Roasted Salmon with Teriyaki Glaze

After any big holiday -- like Passover -- where there's been tons of food and extra goodies like chocolate matzo bark and jelly rings, I need to pare down. Pare down me I mean. Me, lover of matzo, who probably ate 3 boxes worth over 8 days.

It's over.

More thoughtful dinners are in order. 

Simple food is on the menu. 

Also, after all that holiday cooking, meals that are quick and easy to cook.

It's just Ed and me tonight.

So, this salmon dish, along with some veggies ---


Roasted Salmon with Teriyaki Glaze

  • 24-32 ounces salmon
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Place the fish in a roasting pan. Place the sake, mirin, soy sauce, vegetable oil and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Stir until the ingredients are blended. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is reduced and slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Pour the liquid over the fish. Sprinkle with chives. Roast for 12-16 minutes, or until cooked to desired doneness.

Makes 4-6 servings


Roasted Salmon with Harissa

Many years ago Ed and I took our daughters on a cruise to Alaska. At the time they were going through what I think of as the usual teenage disdain for anything their parents liked. So although they went with us on deck to see some of the famous, enormous glaciers, after the first few, when we uncool grownups were still excited to see yet another huge hunk of ice, they stayed in their cabin. And so they missed the Columbia Glacier which, just by chance when we were watching, dropped what we were told was the ice equivalent of a 6-story apartment building into the water.

Okay, so they missed it. I still smile when I close my eyes and think about what we saw that day.

The other thing we all missed was the salmon. Alaskan salmon is world famous, and for good reason -- it's fat and flavorful. And some of the folks on our trip actually went fishing and caught some fish, which the chef cooked them for dinner. And for those who didn't go fishing, well, they got fresh fresh salmon anyway.

Unfortunately our daughter Gillian is allergic to fish, so we never have it on the table when she is with us.

Ed and I have made up for that in the years that followed, when we dine alone or with people who can eat and appreciate fish.

We both love salmon and eat it very often.

And so, in keeping with the political theme of this blog over the past several weeks, I will pay tribute to the Alaska Democratic political caucus coming up on March 26th (the Republicans had theirs on March 1st), and offer one of the salmon recipes we have loved over the years. It's so quick and easy to cook you can serve this any night of the week. And yet, salmon is festive, so it's a good choice for company also.

Roasted Salmon with Harissa

  • 4 salmon filets or steaks, about 6 ounces each
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon harissa
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Place the salmon pieces in a baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, oregano, harissa and mustard. Spread this mixture on top of the fish filets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-18 minutes, depending on thickness, or until cooked to desired doneness.

Makes 4 servings  

Russ & Daughters at the Jewish Museum

Now hear this! Russ & Daughters at the Jewish Museum is open!!!!

It's a cafe but also a retail takeout shop.

It's new. Clean. Bright. Comfortable. Kosher!

And with all those fabulous items we love -- like herring and lox and whitefish.

PLUS: lots more, like blintzes, mushroom barley soup, knishes, chocolate egg creams, noodle kugel.

Oh my, oh my oh my.

PLUS: some Israeli favorites: Shakshuka and Chopped Salad.

And a few extras like pickles, beet salad and halvah ice cream.

Ed and I were lucky to be invited for a preview lunch last week. I was a glutton and ordered two things. First Kasha Varnishkas, which I am really fussy about because my mother-in-law's recipe was so spectacularly delicious. This dish was fabulous and they add a modern touch that makes this side dish into a whole lunch (at least for me!) -- a poached egg on top so that the runny yolk oozes into the grains and caramelized onions. Ooooooh, is all I can say.

I also had the shakshuka (which they spell with an extra o), which was nice and tomato-y and rich with -- another poached egg.

I was too full for dessert.

Ed did the easy thing -- testing out the Russ & Daughters herring plate, which was loaded with tidbits of different flavored herrings and accompanied by several sauces and chopped beets. The fish were very fresh, briny, tender. I had tastes of course.

