Category Archives: Fish

Baked Fish and Potatoes in a Saffron-Tomato Broth

This is a dish that a friend first made for me and now I make it for friends.  It’s fancy-looking but easy enough for quick weeknight cooking.  Serve it with a nice salad and a dinner is ready in half an hour.

The big flavor here belies the ease of preparation, though.  That’s always the best kind of recipe, wouldn’t you say?

In fact, I should ask all of you, my favorite home cooks: what’s your favorite little-work-big-reward recipe? Continue reading


Pasta with Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, and Peppers

I meant to eat chocolate cake for dinner tonight.  It was just one of those days.  J kindly intervened and made me this instead.  It was so good.  Salty, creamy, hearty–and it even used up some of our CSA peppers.  That man knows what I like.  It was perfect for a chocolate-cake-for-dinner kind of night. Continue reading

Baked Fish with Thai Basil and Peppers

Today I put my money where my mouth is and bought a thirty-pound watermelon.  Yes, you read that right.  Thirty.  Pounds.  Thirty pounds!

Does this ever happen to you?  One minute I was innocently stopping by the store to pick up a piece of fish, and the next minute I was staggering to my car carrying a small child and a melon that weighed more than herTruth be told, I hadn’t even thought of buying a watermelon today.  The only reason I bought it was that it was sitting beside a much smaller but more expensive “petite” watermelon, making this organic behemoth an irresistible deal at $8.50.  Those marketing geniuses at my co-op know me so well.

And now I have thirty pounds of watermelon to dispatch.  Ideas?

Of course I started off by stuffing everyone with sweet slices and encouraging the children to organize a backyard seed-spitting contest.  And then I made a double batch of that outstanding Chilled Watermelon Soup with Thai Flavors–have you tried it yet?  And that, of course, meant Thai flavors for the fish I’d gone to the co-op to get in the first place.  (You thought I’d forgotten the point of this post, didn’t you?)
Every time I make this, J says it’s his favorite dish.  (I think he says that about other things too, though–isn’t that sweet?)  My favorite dish would probably be something involving chocolate, or maybe these baked eggs, but I agree that this dish is quite good.  And if fish isn’t your thing, you could certainly toss the pepper mixture with cubes of fried tofu and serve it over rice instead. Continue reading

Colorful Vegetables with White Dip

I love a picnic.  And we spent yesterday evening at the best picnic of the year.It was a party with friends and friends-of-friends, all in white at a waterfront park in Seattle.  The location was a secret until late afternoon, then the text messages flew, the final arrangements were made, and we began to descend upon the appointed destination.  White balloons fluttered at the park’s entrance, white lights lit the path to the water, and soon long tables were set with white linens and plates, flowers and candles.  Feasts were laid out.  The guests, of course, wore white.  A band kept time to the festivities and after dark descended, hundreds of white sparklers lit the air.  A very nice picnic indeed.

Luckily our friends are excellent cooks and we ate very well.  (They are great photographers, too; you can see my friend Knox’s photos from last year here and my friend Tara’s photos from last night here.)  There were meats and cheeses and chutneys and quince paste and three kinds of pickles.  There were salads in a palette of brilliant hues: beets with oranges and pistachios, roasted cauliflower and chickpeas, salmon nestled into greens, plums on a bed of grilled kale with ricotta, a saffron coucous with raisins.  There was a fancy cake.  And, in a nod to the party’s white theme, I brought vegetables with this dip.I also brought it because it’s so good.  It’s a savory, moreish way to eat your vegetables.  It’s perfect with green beans but I couldn’t resist adding blanched carrots and crisp radishes to the plate as well.  The more color the better, I say, at least on my plate.

Colorful Vegetables with White Dip (adapted from Gourmet): Okay, yes, the secret ingredient here is a can of anchovies.  Brave them, try them, even if you’re skeptical.  This is a gentle introduction for nonbelievers.

Drain and rinse a 2-oz. can of anchovies and dump them in a small pot with 2 big cloves of minced garlic, 2 Tbsp. water, and 2 Tbsp. sour cream (I used low fat).  Simmer for 10 minutes over low heat, stirring often.  Transfer the resulting anchovy-garlic paste to a food processor with another 1 c. sour cream and 1/3 c. mayonnaise and blend until smooth.  Optional: add 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice.  (I like it both ways, with and without the lemon.)  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Chill at least an hour before serving with blanched green beans or other blanched or raw vegetables.

Steamed Fish and Bok Choy with Garlic and Ginger

Yes, of course you can make this spunky 15-minute healthy meal with tofu instead of fish. Or halibut fillets instead of salmon steaks, which is what I usually do. Or any white fish, really. But lest you think that lean-protein-of-choice steamed with bok choy sounds too dull and virtuous, let me assure you that this dish is all about the zippy sauce. In fact, be sure to make some rice to sop it all up. (Brown rice is in keeping with the virtuous theme and usually my preference, but it makes this a 45-minute meal instead. You do what you like.)

