Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

The other day, I spent several hours at The Cortland Free Library, catching up on my magazine reading. Quite awhile ago, I let subscriptions run out to those magazines I could read at the library - ok - I admit a small slip up with Country Living Magazine when Amazon offered me a year for $5.00.  Anyhow - I now read most of my favorite magazines at the library.

In Florida, there were many things that we loved about the St. Petersburg area.  Sadly, I would say that the magazine selection in their libraries was not one of them.  There were several branches that I tried, and not a one of them could come close to my small, hometown library.  I've been spoiled!  

So - there I sat at the Cortland Library, pencil and paper in hand in order to jot down any interesting websites, any interesting book reviews, and any recipes that caught my eye - I always find those!

The catch of the day, so to speak, is the recipe copied below from House Beautiful - (yes, they have great recipes!)  I love salmon!  Missing reheated salmon in the faculty room was even mentioned at my retirement party (sarcastically???)  I'm eager to give this recipe a try - it says that it ensures that the salmon will not be overcooked - almost always one of my fatal mistakes.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Gabrielle Hamilton's Salmon With Creamy Lemon Rice

"The preparation is so scarily simple—salt-and-pepper cooking at its most literal. It's also imperative not to overcook it. Salmon turns from silky and succulent and luscious to chalky, bitter, and lifeless in the span of a minute. The parchment seals in all the juices, and when you open it a cucumber-fresh scent escapes that may well cause you to shudder—but with utter pleasure."

Ingredients for the Salmon, serves 2-4 1 pound whole salmon fillet, pin bones removed, neatly trimmed, and skin intact
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 generous pinches coarse kosher salt
6 full grinds of a pepper mill
1 sheet parchment paper (brown is not recommended)
Directions for the Salmon
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Lay a sheet of parchment on a baking sheet and place the salmon fillet skin-side down in the center.
3. Thoroughly coat the fillet and an inch or so of the surrounding parchment with the olive oil, creating a slick and glossy surface.
4. Generously and evenly season the fillet with salt and pepper. Hold your hands about eight inches above the fish when seasoning for more even distribution, thus avoiding salty or peppery patches.
5. Gather the parchment by both long sides and bring them together, folding over two or three small folds with a sharp crease, until you have a neat packet. Then fold the open ends two or three times in the same way, tucking them under the fish, thus creating a tightly sealed packet from which no steam can escape during cooking.
6. Place the packet on the baking sheet on the middle rack of the preheated oven and cook for exactly 10 minutes. Remove and, in good light, check the fish's color by peeking inside the parchment without fully opening it. It should be pale pink and opaque at the edges with a broad swath of still-translucent orange flesh down the center.
7. Return to the oven for about five more minutes, or until the rare-looking swath has narrowed to a half-inch stripe. Don't overcook it!
8. Remove the salmon from the oven. Very carefully, open the packet and release the steam to prevent further cooking.

Ingredients for the Creamy Lemon Rice
2 cups excellent, rich chicken broth
4 large egg yolks
½ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
½ cup frozen peas
1 bunch of scallions, sliced to yield a scant ½ cup of rings
2½ cups cooked rice (day-old is more than fine)
2 generous pinches coarse kosher salt, or to taste

Directions for the Creamy Lemon Rice
1. Bring the chicken broth to a simmer on the stove top in a stainless-steel pot and keep it simmering as you gather the rest of the ingredients. It will slightly reduce and intensify in these few minutes.
2. In a stainless-steel or glass heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then add the lemon juice and whisk until blended.
3. Add a ladleful of hot stock to the egg-lemon mixture and whisk thoroughly.
4. While whisking, slowly add the hot egg-lemon mixture into the pot. Stir or whisk gently over medium-low heat while the liquid ever so slightly thickens and changes color from bright to pale yellow, about two minutes. Add the peas and the scallions, which will turn bright green in the first few seconds as they blanch in the hot liquid. Stir gently until the peas are warmed through, then add the cooked rice. Stir thoroughly, then turn off the heat and let rest, covered for a minute or two. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
5. To serve, spoon the soupy rice onto a platter with a rim. Place the salmon on top and gently pull it apart into large hunks. Leave the skin stuck in the parchment.
6. Taking care not to spill, lift the parchment and pour the accumulated juices over the salmon on the rice.


  1. Oh, yummy!!! I have to try that, too!

  2. I love salmon too and the rice sounds yummy!! Clarice-who is thrilled that you abhor making salads ;-p

  3. That sounds divine, and I can't wait for your full report!

  4. Love Love Love the library. Too many magazines (and recipes), not enough time.

    1. Thanks for visiting! I love my library - I feel so at home there!