The fish is where Russ & Daughters has always excelled of course. The takeout shelves included whitefish that were so fresh and fat they didn't look real. I wanted desperately to get one but we were on our way elsewhere and I didn't think carrying a big fish around would be such a good idea.

The breads are some of the best I've ever tasted. Rye and pumpernickel and especially the challah. If you ever read this blog you know I am pretty stubborn about my own challah being unsurpassed. But Russ & Daughters challah is amazing.

We will go back. 

Thanks for the invite, Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper (4th generation owners). Good luck on your new venture!

Tasmanian Ocean Trout for Dinner

There's a new Citarella market near me. I love this place, mostly because they have all sorts of gorgeous, fresh produce, interesting breads and fish that not only looks beautiful, but looks as if all of it was just caught -- moist, glossy, and without any hint of fish odor.

Also -- the variety of fish they offer is huge -- you just can't get some of it in most places, even a good fish market. Some I've never seen before.

Like Tasmanian Ocean Trout.

It looked, well, good enough to eat, I had to buy some.

It was more than good enough to eat.

Although Tasmanian Ocean Trout resembles salmon, it doesn't taste like salmon. It's milder and sweeter. The flesh is softer. More like trout.

Of course.

I'll be going back for more. 

Here's how I cooked it. Stay tuned for more recipes.

Of course, if you can't find this fish variety, do try the recipe using salmon.


Roasted Tasmanian Ocean Trout with Orange, Soy and Ginger Glaze

  • 1-1/2 pounds Tasmanian Ocean Trout (or substitute salmon) filet
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 thick scallion, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the fish in a shallow pan or dish. In a bowl, mix the orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, vegetable oil, ginger, garlic and scallion. Pour the mixture over the salmon and coat the entire surface of the fish with the mixture. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the fish on the parchment. Pour some of the marinade on top. Roast the fish for about 15 minutes or until the surface is crispy and cooked to desired doneness. 


Makes 4 servings


Roasted Halibut with Cherry Tomatoes and Dill


Whether you are about to mourn the end of summer or celebrate the Jewish New Year, it's the right time to take advantage of local tomatoes, still at their glorious peak-of-the-season and soon to disappear until next year.

Here's a scrumptious way. Sure, you can make this dish anytime, but it's so much better with end-of-summer tomatoes.

This easy, easy recipe takes almost no time to prepare, is quick to cook and can be set up to the point of actual cooking several hours ahead.

Perfect for last minute dinners. Busy week dinners. Rosh Hashanah fish course.


Roasted Halibut with Cherry Tomatoes and Dill

  • 1-1/2 to 2 pounds halibut
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2-3 scallions or 3-4 tablespoons chopped red onion

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the fish in a baking dish. Brush the olive oil over the surface of the fish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Scatter the tomatoes on top of the fish. Scatter the dill and scallions on top. Roast the fish for 15-18 minutes, depending on thickness of the fish, or until just cooked through.

Makes 4 servings

Salmon Melt with Tomatoes, Squash and Chives

Salmon Melt

Salmon Melt

Everyone I know who has a garden says that it's overflowing with tomatoes and zucchini. Eggplants and basil. Lettuce and bell peppers.

What should they do with all this produce?

A question for the ages, because this happens to everyone who has a garden, every year.

Except for me. I got exactly one tomato on one plant, one tomato on another and the third one has three teeny green ones and a few flowers. Most of my basil was devoured by local animals and the few that were left have just a few leaves. 

I didn't even bother to plant anything else because I have failed summer after summer.

EXCEPT for the chives! I have a lovely, flourishing pot of chives!

So I snipped some of those lovely, fragrant stalks and added them to a Salmon Melt Sandwich. Leftover salmon of course, plus tomatoes and summer squash from someone else's garden.

I am certain that the chives make all the difference in how wonderful this tastes.