Continue reading

How to Grill Salmon

Welcome to Emmy Cooks!  You can see some of my favorite recent recipes by clicking the “My Favorite Recipes” category on the sidebar (here are June, July, and August).  If you like what you see here, you can sign up on the sidebar to receive a daily recipe by email, or follow Emmy Cooks on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Seattle has apparently experienced only 58 minutes of summer so far this year, if by “summer” you mean a temperature exceeding 79 degrees.  Summer means more than that to me, of course, but I will concede that this has been a funny kind of summer in Seattle.  The kind of summer where we make a lot of soup and wading pool days get rained out and last week we packed both our fleece and down coats for a trip to the Olympic Peninsula and ended up wearing them both, one layered over the other.

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Senegalese Stuffed Fish and Rice

It always pays to have fun friends with good ideas.  In addition to the adventures you’ll have with them, you’ll get to meet their friends, who are also likely to be fun people with good ideas, who will in turn become your friends, and the happy cycle continues.  I know it’s hard to make new friends when you grow up, but I always think it’s worth the effort it takes. Continue reading

Smoked Salmon Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Spicy Peppers

There are currently only three chickens in our backyard flock: Ducky, Feather, and Feather.  Yes, two Feathers, both black.  I’ll gloss over the details of what happened to the original black Feather, and just tell you that when we got chicks the following spring, my oldest exclaimed in delight: “This time we have two Feathers!”  And so we do.

The Girls (by which, at the moment, I mean the three chickens, not the three little girls who live inside with us; it does get confusing sometimes) usually keep us amply supplied with eggs.  Today we had run out, though, so I was pleased that an afternoon visit to the coop yielded the two eggs I needed to make this recipe.  Taking fresh-laid eggs straight to the table never gets old for me.

This recipe is inspired by the Carbonara with Mama Lil’s Peppers on Michael Natkin’s delightfully-named vegetarian blog Herbivoracious (and check out his new Herbivoracious cookbook as well).  I love Mama Lil’s Peppers and think they’re an inspired addition to pastas, pizzas, antipasto plates, and much more.  (I even gave J a jar of the spicy ones as part of his Fathers Day present.  But use the mild ones for this recipe!)  A vegetarian carbonara is untraditional, of course–usually it gets a hit of smoky salt from bacon–and I departed from Michael’s departure from tradition by adding hot-smoked salmon instead. Continue reading Smoked Salmon Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Spicy Peppers (click for recipe)

Sorta-Caesar Salad

Well, the nice thing about this endless Seattle gloom is that the lettuce isn’t bolting.

When I first moved to Seattle, J and I lived in a tiny house, and one of the first things we did was put in a tiny garden.  We built four raised beds in the grassy strip between the sidewalk and the street.  Everyone does that now, I know, but this was more than a decade ago and I liked to think of us as pioneering urban farmers back then.  (We got chickens too, of course.)

There was just one problem.  I’m from California.  And when I moved to Seattle, I was cold.  I consulted with my local garden store about what kind of vegetables I could grow in this inhospitable climate and planted things like lettuce, arugula, and broccoli.  And then I bundled them up as warm as I could.  I put hoops over the beds and sheathed them in clear plastic, trapping the heat to create toasty little greenhouses for my tender plants.  They thought it was high summer and went happily straight to seed, of course.  Learning that some plants prefer cooler temperatures was the beginning of my education about the benefits that a cool climate has to offer.  (Others include not needing much of a summer wardrobe, only needing an air conditioner a few days each year, and the blueberries.  Oh, the blueberries!)

In any case, delightful lettuces grow in this part of the world nearly year-round.  They are floppy or pert, frilly or reserved, pastel green, deep maroon, or freckled.  They are the stars of the show at springtime farmers markets, and I find them irresistible.  Here’s a nice thing to do with any sturdy, crunchy lettuce.  (Romaine is the classic, of course, as we’re riffing on the Caesar salad here, but it gets much more exciting than that.) Continue reading Sorta-Ceasar Salad (click for recipe)

Smoked Salmon Salade Nicoise

Dinner outside again!  I lived in LA for three years and appreciated the weather every single day.  You can be sure that I’ll also be able to sustain this glee through every single outdoor meal of Seattle’s short summer.  Especially since it’s supposed to go right back to raining this week.

I took the picnic theme one step further by making a big main-dish composed salad, isn’t that summery?  And I was quite pleased to be one-upped in the pretending-its-summer department by our friends who served a rum punch on the deck before dinner.

Continue reading Salade Nicoise (click for recipe)