Slow Cooker Salmon

Slow Cooker Salmon
1-2 lbs salmon fillets, skin left on
Salt & Pepper
Spices, optional
Sliced lemon, optional
Sliced aromatic vegetables, like fennel, onions, or celery, optional
1 to 1 1/2 cups liquid, like water, broth, wine, beer, cider, or a mix

Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper: Be generous! Sprinkle on any other spices you’re using and rub them in with your fingers.

Line the slow cooker: Cut a large square of parchment or aluminum foil and press it into the slow cooker. This makes it easier to lift the delicate salmon out of the slow cooker later.

Place aromatics over the bottom of the slow cooker: If you’re using them, place a layer of lemon slices and sliced aromatics on the bottom of the slow cooker. This adds flavor, but isn’t strictly necessary.

Place one layer of salmon in the slow cooker, skin-side down. Top with more slices of lemon and aromatics, if using.

Add another layer, if needed: If you’re cooking more salmon than fits in a single layer, you can add a second layer. Place a piece of parchment over the first layer, lay the rest of the salmon over, and top with aromatics. (I don’t recommend adding a third layer.)

Choose your cooking liquid: The liquid helps to poach the salmon gently. It can be as simple as plain water, or as complex as a cup of amber beer with soy sauce and fish sauce mixed in. My standby is half water and half white wine. You’ll need between 1 and 1 1/2 cups of liquid.

Pour the liquid over the salmon: If cooking one fillet, add enough water to just barely cover. If cooking two layers, add enough water to come partway up the side of the top fillet.

Cook on LOW for 1 to 2 hours: The exact cooking time will vary based on your particular slow cooker, the number and thickness of your fillets, and how “done” you like your salmon. Check the salmon after an hour and continue checking every 20 minutes until it’s done. If you prefer fully cooked salmon, check it with a thermometer in the thickest part — the fish is done when it reaches 145°F.

Remove from the slow cooker: Lift the salmon from the slow cooker using the parchment or aluminum foil. Tilt the paper slightly as you lift to drain off the liquid.

Serve immediately, or cool and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days. Store leftover salmon in an airtight container.

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Green Bean & Penne Pasta Salad

Green Bean & Penne Pasta Salad
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

1 lb tomatoes, chopped (about 2c)
1 lb fresh green beans
8 oz Spinach Penne Pasta
4 oz Aged Feta, crumbled

In a large owl, combine 2 cloves of minced garlic with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, a handful of chopped basil, and the chopped tomatoes. Set aside so flavors can marry.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Wash, trim, and rinse your green beans. When water boils, toss in green beans. Let cook for 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove green beans. Add pasta to the boiling water. Let boil for 3-5 minutes. When pasta is almost done, throw beans back into water for just a minute. Strain beans & pasta into colander. Run under cool water to stop cooking.

Toss penne & green beans into bowl with tomatoes. Mix all together. Top with crumbled feta. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Homemade Vegetable Soup

Homemade Vegetable Soup

2 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium)

2 cups peeled and chopped carrots (about 4)

1 1/4 cups chopped celery (about 3)

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes (undrained)

3 cups peeled and 1/2-inch thick diced potatoes (from about 3 medium)

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp dried thyme

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups chopped frozen or fresh green beans

1 1/4 cups frozen or fresh corn

1 cup frozen or fresh peas

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer.

Pour in broth (if you want lesser ratio of broth use 3 cans then only 3/4 cup of the 4th can) and add tomatoes, potatoes, parsley, bay leaves, and thyme.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil.

Add green beans, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20-30 minutes.

Add corn and peas and cook 5 minutes longer. Serve warm.