t finely-chopped fresh dill
2 t lemon juice
Remove any pin bones that remain with needle-nose pliers, and scrape off any remaining scales. Rinse and dry the fillet. Cut across the fillet to make individual portions. Oil both sides generously, and season the flesh side only with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat a 10-inch stainless steel skillet over medium high, and film the bottom lightly with oil. When oil smokes, add the fillets skin-side down. Saute undisturbed in a moderately hot pan about 6 minutes, adding extra oil if needed to prevent sticking. Lower heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook about 3 to 4 minutes more, testing for firmness by pressing gently with a finger. Carefully transfer to a serving plate. Raise the heat, and add the butter. When melted, deglaze with the wine, stir in the mustard, dill, and lemon juice and heat through. Drizzle the sauce over the fish before serving. Serves 2, but easily doubled using a 12-inch skillet.