Baked Salmon Filets with Creamy Dill Sauce


1 filet of salmon, skin on, deboned, cut into 6 oz (170 grams) portions
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil 

Salt and pepper to taste

Season salmon with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Place large skillet over high heat, add oil.

When oil is shimmering with heat, place salmon into pan skin side up. (The reason for this is presentation; it tends to handle better and not break when the last lift is with the skin side down.)

Fry for 2 minutes then turn over and fry for 2 more minutes.

Place pan with salmon into preheated oven (450 degrees) and cook for 2-4 minutes longer.  To test the salmon, press the salmon gently with your finger.  It should yield under gentle pressure but not feel mushy.

Once salmon is cooked to your liking, remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes.

Plate then serve to guests. 

Note: When cooking salmon the worst thing you can do is overcook it.  Salmon can be eaten raw (100 million Japanese sashimi eaters can't be wrong!) so you can't really under-cook it with that in mind.

Overcooked salmon gets very dry and unpleasant the longer it is cooked so pay attention to the fish, in fact, be one with the fish and don't leave it alone for more than a minute or so. Touch and test...

Medium rare is the best - 130 degrees, medium-well is 140 degrees. Once removed from the oven at 125 degrees it will cook with the residual heat and remain moist and yummy when you serve it.

Creamy Dill Sauce
2 + 2 tablespoons butter 
1 large shallot, minced fine

3 cloves garlic pressed or minced fine

½ cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (juice of ½ large lemon)

2 Tbsp dried dill
1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 cup cream (heavy to half and half, your choice) room temperature

1 cup sour cream, room temperature

¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper

In saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat; once the bubbling stops add shallots and garlic, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add wine, lemon juice, parsley and dill, cook over medium heat until it has reduced by at least half.

Turn down heat to low. Gradually whisk in cream, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes whisking steady, remove from heat.

Whisk in sour cream, and the reserved butter. Set aside until salmon is plated.

Note: When you add the cream to the wine and lemon reduction it will thicken naturally. At this point do not keep it over medium to high heat.  If it stays over high heat it will break and then thin out.

That is why I like to use room temperature cream and sour cream. Simply measure the liquids out into separate measuring cups and leave on the counter for half an hour or so. By using room temperature liquids you avoid the need to keep heating the sauce to warm it up after adding cold liquids.

This sauce should be served only warm, not hot, in fact you could serve it chilled if you wish, simply place it in the fridge for a couple hours before serving.

Serves 8 unless you want to pour it into shooter glasses and huff it.  It is that good…

Caesar Salad

1 large head or 2 small heads romaine lettuce cleaned and ripped into bite size pieces

½ - ¾ cup virgin olive oil (I use a virgin olive oil mixed with grapeseed oil ½ and ½)

2 large cloves garlic, peeled

2 anchovy fillets, crushed to a paste, or 2 Tbsp anchovy paste

1 Tbsp capers

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of ½ a large lemon)

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 yolks from coddled eggs- see how to coddle eggs below

½ tsp Tabasco sauce

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese to garnish
½ cup fresh made croutons
Salt to taste (not really needed)

Crush the garlic cloves and capers into a paste in a bowl using the back of a spoon or use a small food processor, or you can use a kitchen mortar and pestle, I use my garlic press; it’s your choice, the possibilities to mash things are endless!  

Add anchovies, the Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, egg yolks, lemon juice and pepper.

Whisk in oil until thoroughly combined and thickened to the consistency you like.  See, no hard and fast rules will impede the construction of the perfect Caesar salad!

Add ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese and whisk again until combined. 

Place the lettuce in a large salad bowl and drizzle the dressing over it and toss thoroughly to coat the leaves well. Top with the last ½ of the Parmesan cheese and croutons if you like dried bread cubes. Serve chilled.

To Make Coddled Eggs: Put room temperature eggs (in the shell) in saucepan of simmering water and simmer 2 minutes. Drain and cool eggs immediately by placing eggs in an ice water bath for 10 minutes. The yolks will be soft and the whites will be white and runny.

A fresh, made-from-scratch Caesar Salad that pays homage to the inventor, Caesar Gardini is a great thing indeed. Served with a grilled seasoned chicken breast is a meal to savour.

For a visit to read about a gaggle of misfits and old crones go to Snowy Palms
Snowy Palms Resort 

With Poutine What's Not To Like? - French fries, cheese curds and gravy mmmmmm...


About 1 pound of russet potatoes per person (yes I said 1 pound) washed, leaving skin on

Fresh cheese curds (about 2 ounces per person) warmed to room temperature (see notes at bottom of page)

Gravy of your choice, brown gravy, chicken gravy, my Almost KFC gravy is awesome (see recipe elsewhere in the Blog) 

Deep fryer oil heated to 275 F

Slice potatoes into french fry size according to your preference.  I use my OXO Good Grips Mandolin Slicer which makes a perfect french fry and does it fast.

Once all the potatoes are sliced place them into a bowl of ice cold water and let soak for one hour.

Drain the water from the potatoes and then spread out on a dry towel and let dry at room temperature for at least one hour. Toss once in a while to get all the fries turned over and well dried. This is important!!! (see notes at bottom of page)

Make your gravy then set aside to keep warm on a low flame.

Place a batch of now dried potato fries into your pre-heated deep fryer set to 275 F to blanch them.  Cook for about 1-2 minutes, until the potatoes are just barely cooked.

Remove the blanched fries from the oil and set aside to cool. Now you may think by looking at them that they will be greasy. Nay, nay. They will be just fine. Trust me. Once all potatoes are blanched, let them cool to room temperature then crank up the heat on the deep fryer to 375 F.

Place a batch of cooled blanched fries into the hot oil and cook until golden brown. Remove from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towel or use a grate to allow them to drain for a few seconds.

Place the hot and drained french fries into a bowl and place the cheese curd on top.

Pour some gravy over top of the cheese and fries.

Now enjoy!!!!!

 Notes at bottom of page:

In this region we can purchase a great tasting packaged gravy mix called Sylvia's Perfect French Fry Gravy and it is frigging great.

I make it according to the package instructions except (you knew there'd be an "except" didn't you?) instead of using water I use a no sodium beef stock, either home made or Campbell's No Salt Added Beef Broth.

Made like this it is fantastic and is easy-peasy.  I have made a demi-glace from scratch for poutine as well and it is beyond great but it takes nearly 2 days to make! So Sylvia's it is and it really is good.

If you can't locate Sylvia's Prefect French Fry Gravy then source what you can or make it from scratch.

Note on room temperature cheese curd: When the cheese curd is at room temperature or warmer it will melt nicely into the poutine utilizing the heat from the gravy and the french fries.  I like the curds melted slightly so I will pop them into the oven for a minute to warm thoroughly, but not melt before adding them to the poutine.

Also use cheese curds and not mozzarella!!! Mozza is for pizza, not poutine. Cheese curds give a great squeaky bite when fresh, hence their nickname - Squeakers.  We love squeakers and use them on lasagna, mac and cheese and other ass-fatteningly great dishes that call for cheese. So take the time to hunt down some squeakers and enjoy the squeak...

Note on drying french fry cut potatoes:  Not rocket science really.  If the fries are dried completely they take on less oil according to urban myth but I do it because it is less likely to boil to oil over the top since the excess water has been removed.  Safety First!!!!