Finding variety in salmon salad, cauliflower soups

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I have a nice variety of recipes to pass along to you today, including a couple of cream of cauliflower soup recipes that I have been looking for. A friend from Jackson sent them to me to try. I hope you enjoy all of the recipes today, and be sure to reply to the request at the end of this column.

Grilled Salmon Salad

1/2 pound fresh or frozen salmon or firm white fish fillets

1 tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil

1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice

1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning or Jamaican jerk seasoning

6 cups torn mixed greens, such as sorrel, spinach, romaine, radicchio or leaf lettuce

1 cup fresh strawberries, halved

1 medium avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and sliced

1 medium mango, seeded, peeled and sliced

2 medium oranges, peeled and sectioned

1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts or almonds, toasted

Tortilla bowls (directions below) or purchased tortilla bowls

Tarragon-buttermilk dressing recipe (see below).

Lime peel curls (optional)

Thaw fish if frozen. Brush fish with olive or cooking oil; sprinkle with lime or lemon juice and Cajun or Jamaican jerk seasoning. Arrange fish fillets in a well-greased grill basket; grill fish directly over medium coals for 4 to 6 minutes for each 1/2 inch of thickness or until fish flakes easily, turning once. (Or place fish on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from heat for 4 to 6 minutes for each 1/2 inch of thickness or until fish flakes easily.) Break fish into bite-size pieces. In a large mixing bowl combine greens, strawberries, avocado, mango, oranges and nuts; toss gently to mix. Spoon into tortilla bowls; drizzle with tarragon-buttermilk dressing. Garnish each serving with a lime peel curl, if desired. Makes 4 main-dish servings.

Tortilla bowls: Lightly brush four 9- or 10-inch flour tortillas with a small amount of cooking oil, or spray nonstick coating onto 1 side of each tortilla. Spray nonstick coating into four taco salad molds or small oven-safe bowls. Press tortillas, coated sides up, into molds or bowls. Place a ball of foil in each tortilla cup. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until light brown. Remove the foil. Cool. Remove tortilla bowls from the molds. Fill the bowls with grilled salmon salad or other salad of your choice and serve immediately. Makes 4 bowls.

Tarragon-buttermilk dressing: In a small bowl stir together 1/3 cup buttermilk; 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise or salad dressing; and 1 teaspoon snipped fresh tarragon or dill or 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed, or dillweed. Use immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator. Makes about 1/2 cup.

Make-ahead tips: If not using tortilla bowls immediately, store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Prepare dressing, cover, and store in the refrigerator up to 1 week.

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

1 large head of cauliflower

3 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 tablespoons flour

3 cups milk

1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

3 vegetable bouillon cubes, crushed

chopped parsley for garnish

Parmesan cheese

Trim cauliflower; cover with water and steam until tender. While cauliflower is steaming, sauté onion in the butter until softened. Add flour to butter and onion and cook for a few minutes, stirring to blend flour into butter. Slowly add 3 cups of milk, the sour cream or yogurt, and stir or whisk until thickened. Drain cauliflower and blend in a food processor until smooth. If desired, process the milk mixture for a smoother texture. Add pureed cauliflower to thickened milk mixture and stir well. Heat through. Garnish with a little chopped parsley and serve with Parmesan cheese.

Quick Cream of Cauliflower Soup

1 package (10 ounces) frozen cauliflower, about 2 cups cut up

1 can (10 1/2 ounces) condensed cream of potato soup

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon dry mustard

3 tablespoons melted butter

2 tablespoons chopped green onion tops

Salt and pepper to taste

next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at smcclanahan@semissourian.com or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63701.

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