Growing up on the prairie in North Dakota, one rarely had the opportunity for seafood. If you did, it was usually frozen. Really frozen. And once thawed it smelled and tasted fishy. Really fishy. My dad didn't like fish and my mom didn't like to cook fish. Combining really frozen and fishy with fish hating parents and you get...a child who despises eating fish. Fast forward 25 years and I meet the Trophy Wife who hailed from Door County which is essentially surrounded by water...and fish. She LOVES fish. (Sometimes I suspect more than me!) She ate fish. Lots of fish. So, I was FORCED to learn how to cook fish. Subsequently I now have three women in my life who all LOVE fish. so I cook fish. Lot's of fish. I even eat fish. Sometimes. Miracles do happen. Really.

Ingredients
  • 1 Large Fresh Salmon Fillet
  • 2 Lemons
  • 2 Oranges
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tsp Course Salt (Less if you desire.)

Preparation
  1. Juice 1 lemon and 1 orange. Mix the juice with 1 teaspoon of salt. Place the salmon with the juice mixture in a plastic bag for about 15 minutes or covered shallow pan with the flesh face down in the refrigerator.
  2. Remove salmon from bag and place on lined baking sheet. Rub both sides with olive oil and remaining salt. Place salmon skin side down.
  3. Slice 1/3 of remaining lemon and orange and place slices on salmon flesh. Pierce lemon and orange slices so juices flow out.
  4. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and serve with orange and lemon chunks to be squeezed over individual servings.

Nutrition
3 ounces = about 450 calories

Notes
  1. Please use fresh salmon.
 
 
I first tasted hummus at a Middle Eastern restaurant in Minneapolis called Jerusalem's several decades ago. It was delightful; all buttery and lemony. So I decided it would be a good thing to have at home. I tried several versions of store bought hummus including a local variety made by Holy Land in northeast Minneapolis. It is quite good, but none of them really seemed to be the right flavor for me. Perhaps it is the Scandinavian boy from the prairie who grew up on blandness? Not! I think it really is that I wanted something smooth with a little tang that could be spread on bread as a sandwich or used as a dip for chips or pita. Something versatile and yummy. So, for years I made batches of hummus. Unfortunately, my kids really don't like hummus, so I've had to eat a lot of it on my quest for perfection. Today, I got it and I'm going to share it with you: My Perfect Hummus!
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 large lemon juiced (little less than 1/4 cup)
  • 1 15 oz can drained garbanzo beans
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 T olive oil

Preparation
  1. Put the tahini and lemon juice in a food processor and turn on for at 1-2 minutes until very smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides of the work bowl at the half way point.
  2. Add the drained garbanzo beans and the finely diced or crushed garlic. Blend another 1-2 minutes until smooth.
  3. While the food processor is on, slowly drizzling the olive oil into the mixture.
  4. Spoon out and garnish with a bit of olive oil and paprika. (Cumin and other spices can be added at the end if you wish.)

Nutrition
1 Tablespoon = 25 calories.
Notes
The two secrets to this hummus are:
  • The initial tahini lemon juice mixture.
  • The blending order of the ingredients. We are treating it like we are making mayonnaise or a dressing by emulsifying the olive oil slowly at the end into the acidic mixture.

Try it on our Honey Wheat Bread toasted. You will love it!
 
 
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We have some wonderful friends that we love to share time with at a great little restaurant called Black Sheep Pizza in Minneapolis. They have a dish of warm olives that is absolutely fabulous to munch on while you down a cold local brew or a lovely glass of wine. But be careful as the olives are hot and you could burn your tongue. So take your time, let the olives steep in the oil, mind your tongue and share them slowly just like you would a great friendship! Here is my version inspired by good friends and Black Sheep.
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Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Mixed Olives (Castelvetrano, Nicoise, Kalamata)
  • 1/8 Cup Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 To 4 Garlic Cloves
  • Rosemary Sprig
  • Pinch Of Salt

Preparation
  1. Combine all ingredients in pan and heat over medium until boiling.
  2. Serve warm in a dish that will retain heat.
  3. Enjoy with cheese and cold beer or wine.

Servings
Multiple 1 oz servings.

Nutrition
About 10 to 12 calories per olive.

Tips
  • You can use pitted or unpitted olives, but the olives with pits will take longer to cool which could be a plus if you want to savor them.
  • Other herbs work well too.
  • Alternatively, this recipe can be cooked in an oven. They will take about 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Longer at a lower temp.
  • Stuffing the olives with small rectangles of cheese after cooking is a superb addition. I used a light Gouda in this photo.