Salmon Melts with TOMATOES, SQUASH and Chives

  • 2 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread, lightly toasted
  • 8-12 thin slices yellow squash or zucchini
  • 4-8 slices tomato
  • 5-6 ounces cooked salmon, broken into chunks
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the butter equally on one side of each of the toast slices. Place the slices on a cookie sheet. Place 2-3 slices of squash and 1-2 slices of tomato on top. Place equal amounts of the salmon on top of the tomato. Scatter with the chives. Sprinkle the mozzarella on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake the sandwiches for about 8 minutes or until the cheese is hot and bubbly.


Makes 4 pieces

Love Those Tuna Burgers


Tuna is not one of my favorite fish. It's frequently dry and chewy, except when it's rare, and unless you buy a really thick hunk of really high quality fish, it's difficult to get it rare to perfection -- if the piece is thin it cooks to an unpleasant looking grayish color.

But tuna burgers? I love them. Because grinding or chopping the flesh makes it tender, even when the burger is well-done. And the color is just fine for burgers, especially because the outside surfaces crisp to a gorgeous golden brown whether you grill, broil or saute them.

I don't mix in too many seasonings when making tuna burgers. Instead, I add flavor with a tangy condiment to serve with the tuna burger on the roll. Recently I mixed the fish with chopped fresh chives -- the only herb I have been successful in growing in my garden this year -- and served the burgers with mayonnaise mixed with chopped kalamata olives and a hint of lemon peel.

This recipe is extremely easy, also quick to cook. Just perfect for casual, summertime eating, meatless/dairy meals and any old time.


Tuna Burgers with Olive Mayo


  • 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel
  • 20 ounces fresh tuna
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 rolls
  • lettuce, spinach or arugula leaves
  • 4 slices tomato


Preheat an outdoor grill or oven broiler (or use a sauté pan). Mix the mayonnaise, olives and lemon peel together and set aside in the refrigerator.

Chop the tuna into very fine pieces (or pulse in a food processor). Place the fish in a mixing bowl. Add the chives and garlic and some salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Shape the mixture into 4 patties. Brush the remaining olive oil over the surface of each patty. Grill or broil the burgers for 2-4 minutes per side or until lightly browned and crispy on both sides and cooked to the degree of doneness preferred. OR, pour the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan and fry the burgers for 2-4 minutes per side over medium-high heat.

Spread equal amounts of the mayonnaise mixture on the bottom side of each roll. Place a lettuce leaf on top, then top with a slice of tomato. Place the burger on top of the tomato. Cover with the top of the roll.

Makes 4



Gorgeous Hunk of Salmon, Roasted with Orange and Dill

We eat so much salmon at our house that one of these days Ed and I might actually turn into some. That's probably because in years past, when our kids were still living at home, we couldn't have any fish in the house. One of our daughters is allergic.

So we're making up for it now (I decontaminate the refrigerator after a fish dinner to get rid of any leftover fish oils or vapors). And salmon is a favorite. It's tasty, attractive and also healthy. Can you beat that?

We like it all sorts of ways, but I try to vary the seasonings, just to keep it from being too boring (same goes for chicken).

We had this dish recently: roasted salmon with a glaze that's basically orange marmalade and mustard. It is incredibly easy to prepare -- takes less than 5 minutes. I served it to company. Everyone declared it a keeper.


Roasted Salmon with Orange MARMALADE, MUSTARD and Dill


  • 24-30 ounces fresh salmon
  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Place the salmon in a baking dish. Mix the marmalade, dill, garlic, lime juice and mustard together in a small bowl and spread this mixture evenly on top of the fish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, or until the fish is cooked to desired doneness and the top is crispy-browned. 

Makes 4 servings


Miso Glazed Fish, a Different Way

Are you afraid to tinker with recipes? 

Here's the deal folks. Very few recipes need to be exact. For the most part, if you stay within reasonable boundaries (e.g. -- you wouldn't mix ketchup into your chocolate ice cream mix) most of them are fairly flexible. 

So, if you don't have an ingredient it's okay if you use another. This is how new recipes are created. A change here and there and what do you know! Something tasty to eat.

That's why I wasn't concerned the other day when I was planning to make Miso-glazed black cod but there was no black cod to be found in any store near me. I could have used salmon, a familiar substitute for miso-glazing, but I wasn't in the mood. On the other hand, I did see some fresh, good looking codfish for sale, so I chose that. 

