Pistachio Crusted Salmon

First dinner of Fall and it was quite delicious! Pistachio crusted Sockeye Salmon served with a Summer Squash Goat Cheese Custard and Caesar Salad with baked Chickpea Croutons and a Vegan Cashew Salad Dressing. Quick and easy.


2-pound side of salmon, skin on
1 lemon, juiced
3 T. stone ground mustard
1 c. shelled pistachios
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
olive oil (or spray olive oil)
salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375-degrees.

Arrange the salmon, skin side down, on parchment paper that has been placed on a baking sheet. In a small bowl mix the lemon juice and mustard. Brush liberally over the salmon.

Coarsely grind the pistachios in a food processor. Put in a bowl and add the panko bread crumbs, salt and pepper (to taste). Sprinkle the nut mixture over the salmon to cover evenly. Drizzle salmon with olive oil (or use an olive oil spray like I did).

Bake 15-20 minutes. Serves 4.

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

Oven Fried Oysters

A great alternative to frying and just as crispy! Serve with a splash of fresh lemon juice and eat right out of the oven, or make a tasty aioli for dipping.


1/4 c. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper
1 egg
1/3 c. dry bread crumbs
1/4 c. finely grated Parmesan
2 T. minced fresh herbs (I used a combination of parsley and tarragon)
1 dozen fresh oysters
1 T. olive oil

Preheat oven to 400-degrees.

In a bowl combine the flour, salt and pepper. In another bowl whisk the egg. In a third bowl combine the bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, and tarragon.

Drain the oysters, pick out any shells or hard pieces, and dry lightly with paper towels. Coat the oysters in the flour mixture, then dip in egg, then coat with the bread crumb mixture. Place on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with oil. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.

Seared Scallops with Jalapeno Creamed Corn

Sweet seared scallops on a bed of fresh creamed corn with butter and jalapenos, topped with a chorizo/sherry vinaigrette and wilted mustard greens. YUM ... a surprising and fantastic combination of flavors in one savory mouthful - acidity, sweetness, spice, richness! You will need two skillets when preparing this recipe. Serves 2.

To watch this dish prepared by Chef Mina  click here .

To watch this dish prepared by Chef Mina click here.


1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, cut into 1/8-inch dice
4 ears corn, husk and silk removed
2 T. butter
2 oz. chorizo sausage, diced
3 T. grapeseed oil
6 sea scallops, patted dry (remove adductor muscle)
lemon juice (from 1/4 of a lemon)
mustard greens (6-7 leaves), washed, dried and torn into pieces
salt (to taste)
freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 T. sherry vinegar
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
sprigs of dill and chive batons for garnish

Cut jalapenos in half, remove seeds and ribs and cut into 1/8-inch dice.

Grate corn with a box grater and put in a large non-stick saute pan over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring with a rubber spatula occasionally so it doesn't burn. Turn heat to low and cook slowly until a cream-like consistency is achieved. Season with salt and pepper. When the mixture is no longer runny, it's done.

While the corn is cooking, season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper. Put another saute pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add 2 T. oil and when it is hot and begins to shimmer, add the scallops and cook about 2-1/2 minutes per side to get a nice sear. During the last minute of cooking, add 1 T. of butter to the pan and when melted baste the scallops with a spoon continually until done. Transfer scallops to a warm plate, cool for 1 minute and squeeze lemon juice over.

Add jalapenos to the cooked corn with 1 T. butter, and stir to combine. Cook for about 2 minutes, then set aside and keep warm.

Drain the oil from the pan used for the scallops. Put the pan back on medium heat and add 1 T. fresh oil. When hot add the chorizo and cook to render the fat for about 4 minutes until lightly brown. Turn down heat to low. Stir in the vinegar and paprika. Turn off heat. Add torn mustard greens and season lightly with salt and fresh ground pepper. Stir and wilt the greens in the warm pan for a few minutes until softened.

To serve, divide the corn mixture onto two shallow bowls (or plates) and top with three scallops each, then top with wilted greens and spoon the chorizo sauce over. Garnish with sprigs of fresh dill and chives.

