Spicy Salmon Cucumber Bites

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Want to impress your pals with an elegant yet simple hors d’oeuvre? Look no further than these spicy salmon cucumber bites! If you’ve already got some cooked salmon and mayo in your fridge, you can whip these omega-3-fatty-acid-packed appetizers in a jiffy.

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Here’s what to gather to make 16 bites:

  • ¼ cup Paleo mayonnaise
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon Tabasco
  • ½ pound cooked salmon
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and cut crosswise into ¾-inch thick slices
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 bunch chive sprigs (optional garnish)

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Day 20 of Whole30 Eats

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Another day, another dollar, right? That’s what I keep reminding myself during my workweek.

Tonight, I didn’t get hungry until around 2:00 a.m. (since I had stuffed myself with lamb burger when I woke up). For my “lunch,” I’d packed some sous vide chicken breasts with shredded carrots and nuked frozen broccoli. Since it was kind of bland and low-fat, I ate it with liberal amounts of Primavera salsa and homemade guacamole.

For snack, I ate what I’ve eaten all week: raw veggies, Aubergine dip, coconut flakes, and macadmia nuts.

"Dinner" at work (~7:00 a.m.) was a leftover box of shredded roasted chicken thighs and sautéed kale.

When I returned home, we didn’t have to take our older rugrat to school because of the MLK holiday, but I was a busy bee nonetheless.

Before going to bed, I seasoned and vacuum sealed some Wild King Salmon fillets…

…and I also seasoned (with fajita and taco seasoning, salt, and pepper) and vacuum sealed a grass fed top sirloin steak. The plan was to pop this hunk ‘o meat in the SousVide Supreme after I finished cooking my sous vide salmon.

I stored all my vacuum packed goodies in the fridge, filled my SousVide Supreme with water, and set the temperature to 125 F. Then, I stumbled to my bedroom and got some sleep.

When I woke up at 5:00 p.m., I prepped some veggies (carrots, butternut squash, and onions) for roasting and popped them in the oven (400 F convection roast).

About 25 minutes later, I dumped the salmon fillet packets into my preheated SousVide Supreme and set the timer for 20 minutes.

Then, I washed a bunch of chard and beet greens and sautéed them with thinly sliced shallots in some melted lard.

When the salmon was finished cooking, so were the roasted veggies (~45 minutes total).

 

Here’s my dinner plate:

After I removed the salmon from the SousVide Supreme, I cranked up the heat to 130 F and I plopped in the top sirloin steak I’d vacuum sealed in the morning. I’m going to let the steak bathe in the hot water for 24 hours and then sear it off for dinner tomorrow.

While I practiced some deadlifts in the garage, Fitbomb helped pack my meals for work.

And then I set off into the night. (Sounds more exciting when I put it that way, doesn’t it?)

I was hungry a few hours later (at 10:30 p.m.) so I snacked on the macadamia nuts and a small container of sauerkraut (not the whole jar).

Sounds like a wack snack combination, but that’s what I ate.

Sous Vide Wild King Salmon

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I’ve made sous vide salmon with frozen wild Sockeye fillets before with pretty good results but tonight was my first attempt with fresh Wild King salmon. I like the taste of Wild King salmon much better than Sockeye but I’ve always been a little leery about vacuum sealing fresh fillets with olive oil because:

  1. I thought my sealer would smush the fillets.
  2.  My sealer would suck up all the olive oil.
  3. It takes too much time to vacuum seal my own fillets.

Luckily, I found a post on Tiny Urban Kitchen (love her!) that addressed all my concerns and I ended up with restaurant-quality sous vide salmon fillets without too much effort.

Here’s what I assembled:

  • 2 lb center cut Wild King salmon fillet, cut into 5 fillets
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Here’s what I did:

Before I came home from work, I asked Fitbomb to freeze the olive oil in small containers so they would be solid when I vacuum sealed the salmon a couple hours later. I asked for an extra container (I only had 5 fillets) just in case I spilled one.

When I returned home, I cut the fillet into five portions and seasoned them with Kosher salt and pepper.

I individually vacuum-sealed them with a frozen cube of olive oil and a sprig of thyme. The olive oil melted pretty quickly so next time, I’ll  freeze the oil for longer than 2 hours. Also, I used the gentle mode on my vacuum sealer so it wouldn’t smash the fillets.

