Friday, August 13, 2010

WFDT 2: Salmon with Strawberry Salsa, Roasted Asparagus and Seasoned Rice. WFDT 2.5: Miniature Strawberry Swirl Cheesecakes

Since the first week that I started this blog, I have not placed another WFDT (What’s For Dinner Tonight) post, and that makes me sad… Not that I haven’t made dinner since then, but just haven’t had the opportunity to blog about it.
But I guess it’s better late than never right?
This dinner inspiration comes from Annie’s Eats (I just L-O-V-E her blogs!). With cherry tomatoes and strawberries being in season right now, I really wanted to try this recipe the moment I saw it. I think I ended up using more strawberries and cherry tomatoes than the recipe called for, but it was my way of using up all the fruits I had in hand :-)
My sides were simple roasted asparagus spears (adapted from Bell’Alimento) and a side of seasoned rice (EVOO, salt, garlic, onions).
THEN, the dessert part (my FAVORITE part) – miniature strawberry swirl cheesecakes. Can we say YUM??? Again, inspired by this recipe from Annie’s Eats, except that I used strawberries instead of raspberries. All I can say is that even my parents who are not huge sweets eaters have more than one of these little treats. They disappeared fast from the table!

Salmon with Strawberry Salsa

For the salsa:
2 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 scallions, white and green portions, sliced thin
1 tsp. fresh parsley, minced
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Drizzle of olive oil
Drizzle of honey
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 salmon fillets (about 6 oz. each)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

To make the salsa, combine the strawberries, tomatoes, scallions, parsley, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl.  Mix well to blend, then cover and refrigerate while you prepare the salmon.
Preheat the broiler.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Place the salmon fillets on the foil.  Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over each fillet, and season with salt and pepper.  Broil about 6-8 inches away from heat source (in my oven, this is upper middle rack).  Cook about 10-12 minutes, depending on your oven and the size of the fillets, checking for doneness.  Transfer the salmon to serving plates and top with strawberry salsa.  Serve warm.

Adapted from Annie’s Eats

Roasted Asparagus

1 small bundle Asparagus - trimmed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – enough to drizzle

Preheat oven to 400
˚F. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil large enough to fit all asparagus spears in one layer. Trim your asparagus and place into a bowl. Drizzle enough olive oil on asparagus to coat {you do not want to drown just coat}. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer asparagus to a rimmed cooking sheet lined with aluminum foil and gentle shake pan to separate asparagus. Roast asparagus for approx 10-15 minutes or until asparagus start to become tender. Cooking time will depend upon the size of asparagus so check yours often. You want the asparagus to be tender but not soft.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Adapted from Bell’Alimento

Miniature Strawberry Swirl Cheesecakes
Yield: 24 cupcakes

1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp. sugar

Strawberry Topping:
8 oz. fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
1 tbsp. sugar

Cheesecake Filling:
2 lbs. cream cheese, at room temperature (4 – 8oz packages)
1½ cups sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 325˚F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar.  Stir together with a fork until well blended and all the dry ingredients are moistened.  Press 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner.  Bake until just set, 5 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack.
To make the strawberry puree, combine the strawberries and sugar in a blender or food processor.  Process until smooth, then pour through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.
To make the cheesecake, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy.  Blend in the sugar until smooth.  Mix in the salt and vanilla.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
To assemble, spoon 3 tablespoons of the cheesecake batter over the crust in each cupcake liner.  Dot a ½ teaspoon of the strawberry puree in a few dots over the cheesecake filling.  Use a toothpick to lightly swirl and create a marbled effect.
Bake until the filling is set, rotating the pans halfway through baking, about 22 minutes.  (They will look quite puffed initially but will return to normal quickly.)  Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.  Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Adapted from Annie’s Eats

1 comment:

  1. So you can never go wrong with cheesecakes...yum! But that strawberry salsa really has me going! I've never thought of using strawberries in salsa, but it is a brilliant idea! Thanks love!