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Brianna’s Salmon, Buttermilk Cornbread, and Spinach Salad

003I’ve been running behind all week, and I’m blaming the rain.  In the past 7 days, we’ve had 8-9 inches of rain.  Not storms, thank goodness, but steady, streaming rain nearly unceasing all week.  Everything is soaking wet and crazy humid, and the preschoolers are pissed.  It’s enough to make one wonder if the universe is silently reminding you that – No, Seattle would not be a good idea.  They must have fabulous indoor playgrounds in Seattle – or else their kids and parents must have a truckload more patience than I do.  One thing after another has lead to a steady mucking up of my plans.  So I groceried at an unusual Kroger in South Dallas, since that’s all I had time for.  On the upside, I found white, self-rising cornmeal there, which I don’t normally see.  It was a lucky find since I was intending to make these scrumptious looking Spinach Smashed potatoes [1].  Unfortunately, upon further inspection, my potatoes smelled like they’d spent a week at the bottom of a french drain [2].  They’re not that old, but you know how your *supposed* to store potatoes in a dark, dry place?  I guess the humidity of our region coupled with the normal kitchen light and an unfortunate leaving in the plastic produce bag created a situation beyond repair.

So buttermilk cornbread it was.  I bought the buttermilk for a remake of the biscuits found here [3].  I had altered the original recipe – which turned out well on the initial run.  While in Florida, I found the Lily White flour biscuit people are always raving about so I brought some home.  In a non-scientific method experiment, I not only used the different flour, but also used the original recipe’s cream of tartar.  The result was dismal.  Edible, but so not worth the effort.  These results are frustrating as well as tiresome to a home chef.  So I decided possibly the buttermilk was the culprit – that perhaps my homemade buttermilk wasn’t enough to over take the cream of tartar flavor.  When I saw the 95 cent buttermilk at the strange Kroger, I hopped on it.

As for the salmon, I’ve mentioned before, but if you own a Lean Mean Grilling Machine – by all means cook your salmon on that!  Or spend the 30 dollars to get one.  If not, it still works, but it’s loads easier on the Lean Mean.  I’ve currently lost mine, but it’s somewhere in this house, and I vow to find it again.

Brianna’s Salmon

1 c. Brianna’s French Vinaigrette [4]

1.25 lb Coho Salmon

kosher salt

Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.  In a glass dish, place salmon skin side down.  Sprinkle with Kosher Salt, then pour French Vinaigrette over the top.  Marinate for 15 minutes – no more – marinades cook salmon!  Heat a grill pan on medium high heat.  Brush grill pan with olive oil, then place fish flesh side down, cooking until opaque 30 percent of the thickness.  Flip to skin side.  Cook in oven until opaque throughout.  About 10 minutes total for 3/4 inch fillets.

Buttermilk Cornbread

(note I have a very large cast iron skillet.  If yours is 9 inches or smaller – half this recipe)

6 tbsp canola oil

4 c. white self-rising cornmeal

1 tsp. baking soda

3 c. buttermilk

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 425.  Add canola oil to a large cast iron skillet and place in the oven for 3 minutes.  Combine cornmeal and baking soda, then mix with buttermilk and eggs.  Pour hot oil into mixture, stir then pour back into hot cast iron skillet.  Bake for 22 minutes – or until edges are gently brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Serve with real butter.