Then, I placed my packets in a bowl of ice and popped it in the fridge. I filled up my SousVide Supreme and set the temperature to 125 F and went to bed. (If I’m tossing the salmon in cold salads, I set the temp at 140 F for 40 min.)

When I woke up, I dumped the salmon packets into my preheated SousVide Supreme and let them bathe for 20 minutes.

My in-laws don’t like medium-rare salmon so I seared two of the fillets on both sides (~ 2 minutes each) in some lard over high heat. The flesh side stuck to the pan and makes for an ugly piece of fish. I guess I need to invest in a kitchen torch…

Fitbomb and I like our salmon cooked medium-rare so I just seared the skin side of our fillets.

I’m happy with the results I got cooking the salmon at 125 F. The fillet was super moist and almost custardy. Plus, my picky in-laws ate it up with no complaints. yay! Brownie points for me!

No sous vide machine? Hack one yourself and start making some sous vide goodness at home.

Quick Sous Vide Salmon Dinner For Company

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Tonight, our good friends came over to unload us of some of the crap we’ve been piling up in our house for the last few years. To thank them for taking our garbage, I made them dinner:

seared sous vide sockeye salmon (15 minutes at 130 F),

cauliflower fried “rice,”


braised green beans with tomatoes and onions,


and spicy sautéed mushrooms with anchovy.

Here’s my plate (including roasted carrots with aged balsamic vinegar):

Spinach, Squash & Salmon for Breakfast

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'Member how I posted about making salmon in my SousVide Supreme for lunch last week? How I just stuck the pre-sealed bag of fish right into the hot water without any prep? I wanted to replicate it tonight to see if last week’s lunch results weren’t a fluke. 

While I slept the day away, my loyal minion filled and preheated my SousVide Supreme to 125 F. When I finally dragged my ass out of bed in the early evening, I trudged over to my freezer, grabbed the big bag of Costco salmon,

 


took out two vacuum-sealed filets, and dumped them in the water bath. I set the timer for 25 minutes, and turned to work on my nuke ‘n bake roasted acorn squash. 

When the time beeped, I fished the filets out of the bath, took them out of the plastic and patted ‘em dry with paper towels. I sprinkled both sides with salt and pepper. 

I heated my cast iron skillet on high and put in ~ 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.  Once the oil was smoking hot, I seared off both sides of the salmon filets (~1 minute on each side). 

After removing the fish, I turned the heat down to medium (because the pan is SMOKING!), and I threw in a ½ lb of pre-washed organic baby spinach. I seasoned the greens with salt and pepper and stirred until the leaves had wilted. 

I’ve discovered that sautéing veggies in the cast iron skillet right after I sear off some meat or fish is great; there’s lots of seasoned fat in the pan that infuses the greens with yumminess. (Plus, I’m too lazy to wash the skillet.)

Last step: I plated the salmon, sautéed spinach, and acorn squash and squeezed some lemon on the fish. 

How was it? Pretty good considering it only took 30 minutes and I only had one skillet to wash by hand — everything else went straight in the dishwasher. Cooking’s fun, but cleaning’s a pain in the ass. There’s a reason why people dream about becoming chefs and not dishwashers.

Star Noodle, Take Three (Lahaina, HI)

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I’m happy to report that we ate at Star Noodle three times during our stay in West Maui and we didn’t eat noodles once!  We definitely have a crush on this restaurant so we chose it as our last dinner on the island.

I spied Sheldon Simeon in the kitchen (I don’t think he was there our other two times) and wondered if dinner would be even better tonight given his presence. I was happy to say that it was, and the platings were especially nice and polished.

Tonight, the new dishes we ordered were:

Spicy Namasu (cucumber, daikon, and carrot with a spicy, Vietnamese-y vinaigrette):

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Charbroiled Miso Salmon (alas, a tad over-cooked for my taste):

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The oldies but goodies we ordered again were the Ahi Avo, the Rib Eye, Yakitori, Steamed Pork Buns, and Brussels Sprouts.

Fitbomb liked the food so much that he purchased Star Noodle shirts and a baseball cap.  Now he can look like an official Star Noodle waiter!