Friday, March 6, 2009

Listen To Your Inner Voice: Smoked Salmon Rolls and a Spinach Salad, too!

Did you ever see the Seinfeld episode when George is frantically deciding about whether to call his ex-girl friend, and Kramer tells George to listen to his inner voice, his little man. George exclaims hysterically, “My little man is an idiot!” (It's from the infamous "Christmas Card" episode!)

Well, luckily for me, my inner voice is pretty much on the mark. Unluckily for me, I chose not to listen to it today. Guess that puts me in the same category as George's inner voice. As I was preparing this recipe, my inner voice was all but jumping up and down warning me that my execution of assembly was all wrong. I admit, I did pause for a second, but then tossed the sage advice right out and kept on going. Result: A flopped recipe. Not to fear, though, I salvaged it and made peace with my inner voice.

My initial crash and burn with this recipe was that I used flaked smoked salmon and spinach on top of a cream cheese as my filling. Despite adding add’l cream cheese to hold it together, the roll fell apart when sliced. The filling was just too dry to hold together. The flavor was spot on and it would have worked great as a wrap, but not as a roll. My next blunder of ignoring my inner voice was when I chose to use that super awesome Glad Wrap and Seal plastic wrap product instead of plain old cellophane to wrap the rolls. My little voice warned, “Uh, Paula, that plastic wrap clings too tight to itself.” Did I listen? Noooooo. Nope. Nada. Strike two. That Wrap and Seal stuff is genius; it seals items completely. So much so, that, just as my little voice warned I would, I had a hard time unsticking it from itself. Argh!

Redemption time. I re-gathered the ingredients, made a quick salmon spread, reassembled, rewrapped, and voila ... success. If anything, I do learn from my mistakes. Not one to be daunted by failure, I forged ahead and came up with a save. Today’s recipe from It’s All Gouda’s kitchen is a lovely Salmon Spread Wrap accompanied by a unique Spinach Salad. It’s actually a wilted spinach salad variation, but come on ... who really wants to eat anything with the word “wilted” in the title?

For those of us abstaining from meat on Friday’s during lent, this little sweetie of a roll is quite good and super quick to make. Pair it with a salad, and you’ve got yourself a delight lunch. Here’s the right way to do it. NOTE: I didn’t put down quantities because it totally depends on how many you are making. If you need help, just let me know!

Flour tortillas
Cream Cheese with Chives
Smoked Salmon
Fresh Spinach leaves

Lay out one flour tortilla, and spread with a thin layer of cream cheese w/chives.In a small bowl, combine the smoked salmon with enough mayo to make a spread.This is one way to purchase smoked salmon. Please ignore the freaky purple hand. My camera's batteries were getting low. Spread a couple tablespoons of salmon spread on top of the cream cheese.Layer spinach leaves on top of that, and delicately spread that with just a thin, thin layer of cream cheese. That’s the glue that will hold it together.And, yep, in case you're wondering, that is salmon salad under ye old fingernails. Hey, this is finger food, ya know! Roll up tightly, wrap in cellophane, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm up the roll.Slice decoratively and serve with your favorite salad. Take a bite. Relax. Thank the good Lord for your inner voice.

Spinach Salad with Spicy Cauliflower, Toasted Pine nuts, and Creamy Avocado

2 cups Spinach leaves
2 Tablespoons pine nuts
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
½ cup of planked cauliflower (planked meaning sliced instead of flowerettes)
Couple shakes of crushed red pepper flakes
½ avocado – cubed and sprinkled with lemon juice
Basic vinaigrette

Place spinach leaves in a large salad bowl. In a small skillet, toast pine nuts over medium heat. Remove from pan to cool. In the same skillet, add the olive oil and turn the heat up to high.This is what I mean by planked. Add the planked cauliflower, sprinkle with the red pepper flakes, and quickly toast the cauliflower on both sides ... 1-2 minutes max. You don’t want to cook the cauliflower, just quickly sear it for lack of a better term.See that perfect toasted color? Pour the cauliflower and oil right onto the spinach. Add the remaining ingredients and toss. Serve immediately.See those pine nuts. YUM! This was really good, tasty and different. It certainly was pretty to look at, and I really liked the textures it held. I would definitely eat it again.

So, do you listen to your inner voice? What does it tell you to do? Join us next time, when we figure out more Lenten friendly recipes. My little voice is thinking about a lovely Asian salad with shrimp. I’m listening!


Cathy said...

This meal would be delicious any night of the week. Love the salmon rolls and your salad looks delicious. The pine nuts are a very tasty addition.

Cheryl said...

Ohh my gosh Paula, both those recipes look fantastic! YUM

Robynn's Ravings said...

That looks delicious to someone who LOVES every one of those ingredients. Gotta try this one. Might even get Grizzly and Hannah-Bo to eat fish. The Wild Man and I love it.

Great save by the way! Only the best cooks can pull off MAKIN' it work!

Tatersmama said...

Yes! Guess who's got salmon in the fridge right now??? ME!
I can't wait for dinnertime now!
(and thanks for saving me from eating a bowl of cold cereal for dinner!)

Marjie said...

Nice save! Great Lenten meal, Paula.

Jan said...

Top marks for perseverance, Paula. Both recipes look fab.

Manggy said...

Come on now Paula, if all Lenten treats were this decadent then it wouldn't seem like abstinence at all would it? ;) I applaud you for sticking to your guns. It really paid off!
Captcha: erthwars

Mediterranean kiwi said...

these look delicious
as for recipe flops, it could happen to all of us!

Maria said...

Great meal! I am loving both recipes!

Pam said...

What a delicious meal! Both recipes are calling my name.

Lynda said...

Wow, that looks so good! It doesn't even look like you had a bit of trouble with it. Sadly, I sometimes ignore my inner voice too.

Kevin said...

Those smoked salmon rolls look so good!

Grace said...

of course i've seen that seinfeld episode--classic, and great reference to it! i hope you listen to your inner voice more often--this is an impressive meal. :)

Peter M said...

I am gluttonous with smoked salmon...I could eat a whole roll of these...step aside...incoming!

Deborah said...

Even though you ran across some problems, you obviously still got it right in the end! Delicious!