Tag Archives: healthy

Spice-Crusted Salmon

Spice-Crusted Salmon Skewers

Spice-Crusted Salmon

This recipe was prepared in my recent aphrodisiac themed workshops at the J. Paul Getty Museum. The rosy colored salmon is a fish known for its determination, traveling long distances from the sea up rivers and streams to have sex in the very place they were born. It is a sexual powerhouse; perhaps this determination can be passed on to the human consuming it?

2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ pound salmon
juice of 2 lemons
olive oil

In a mortar and pestle, combine the coriander and fennel seeds. Grind until coriander seed is just broken. Transfer seeds to a small bowl, and toss with 2 teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Press the spice mixture into the salmon, evenly coating the flesh side.

Heat a skillet of medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the fish to the hot oil, seed side down, and allow to cook until brown, about 3 minutes. Turn over and cook until just opaque in center, about more 3, more depending on the thickness of the fish. Salmon is done when the inner flesh in no longer transparent.

Transfer salmon to a serving platter, drizzle with lemon juice and serve warm or at room temperature.

(The salmon pictured about was cut into 1 ½-inch pieces, seared, and served as an appetizer.)

Serves 6

photo by Carin Krasner

Carrot and Fennel Salad

carrot and fennel salad

Carrot and Fennel Salad

Though the use of oil and vinegar to dress vegetables dates has been used for thousands of years its origins are untraceable. The word salad comes from the Latin sal (salt) and salata (salted things) and referred to raw vegetables with a dressing of oil, vinegar and salt.

1 fennel bulb
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper
¼ cup lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 large carrots, peeled

In a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil. Set aside.

Use the large holes of the box grater to grate the carrots. Carefully use a mandoline to shave the fennel bulb or slice very thinly with chef’s knife.

Toss together the carrots, fennel bulb with the dressing.

Serves 4

Mussels with Saffron Cream Sauce

mussels with saffron

Mussels with Saffron Cream Sauce

Throughout the centuries saffron has been a symbol of wealth and elegance. Cleopatra used saffron water to keep her skin soft and because she felt it improved her lovemaking skills. Roman Emperor Nero sprinkled the streets with saffron water to honor his return to Rome. Persians considered it a tonic for the heart as it was thought to alleviate melancholy. A spice consisting of the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus, it was introduced into Spain by the Arabs and later cultivated in Mediterranean regions and elsewhere in Europe.

1 large yellow onion, halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
¾ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon black pepper
4 pounds cultivated mussels, rinsed well and debearded
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Thinly slice the onion.

Add oil to a skillet set over medium heat. When hot add onion and until translucent. Add the  saffron and ½ teaspoon salt and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

Add wine and bring to a boil, then stir in cream, pepper, remaining salt, and mussels. Cook, covered, checking after 8 minutes and discarding any mussels that remain unopened. Transfer opened mussels to soup bowls with a slotted spoon.

Stir parsley into broth, pour over mussels and serve with warm baguette. (Garnish with lemon wedges if you’d like.)

Serves 6

Scallops with Green Herb Sauce

scallops with green herb sauce

Scallops with Green Herb Sauce

Legend has it that the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, was carried to earth on the shell of a scallop. Thanks to this, scallops have enjoyed an aphrodisiac reputation since antiquity. 

For the scallops:
2 pounds dry sea scallops
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons olive oil or chipotle avocado oil *
salt and pepper

For the herb sauce:
1 cup olive oil or chipotle avocado oil *
1 cup parsley, chopped
1/3 cup chives, chopped
1/4 cup drained capers, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano, chopped
1/2 teaspoon tarragon, chopped
1/3 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper

Make the herb sauce by mixing all ingredients together and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Add butter and oil to a large saute pan set on high heat.

Salt and pepper the scallops and, when the oil is hot, gently add to the pan making sure they are not touching each other. Sear for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side – they should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center.

Serve with the green herb sauce and warm baguette.

* If you’re looking for a little kick, substitute olive oil for Avocare chipotle avocado oil. The smokiness of the chile releases endorphins which can add another level of heat to the game plan. Plus Avocare produces extra-virgin, cold-pressed, GMO-free certified avocado oils. That’s pretty sexy for Valentine’s Day, or any day!

Serves 6