September 16, 2016

Passion Fruit Glazed Salmon With Roasted Vegetables

by Marjan
...The passion continues! Succulent, exotic, flavorful, passion fruit glazed salmon with roasted vegetables dressed in southwestern influenced gremolata is sure to tantalize your tasted buds begging for more! There is no room for additional flavor in this recipe! It is jammed packed with savory cilantro, jalapeño, lime, passion fruit and garlic to make an ordinary meal extraordinary. Intense with flavor, tang, and texture this roasted salmon with vegetables is healthy and easy to prepare.

Recently, I shared with you my recipe for Passion Fruit Cream Pie. This week, I've paired passion fruit as a glaze to dress up salmon with enough flavor and heat to make this fish exotic, succulent, delicious and out of this world unique! Certainly, my passion fruit glaze recipe can be used with any white fish of your choice, such as tilapia, trout, and sole.

From start to finish, this recipe will take less than hour. Basic ingredients needed are: salmon, zucchini, cauliflower, passion fruit, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, heirloom tomatoes and lime. Easy, fast, bursting with flavor, I guarantee you will want to make this delicious meal over and over again. However, passion fruit is in season now and will not be for long. Therefore, stock up on this delicious fruit by extracting the juice and freezing it to enjoy all year long. I use freezer Ziplock bags and store one cup portions to be used through out the year in desserts, as a marinade for chicken, and of course as a delicious glaze on any fish.

As summer comes to end, enjoy all the light, healthy, robust, sweet flavors of this season...
Looking forward to Autumn!


Serves 4-6

Half of one whole salmon; deboned
2 zucchini; cut in quarters
1/2 of whole cauliflower florets
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
quality extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons organic butter
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
4 garlic cloves-minced
1 jalapeño; seeds removed and finely chopped
4 limes; zest and juice
1/2 cup heirloom tomato; chopped into quarters
1 cup passion fruit juice (seeds and pulp); remove seeds if preferred. I personally love the crunch!
1 tablespoon of honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place vegetables on a baking sheet; sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil over vegetables and roast for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, reduce honey and passion fruit juice from 1 cup to 1/3 cup over medium low heat. This step can be completed ahead of time.
In a small bowl, combine chopped cilantro, minced garlic, lime zest and juice, chopped jalapeño, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and black pepper. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, toss, and set aside.
Place salmon on a well greased baking sheet. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste; drizzle with olive oil to cover and bake in the oven with vegetables for 10 minutes.
Add two tablespoons of cilantro gremolata and 2 tablespoons of butter to passion fruit reduction. Add a little bit more lime juice if glaze is too sweet for your taste. Over medium heat, stir glaze until glossy and thick (3-4 minutes).
Ten minutes after placing fish in the oven, remove fish and spoon glaze to cover salmon completely. Return to oven to finish cooking for another 5 minutes.
To remaining gremolata, add chopped tomatoes and toss with roasted vegetables from oven. Return vegetables to the oven to finish with fish (3-4 minutes).
Serve salmon along with roasted vegetables. Enjoy!


September 2, 2016

What's Your Passion?

by Marjan
For me, it truly is food. Whether it's growing our own, preparing it, cooking it and of course eating it, for me, it is one of life's greatest pleasures. 
"Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it."- Julia Child
When I first met Anja over 13 years ago, we instantly connected over our shared affection for all things related to recipes, cooking, and of course, dinning together in LA! I vividly remember sharing Anja's sentiment for gravitating towards friends with the same passion for food. At that moment, I knew we would be friends for life.
Julia Child said it best: "People who love to eat are always the best people." Indeed!

These days at the ranch, it's all about harvesting passion fruits. The mad scientist in me gladly relishes creatively incorporating this exotic, delicious, tangy, nutritious fruit into our meals and desserts.

Rich in vitamins C, B, and riboflavin, I have used passion fruit as marinate (to flavor and tenderize chicken), sauces, drinks, and dessert. I found adding sugar to this tangy fruit works best; whether its cheesecake, Jello, roulette, lassi, jam, cakes, and pies, I have used both its pulp and juice to serve sensational desserts. Ultimately, the best recipe hands down has been for my Passion Fruit Cream Pie.

Exotic, crunchy, creamy, bursting with sweet and tangy flavor, this beautiful dessert by far has been a crowd favorite. Crunchy amaretto crust, topped with cream and decadently held together with passion fruit gelatin, this pie is unlike anything you have ever had before. Lately, I have a feeling, I'm being invited to parties just so that I can bring dessert! Gladly, because you know I end up with the largest slice!

Share with us your favorite recipes using passion fruit. In a couple of weeks, I will share with you my original recipe for passion fruit glazed roasted salmon. Passion fruit is in season for a short time. Take advantage of this exotic fruit now by extracting and freezing pulp, juice and seeds in Ziplock freezer bags. Meanwhile, give this easy to prepare pie a try. You will be glad you did. Enjoy!

"A party without cake is just a meeting." -Julia Child.

August 19, 2016

Tea Time Entertaining

by Marjan

Here in southern California, summer days in the month of August appear shorter and seamlessly weave into cooler summer nights. The serenity and comforting evening breeze of nightfall makes it easy to forgive the triple digit temperatures. Even though it is hot,  I still love to entertain.

Wanting to keep my meals cool and refreshing, I enjoy inviting my friends when the sun is still shining bright but the weather is beginning to cool down promising a glorious sunset. Who doesn't like tea time and petite sandwiches? Light and refreshing finger foods require minimal use of a hot stove or oven. To keep it easy and enjoyable for myself, I prepare everything in advance and serve delicious bites on beautiful platters to tantalize my guest's taste buds.

From hot, cold, spiked tea or coffee to icy homemade lemonade, I cool everyone's body temperature upon arrival and keep them happy and inspired with delicious, beautiful decorated food.

My cucumber sandwiches are always a crowd favorite. Toasted pumpernickel or challah bread, cheese, herbs and cucumbers presented in a simple, elegant bite begging for seconds. Try to have just one! Heirloom tomatoes from our garden is a nice addition to cucumber sandwiches as it elevates each bite with an additional dimension of sweet yet tangy burst of flavor.

Easy to prepare, healthy, delightful both visually and to the palate, these petite sandwiches will please all your guests!

Hope your summer parties are filled with cheer and delicious bites!
For more elegant, delicious, entertaining recipes with cucumber and herbs, check out some of our most popular posts: vegetable napoleon sandwiches and feta cheese rolls.

Challah or pumpernickel bread
1 English cucumber
4 Persian cucumbers
Any soft cheese of your choice such as goat, cream cheese, or blue cheese
heirloom tomatoes
2-3 radishes

Cut out bite size bread using any shape or simple squares with a knife or cookie cutter utensils.
Toast in a preheated oven for 7-8 minutes at 350 degrees.

Using a potato peeler, remove sections of English cucumber's outer peel to create strips. Using a flat knife, cut even slices of both English and Persian cucumbers into 1/8" each.

Using larger heirloom tomatoes, also cut into equal size of cucumbers.

Chop basil and blend in with goat or cream cheese.  For variety, blue cheese may be used, in which case basil is not necessary.

Place one slice of English cucumber on top of toasted bread. I prefer to use decorative frosting dispenser tips to spread cheese on top of cucumber followed by either tomatoes or Persian cucumber. Then top it with a dab of cheese, smaller heirloom tomatoes, or radish.  Be creative, using different varieties of layers, cheeses, herbs, and vegetables!



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