When I got home and began preparing the glaze I couldn't find the Sake. And I wasn't about to go out again and buy another bottle.

So I used vodka instead.

And I decided to use honey instead of sugar because I knew that for flavor, one sweetener would do as well as another one and a fish glaze isn't like a cake where the liquid of the honey vs. the granules of cane sugar would affect the outcome.

And I also added a small amount of hot chili oil because sweet-ish dishes like this one seem more balanced if you give them the tiniest bit of heat.

One other thing -- many recipes for miso-glazed fish tell you to discard the excess marinade before you cook the fish. I didn't. So there was extra "gravy" in the broiling pan. Nice with rice. 

Okay, several major changes.

It was lusciously wonderful. Every flake and morsel was gone, gone, gone, and I had cooked 2 pounds worth instead of the usual 24 ounces. 

Here's the recipe. Feel free to tinker with it.

Sweet and Hot Miso Glazed Fish

  • 1/4 cup Mirin
  • 2 tablespoons vodka (or use Sake)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup white Miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil
  • 4 6-8 ounce black cod, Arctic char, salmon or cod filets
  • 3 scallions, chopped, optional

Place the Mirin, vodka, honey, Miso, sesame seed oil and hot chili oil in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring continuously, for about one minute, stirring with a whisk, or until the ingredients are thoroughly blended and the Miso is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Place the fish in a shallow pan and pour the marinade over them. Turn the filets to coat all sides. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2-24 hours. Preheat the oven broiler about 6 inches from the heat. Place the fish in a broiling pan and broil for 3 minutes, turn the filets and broil for another 3-4 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with chopped scallions if desired.

Makes 4 servings




Tuna and Brown Rice Salad with Olives, Feta Cheese and Orange

I used to be one of those people who always had 3-4 cans of tuna in the house. Solid white. In oil until I felt the need to diet, so then, in water.

I'd open the can, drain the fish, mash it with mayo, spread it on bread and voila! there was lunch.

Or I'd open a can or two occasionally for dinner, for a big salad like Nicoise or Chef's Salad.

But canned tuna changed over the years. The fish seems mushy and salty to me now and has for many years.

Maybe my tastes changed. Whatever. I stopped buying canned tuna except for the one can I keep for emergencies. And, most often, in my yearly pre-Passover cabinet purge, I discard that can because I haven't used it. 

I still make tuna sandwiches and tuna salad though, using leftover grilled or broiled fresh tuna. Grilled fresh tuna is meaty and pleasantly chewy. No mush at all. The leftovers, usually from the more well-done ends, can be dry, which makes them perfect for plain old tuna salad, mixed with moistening mayo. Also terrific for big salads that I douse with dressing.

We had this Tuna and Brown Rice salad recently. The contrasts are interesting -- tangy olives and feta, sweet fruit, earthy peas. It's colorful too, making it a good choice for a summer buffet. I suppose it would work okay with canned tuna, if you buy that. 


Tuna and Brown Rice Salad with Olives, Feta Cheese and Orange Segments


  • 1 cup brown Basmati rice
  • 10-12 ounces fresh tuna
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3-4 scallions, chopped
  • 1 large navel orange, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup thawed frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup halved black olives
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the brown rice according to package directions. Spoon the cooked rice into a large bowl and set aside to cool. Preheat a grill, broiler or grill pan. Place the tuna in a heat-proof pan. Mix the olive oil with the soy sauce and brush this over the fish. Grill, broil or pan-broil the fish for about 4 minutes per side or until cooked to desired doneness. Remove the fish to a cutting board, cut into chunks and set aside to cool. Add the fish, feta cheese, scallions, orange chunks, peas, olives and mint to the bowl with the rice. Toss gently to distribute the ingredients evenly. In a small bowl mix the vegetable oil, wine vinegar and lemon juice. Pour over the ingredients. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the ingredients and let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.


Makes 4-6 servings