Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Weekend Dinner

This Memorial Day weekend I was fortunate to have a household of people to cook for! As with any fun family gathering, food is always central to the festivities. I wanted to make a northwest inspired meal for our east coast visitors that had a diversity of flavors but was simple enough to pull together in the midst of visiting. 
Now I'll set the scene. Cooking at my Dad's house in Gig Harbor is always great. I had sharp, professional knives to work with, a gas stove, convection oven, plenty of pots and pans, and a beautiful view of the Olympic mountains from the kitchen window to gaze out of. On my shopping list I had wild Copper River Salmon (right now fresh at Costco!), a bag of red potatoes, and idea for a salad. 
Since Saturday was an amazingly sunny day, we decided it would be best to optimize our deck time and cook the salmon outside. Our faithful Webber would once again be put to the test. My Dad grilled the salmon while I stayed inside to make a simple lemon caper sauce to finish the salmon with and garnish it with chives from the garden just before serving. What to do with the bag of red potatoes? Inspired from my recent visit to Astoria, OR, I decided to roast the potatoes in lemon juice and rosemary in the oven slowly until they developed a crispy outer shell and a soft middle. In the food processor, I made a green goddess dressing, for dipping the potatoes in. Green goddess dressing, if you haven't had it, is a wonderful creamy dressing made with tarragon, parsley, and garlic. For the salad, I took goat cheese which was then sliced into medallions. Each piece was coated with a bread crumb walnut mixture and sauteed in olive oil. Once both sides were crispy they were placed in the oven to keep warm. Salad greens were tossed with a raspberry vinaigrette, sliced strawberries, and then served with the warm goat cheese. For dessert we had a strawberry tart.
This light, springtime meal was a delicious way to end a wonderful day, to celebrate the company of family, and to honor the men and women who have given their lives for our freedom. Happy Memorial Day!

1 comment:

  1. I was lucky enough to be present during this family reunion and cooking celebration! The meal was excellent and would be a fine addition to any inspired Northwest cuisine restaurant. Erica can take simple ingredients and combine them to create delicious meals! I highly recommend the green goddess dressing!!