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Lee's Kitchen: A crunchy salmon dish for between the holidays

A few weeks ago, something amazing happened in my kitchen with three good friends. Obviously, this had something to do with food.

Recently a woman read in one of my columns that I was still unable, after almost two years, to use the pressure-cook part of my Instant Pot. Many people don’t care about using a pressure cooker: I was one of those people, until I bought my Instant Pot. My mother, who didn’t cook, never wanted one (nor a stove, for that matter).

I was afraid of the pressure-cooker part. Friends shared stories about the cooker spewing food up the kitchen walls and ceilings of their houses, and of others getting burned on the hot steam. But I wanted to learn. So, when Amy Hunsinger saw that column, she offered to come to my house and teach me. I asked if I could include some friends and she said she’d be glad.

In just over an hour, she watched us make macaroni and cheese with cheddar and gruyere and red pasta with ground beef. In both cases, the Instant Pot took dry pasta and all the other ingredients and turned us into believers. Since then, I have made baked beans from scratch and French onion soup. I hard-boiled 10 eggs at a time and peeled in less than a minute. My friend Judy made General Tso’s chicken in her pot. It was beyond yummy.

I am not going to give you a recipe for the Instant Pot, because not too many of you have an Instant Pot, but consider buying one or asking for one for the holidays, along with a cookbook called “The Instant Pot Bible” by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough.

With Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas and its calorie-laden holidays within one month, I made this salmon entrée. Healthy, simple to make and delicious.

 

Oven-Poached Salmon with Pistachios and Horseradish

Adapted from “Savory” by Stop & Shop, available free at the supermarket

Serves 6 to 8

 

1 lemon

One salmon fillet, 2 1/2 or 3 pounds

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 sprigs rosemary

1/3 cup white wine

1/4 cup roasted, salted shelled pistachios

One small green onion, cut up, or three scallions

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoons prepared horseradish

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a glass pan or gratin pan with cooking spray. Zest the lemon and reserve the zest.

Thinly slice lemon and arrange in single layer in baking pan. Place salmon on lemon slices skin side down. Brush with two tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper.

Top with rosemary and pour wine into the dish. Cover tightly with foil. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until desired doneness.

Meanwhile, add pistachios and onion to a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in honey, horseradish, remaining oil and 1 tablespoon water and reserved lemon zest.

When salmon is done, spoon pistachio mixture over the salmon and serve.

Cook’s Tip: If you are serving just four for dinner, consider using the rest, cold, on top of a salad or mix with an egg and some panko to make salmon cakes the next day.

 

On the Side

I waited a week before driving to our new Costco, although I had gotten a card a month earlier at a shop on Midway Plaza. The parking lot, just to get the card, was filled to the brim with cars.

I went on a Tuesday. I got a cart and spent about three-quarters of an hour there. It is the biggest store I have ever been to. The lights are very, very bright. The aisles are so big that at least three, or maybe four, carts could walk together. I could not find the book section, but maybe they are there.

The meat looked gorgeous and the produce lovely, although the prices seem a bit high to me. You can buy whole vanilla beans there. This impressed me although last winter I made enough vanilla extract to last me if I live to 100. I checked the price for the pill I take that would cost me if I bought it in the United States (about $500 a month). It isn't any cheaper.

Everyone was very nice. I did not buy anything. Perhaps I hadn't slept well the night before. Maybe I need to visit with a friend who will translate Costco for me.

Costco
284 Flanders Road, East Lyme
(860) 691-9647

 

Lee White lives in Groton. She can be reached at leeawhite@aol.com.

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