Spring, salmon and surprises

DSCN0748That’s spring on the left — lolling in the hollows behind our house on March 20, fluffing her fur and purring in wild turkey gobbles. I think we have a chance of freezing rain tomorrow. Not funny, Spring. Tramp! Hussy!

Meanwhile, in Charlotte this weekend, our friends’ and everyone else’s yards had exploded in buds, flowers and leaves. We ate a really good baked salmon on Friday night and then on Saturday had the most exciting lunch at Halcyon. Not only was the food exciting but the view from the terrace was of a city. When I lived there 26 years ago, Charlotte was the biggest small town I’d ever learned my way around. Today — wow!

A trumpeter played Gershwin below our balcony, a wedding party arrived at the church across the street, tourists glided past on Segways! Tall buildings! Shiny stuff! Tourists!

This was the second fabulous duck I’ve had within 4 months —  a confit on coarse bread with cranberry marmalade, sunflower sprouts and sweet potato crisps. I have no idea what the glorious red sauce decorating the plate might be — maybe it was liquid from the cranberries, but it tasted more like a sweet and spicy chutney.

The noonday light on the white plate gives the duck an otherworldly glow. It was out of this world, indeed!

The baked salmon came from a recent relish (newspaper) section.  It couldn’t be easier or tastier. Don’t be cowed by the 1 tablespoon of chili powder; just use regular c.p. and not the excruciatingly hot.



Orange chili salmon

1/2 cup orange juice

4 6-ounce Alaskan salmon fillets

2 teaspoon grated orange zest

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon  salt

1 tablespoon chili powder (fear not!)

Orange chili salmon, oven-roasted red potatoes with fresh rosemary, spring’s first asparagus.

Place juice in ziptop plastic bag. Add salmon and marinate 30 minutes. Directions say to heat oven to 350° but I did 425°. Two of our fillets were quite thick. Combine zest, sugar, salt and chili powder. Pat onto drained salmon. Place skin side down in oil-sprayed baking dish and bake 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork (and you see no translucent layer in the middle). Do not overcook. Serves 4.


Look at the view behind S. the V. Urban!

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