Saturday, December 12, 2015

Rosemary Shortbread and (BONUS recipe!) Honey-Lime Salmon with Noodles

Rosemary-flecked shortbread cookies
These delicately sweetened rosemary shortbread cookies come from Melissa Clark at the New York Times. I halved the recipe and made them much thinner, using a spring form pan with a center hole. The hint of rosemary marries well with the sugar, honey and salt to make a not-too-sweet cookie that would make an elegant addition to a holiday cookie plate.  Very nice for an afternoon tea.  Check out Melissa Clark's recipe if you want a thicker, more substantial cookie.

Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup cold butter (don't substitute!)
1 teaspoon dark honey (though any will do)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the flour, sugar, rosemary and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.  Cut the butter into 1/4-1/2 inch cubes, add to the food processor and pulse several times until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.  Pulse a few more times until some of the crumbs begin to come together--but don't over pulse.  The mixture will be very (very!) crumbly.  Place this crumbly mixture into a 9-inch spring form pan with a center hole or a loaf pan.  (If you use a loaf pan, it might be worth using parchment paper to line the short sides and bottom so that you can lift it out easily when finished.) Press the crumb down firmly and evenly all around.  Bake for about 30 minutes until the edges are nicely browned.  Cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cut into cookie-sized pieces.  Be sure to cut the shortbread before it cools completely. These keep in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.  Makes about 18 cookies.

Honey-Lime Salmon with Noodles

Honey-Lime Salmon with Noodles

This recipe comes from Hattie Ellis's wonderful cookbook, Honey, which I reviewed in a previous post (here's the link!).  This was a hit with Robert's sister, Felicity, who was visiting for dinner (Robert liked it, too!).  The honey-lime glaze for the salmon has an Asian flair to it.  The original recipe calls for sugar snap peas or snow peas.  I didn't have them on hand, so just used some regular, frozen peas.  This is an easy and delicious mid-week meal, which is also fancy enough for company.

4 salmon steaks (we used fillets)
1 package of flat rice noodles (you could also use fettucini or spaghetti if that's what you have)
2 carrots
2 ounces sugar snap peas or snow peas (I used about 1/2 cup frozen peas)
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
squeeze of lime juice
4 wedges of lime to serve

Honey-Lime Glaze
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
juice of one lime
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons honey (the lighter summer honey works well with this)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
pinch of chili flakes (optional, but nice!)

Serves 4.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine all of the glaze ingredients and stir well until the honey completely dissolves.  Line a baking sheet large enough to fit the salmon with aluminum foil or parchment paper.  Place the salmon on the sheet and pour the glaze over it.  Place in the oven for 5 minutes, then spoon the glaze over the salmon and return to the oven for 5 more minutes, spooning the thickening glaze over the salmon one more time about a minute before the end of cooking time.

Follow the package directions for cooking the noodles.  Peel the carrots and cut into thin matchsticks.  Steam the carrots for about 3 minutes.  Add the peas and steam for another few minutes until both the carrots and peas are barely cooked--you want the carrots to still have a little crunch.

Toss the cooked noodles with the carrots, peas, cilantro, sesame oil and a squeeze of lime.  Divide the noodles among four bowls and top with the salmon, spooning extra glaze over all.  Serve with lime wedges.  Some might like a little extra soy sauce and chili flakes on the table, too.

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