Archive for January, 2012

January 27, 2012

OXO Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer

I’ve always wanted one of those fancy stainless steel professional mandolines. Possibly owning one of those would make me a better chef? I guess not. But it would make tedious slicing jobs easier, as I stand miserably hunched over the kitchen counter trying my best to make perfectly even apple slices for a tart. Well, no more! I just bought this hand-held slicer from OXO and I think it’s solved my thinly sliced cucumber problem, and for only 15 bucks. With 3 thickness settings, this kitchen tool is not only affordable, but gets the job done fast and perfectly. I can now tackle Laura Calder’s Shaved Vegetable Salad fearlessly. I’ve seen mandolines for as much as $300. I think my $15 purchase was quite a find. Look how nicely it sliced this cucumber…

Truth be told, I’m a bit of a klutz. The first to trip on a crack in the sidewalk, walk into a wall, bang my knee on the coffee table, and cut myself with this damn mandoline! It’s very sharp. You’ve been warned. You can find this at your local housewares store. I purchased mine at Bed Bath & Beyond.

January 24, 2012

Pan Roasted Salmon with Tomato Feta Salad

Pan Roasted Salmon with Tomato & Feta Salad

I rarely get to cook salmon at home. I could eat it every night if that was an option, but the old ball and chain hates it. So when work had him away overnight, I jumped at the chance to make this dish for my daughter and I. Luckily she really enjoys most fish, so smiles were all around with this meal. I’ve never been able to master grilling salmon. If anyone has a trick to keep it from sticking to the grill, please send it along. I know the rules of cleaning and oiling the hot grill… then rubbing the fish with oil and when you put it on the grill leave it alone. I fight my desire to move it around, but invariably it sticks. Not pretty. This pan roasting technique is fairly infallible. A quick sear on one side, flip it over and throw the whole pan in the oven to finish cooking.

I had some whole wheat pita in the house, so we went the Greek route with this meal. I love to chop up lots of tomatoes and herbs, and mix it with crumbled feta. The tomatoes release their juices and it all comes together as a nice little topping for the salmon.  Put the whole thing in a warm pita with some hummus and you’ve got a really great dinner.


  • Fresh salmon fillets, skin removed
  • Drizzle olive oil
  • Kosher salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Rub the salmon fillets all over with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and add a few tablespoons of olive oil. Place the salmon skin side up in the pan. Restrain yourself and don’t touch it. Let it sear for about 3 minutes. The fish will start to release itself. Flip it over, it should be nicely browned. Place the whole pan in the preheated oven for another 5-7 minutes or until the salmon is cooked to your liking. That’s it.


  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt & pepper to taste
  • Hearty drizzle of olive oil

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss together with enough olive oil to coat. Set aside for 15min in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to come together. Enjoy!

*If my daughter wasn’t eating this, I’d add about a 1/4 cup of chopped kalamata olives. She hates olives, what can I do? You can also serve this tomato salad as a starter with some olives and bread.

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