Monday, April 4, 2016

Gordon Ramsay's Teryaki Salmon

Thank goodness Australia has Costco! As much as I love this land down under, I also love me some American-sized grocery shopping..

I have become grateful for the little conveniences these trips to Costco provide. For example, the suggested weight size on the side of a box of diapers or "nappies" is in pounds, not just kilograms...very helpful for an American who is horrible at metric system conversions.

I'm grateful for a two child shopping cart or "trolley" (with lower rack) that is enjoyable to push (at normal grocery stores, the carts go side-to-side and front-to-back making steering them an absolute mess! AND, there is no lower rack for those paper towels/toilet paper/diapers, etc!). BUT at Costco, the shopping carts are a dream!

Finally, I'm grateful for a big parking lot (most inner suburbs in Australia lack great parking).

So...every few weeks at Costco, I cheerfully steer my children around that big warehouse, picking up (among many, many, many other items and free samples), fresh salmon and lamb chops.

We'll talk lamb chops later. Today: the salmon. I found an easy and delicious teriyaki salmon recipe by Gordon Ramsay that is hard to mess up. As long as you have 20 minutes to 2 hours to allow the salmon to marinate, you'll be golden. It has become my go-to these days...just sauté some veggies on the side, cook up some rice and you have a healthy meal for the whole family.

Gordon Ramsay's Teryaki Salmon


2 cm piece of fresh root ginger, finely sliced/chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
4-6 salmon fillets
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Put the chopped garlic and ginger into a small bowl and mix with the soy sauce, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, and a drizzle of olive oil. Set aside.

2. Place the salmon fillets in a dish, season with salt and pepper, and pour the dressing over them. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the fridge to marinate for up to 2 hours, but at least 20 minutes.

3. Place a large frying pan on medium heat and add a dash of oil. When hot, add the salmon, skin side down (mine are always skinless), reserving the marinade. Cook for 2 minutes, then pour in a few spoonfuls of the reserved marinade, and cook for a minute or so, until the salmon fillets are opaque halfway up the sides. Turn them over and cook on the other side for 3-4 minutes, basting with the sauce. Add a splash of water if the sauce is too thick.

(Sometimes instead OF STEP 3, I put the marinated salmon fillets in a hot pan and I do NOT spoon the extra marinade over it, and they have turned out great. I just sear and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes).

4. If you want, you can serve the salmon fillets with or without the extra cooked sauce left in the pan. I find I do not need any extra sauce, but you should try it both ways! Serve with sautéed veggies and rice.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Greek Cucumber Feta Salad

Another beautiful Mediterranean side dish with fresh herbs and feta to bring it alive. No picture yet because it was almost all gone!

Greek Cucumber Feta Salad (inspired by Jimmy Grants)


2 English cucumbers, peeled, and cut into 1" chunks
1 cup of cooked brown rice or barley
Roughly 1/2 cup of feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup finely chopped mint
Juice of half a lemon
1 1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste


1. Peel and cut up cucumbers into 1" chunks, and place in a medium bowl. Add the cooked and cooled rice/barley, crumbled feta cheese, chopped cilantro and mint, and stir to combine.

2. In a small bowl, whisk with a fork the lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt. Pour over the cucumber salad, and combine. Taste and add more salt, or feta cheese if needed.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

A New Year, A New Land, A New Diet: Greek Grain Salad

It has been a year since I last posted. We had quite the year. Three moves, including one international. And, a new baby. Our fourth baby. We have been busy!

We are living on the other side of the world in Melbourne, Australia, for one year. It has been a beautiful, charming year full of trips to the beach and to the kangaroo-dotted Aussie countryside, and lots of good quality time with my husband's family.

I have learned what morning tea is (a break around mid-morning for tea/coffee and a snack). And, I have learned to recycle like my life depends on it (small trash cans here!) and to not speed when driving (speed cameras are everywhere!).

We have also experienced the Aussie food scene...cafes and bakeries on every corner. Fresh produce. Much healthier eating than in the US. And, a much wider assortment of authentic Mediterranean and Asian restaurants thanks to the millions of immigrants from those areas of the world.

I am learning to cook a whole different way. And, enjoy food a whole new way.

Before our time is up here, I plan to post some of the meals and snacks that have found their way into our home. First up, a Greek grain salad inspired by our favorite Greek restaurants: Hellenic Republic and Jimmy Grants by the same Chef/Owner.

This grain salad is a perfect side dish for a crowd and is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Hellenic Republic's Cypriot Grain Salad


1 bunch cilantro, chopped finely
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped finely
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 cup freekah (or quinoa or cracked wheat)
1/2 cup Puy lentils (I used green lentils)
2 tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp. toasted slivered almonds
2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp. baby capers
1/2 cup currants
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste
Optional: 1 pomegranate, deseeded to serve (I did not include in mine)

Yogurt Topping:
1 cup thick plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. honey

1. Cook the freekah/quinoa and lentils to package directions until both just cooked. Drain well and allow to cool.

2. Mix the yogurt, ground cumin and honey until combined, and refrigerate until serving.

3. In a medium bowl, place the finely chopped cilantro, parsley, red onion, freekah/quinoa, lentils, toasted nuts and seeds, capers, currants, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well and season with salt to taste.

4. Place in a serving dish and top with cumin-honey yogurt and (optional) pomegranate seeds.