Archive for the ‘Salmon’ Category


Beulach Ban falls

A few weekends ago, I visited Cape Breton with my sister and my friend Alex.  The colours were just past their peak, although still vibrant.  We stopped a few places along the Cabot Trail to take in all her splendour.  The skyline trail led us through spruce groves before opening to a magnificent view of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  At MacIntosh Brook, we strolled through maple forests beside a babbling brook to a waterfall. We ventured down a small gravel road to the beautiful Beulach Ban Falls.  Ever searching for the perfect picnic spot, we lunched at the rocky headland on Green Cove, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  At Franey, we climbed like mountain goats to a small look-out perched on a steep cliff, with lovely views of the Clyburn River Canyon and the coast.

Towards the Atlantic Ocean at Freney

We spent the night in Pleasant Bay, a lovely fishing village halfway around the Cabot Trail.  Having dallied to arrive, the only restaurant still open was the Pleasant Bay motel.  The dining room was modest, but the kitchen was a delight with delicious, yet simple Maritime fare.  We each started with a bowl of chowder – creamy with a generous serving of seafood.  La piece de resistance, however, was the fish and chips: crispy batter around succulent haddock, cooked to perfection served with tangy coleslaw and home fries.

Since visiting Pleasant Bay, I have tried to recreate my taste experience.  I’m still brainstorming on how best to create homemade fish and chips without a deep-fryer, but with winter descending, this has given me the perfect excuse to experiment with chowders.  Inspired by cans in the pantry, this corn and salmon chowder was hearty, yet refreshing with the added dill.

Salmon and corn chowder

Salmon and Corn Chowder

(serves 6 bowls)


2 tablespoons butter

2 onions, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

4 potatoes, peeled and diced

2 cans kernel corn, drained and rinsed

4 cups chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 1/2 cups milk

2 tablespoons flour

Generous dash of tobasco

2 cans of salmon, drained and finely mashed (I like my soup infused with salmon – if you wanted to let the corn shine through, one can would suffice)

1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped plus more for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste


Saute the onions and garlic in the butter.  Stir in the potatoes and saute for another five minutes, and then stir in the broth, corn, and bay leaves.  Simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Throughly mix the flour into the milk before adding it to the chowder base. Return the soup to a simmer and allow to thicken, about five minutes.  Add the tobasco, salmon, dill, and salt and pepper. Adjust the seasoning to your taste.  Serve, garnished with extra chopped dill.  Delicious served with a crusty piece of bread!

– Catherine

Read Full Post »

The first time I tried a smoked salmon and fresh basil frittata, it was made for me. I had never thought of the combination of basil with smoked salmon – usually I associate parsley, or dill – so this seemed unusual. With the first bite, however, I realized that they go very well together.

The great thing about this meal is that it is very simple, and yet very elegant. It can easily be made for an impromptu celebration – like celebrating the arrival of Saturday, or your friend for a spontaneous brunch.

This summer, we had an abundance of basil in our garden so vast that even eating it daily and making about 4 pounds of pesto to store in the freezer did not completely eliminate it. What a tomato-and-basil summer it was in Toronto!

This recipe comes from Donna Hay’s wonderful collection.

Ingredients – generously serves 2

-4 eggs, lightly beaten
-1/2 cup milk
-1/3 cup shredded basil
-1/3 cup grated aged cheddar cheese or gruyère
-cracked black pepper
-6-8 slices smoked salmon
-4 toasted slices of your favourite bread


Place the eggs, milk, basil, cheddar and pepper in a bowl and mix to combine.  Pour the mixture into a  frying pan and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until it is almost set.
Place under a hot grill (broiler) for 1 minute or until golden.  Remove from the pan and cut into wedges.  To serve, top with the gravlax, and buttered, toasted bread.

Read Full Post »

I was invited to a potluck Easter supper and offered to bring an appetizer. I had some phyllo pastry leftover from the spanakopita I made last week, so I turned to the Internet for filling inspiration.  Creamy salmon filling repeatedly caught my eye, but I was not entirely satisfied with their recipes.  I suddenly remembered my favourite salmon mousse recipe, and though it would be ideal.

Silver Palate’s salmon mousse is decadent – the type of mousse you lick the bowl clean.  My family has long served this mousse at family potlucks and dinner parties, and it is always a winner.  It simply bursts with salmon flavour. Here, I’ve adjusted the recipe slightly – doubling the dill and onion.  Combined with the flaky phyllo, this salmon mousse just shines!  I’m already looking forward to Mother’s Day – the next time I’ll have an excuse to make this appetizer!

Flaky Phyllo Cups Stuffed with Salmon Mousse

(makes 36 cups)



1 envelope gelatin, unflavoured (I used Knox gelatin, near the Jello in most grocery stores)

1/4 cup water, cold

1/2 cup boiling water

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 small onion, finely grated

1 dash Tabasco sauce

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup dill, finely chopped

2 cans of salmon, drained, skin and bones removed, and finely flaked (or substitute fresh poached salmon)

1 cup whipping cream


8 sheets of phyllo pastry

1/4 cup melted butter



Soften the gelatin in the cold water in a large bowl.  Stir in the boiling water until the gelatin is fully dissolved.  Allow to cool to room temperature (either on its own, or put in freezer for 5 minutes).

Whisk in the mayonnaise, lemon juice, onion, Tabasco, sweet paprika, salt, and dill. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly.

Fold into the salmon.  In a separate bowl, whip the cream.  Fold in thoroughly into salmon mixture.  Transfer to a clean bowl or into individual molds.  Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.


Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly grease 18 mini-muffin or tart tins with the butter.  Set aside.

Place one sheet of phyllo on a clean surface, keeping the remainder covered under a damp towel.  Brush it lightly with butter.  Repeat with three more sheets of phyllo until you have a stack four sheets thick, ending with butter.  Cut the phyllo into three lengthwise and six crosswise to make 18 squares.

Press the phyllo squares into the prepared cup. Bake in oven for 5 minutes or until golden (watch carefully – they cook quickly!).  Let cool in cups, then transfer to a rack.  Repeat with the next four sheets of phyllo.

Before serving, fill each cup with a generous spoonful of mousse.  Garnish with dill.  Bon appetit!

– Catherine

Read Full Post »