– Chef Michael Mina on "Simply Ming"

Baked Salmon with Herbs

My boss went fishing last week and brought me a large fillet – there's nothing better than fresh caught wild Chinook Salmon! I'm so lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest! This simple recipe brings out the natural flavor of the fish. I served this with a thickly sliced heirloom tomato from my garden sprinkled with a little sea salt and Jacques Pepin's corn parfait.


Salmon (I had about a 2 lb., 2-inch thick fillet)
Juice of half a lemon (cut the other half into thin slices to put on top of the salmon while it bakes)
1 tsp. dijon mustard
4 T. olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3-4 T. minced fresh herbs (I used parsley, lemon thyme, and oregano from my garden)
1/4 c. white wine
2 T. butter

Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Put the salmon, skin side down, on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil. Season well with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

In a small bowl whisk the lemon juice, dijon mustard and olive oil. Pour over the fish, being sure to cover the entire surface (and sides) with the mixture. Sprinkle fish with the fresh herbs. Break the butter into about 4 pieces and put on the fish, cover each dab of butter with a slice of lemon to hold in place. Drizzle top of fish with more olive oil. Pour the wine over the fish. Bake for 30 minutes (cooking time will depend on the thickness of your filet). 

Kung Pao Chicken

I love Chinese food but have never attempted any recipes because I thought it would be too difficult with too many ingredients. Happily, I was wrong. This is a surprisingly easy recipe, full of flavor. You can control the heat by adding more or less dried chilies (or substitute chili flakes if you don't happen to have any).


3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 T. oyster-flavored sauce
1 tsp. cornstarch
8 small dried red chilies
4 tsp. minced garlic
2-1/2 T. cooking oil

1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. chicken broth
3 T. Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 T. hoisin sauce
1 T. soy sauce
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tsp. chili garlic sauce
2 tsp. sugar

2 celery stalks, diced (cut diagonally)
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
1/2 c. diced bamboo shoots
2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1 T. water
1/2 c. roasted cashews (or walnuts)

Combine the oyster sauce and 1 tsp. cornstarch in a bowl. Add chicken and stir to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes. Combine sauce ingredients in another bowl and set aside.

Place a wok over high heat until hot. Add 2 T. oil, swirling to coat sides. Add chilies and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add chicken and stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Remove chicken and chilies from wok and set aside.

Add remaining 1/2 T. oil to wok. Add garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add celery, bell pepper, and bamboo shoots and stir-fry for 1-1/2 minutes. Return chicken and chilies to wok and stir-fry for about 1 minute. Add sauce and bring to a boil. Add cornstarch solution and cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens. Add cashews and toss to coat. Serves 4.

– Martin Yan

Fettuccini with Butter and Sage Sauce

I've been so excited to try out my new Philips automatic pasta machine, and for my first batch I made about 10-1/2 ounces of fettuccini with a mix of semolina and all-purpose flour, water, egg and a touch of olive oil. Fresh pasta is such a treat. I cooked it immediately after it came out of the machine in heavily salted water. It took about 7-8 minutes to cook. Since I have loads of fresh sage in the garden right now, Mario Batali's butter and sage sauce was a no brainer! Simple yet elegant.



Pasta of choice (in this case, fettuccini), cooked in liberally salted water
4 T. butter
10 sage leaves, torn or cut into 2 or 3 pieces each
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tsp. lemon zest (for garnish)
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
1/2 c. reserved pasta cooking water

Melt butter in a 12- to 14-inch saute pan and continue cooking until a golden brown color ("noisette") appears in the thinnest liquid of the butter. Add the sage leaves and remove from heat. Add the lemon juice and set aside.

After pasta has cooked, drain (reserve about 1/2 cup of cooking water), and gently pour into the saute pan and return to the heat. Add the cheese (and a little pasta water if needed)and toss to coat. To serve, sprinkle with the lemon zest and more freshly grated parmesan.

– Mario Batali