Vietnamese Green Nuoc Cham

I have bee tinkering with Vietnamese nuoc cham for some time now, tinkering with both a red version and a green version. The subtle difference between the two is the red uses sambal (which I totally love), and the green one does not. Both versions can be used in many different ways, but my preference for either one is to be used as a dressing, or dipping sauce for grilled meats, or spring rolls. There is something so addicting in both that when no one is looking, I will simply eat it by the spoonful.

Packed full of tart, sweet, and spicy ingredients, this sauce is one of my favorites. Hands down.

Vietnamese Green Nuoc Cham Recipe
Vietnamese Green Nuoc Cham Recipe

As with any nuoc cham, it uses fish sauce, so if you have never tried either, this is a great chance to stock up on some good fish sauce, a super ingredient for umami goodness.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of quality fish sauce (I like 3 crabs brand or Red Boat)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 green Thai chili peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp lemongrass, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp shallot, minced

Mix all of these ingredients in a bowl, and mix until you get that sugar dissolved. Give a taste. See? Flavor bomb!

You can keep this out at room temperature until you are ready to serve. This was used in fresh lettuce wraps, along with vermicelli noodles, and egg rolls, all wrapped in lettuce and drizzled with that sauce. My boys, and wife do not care for the sauce as it is a bit too spicy for them, but my daughter and I simply love it. This can be stored in the refrigerator, cover, for a few weeks, but my guess is that if you fall in love with this sauce, that it will not last that long. Hope you enjoy!

BBQ Baked Salmon

I’m a huge fan of salmon. Whether it is baked, grilled, or smoked, there is something about the texture and flavor that keeps me coming back for more. On a recent stop at my local grocery store, the butcher had asked if I checked out their salmon as it was on sale, and was going fast. I was quick to respond and decided to pick up over a pound of a salmon filet. The color was perfect and it smelled fresh, so I went all in. I typically coat my salmon in mustard and use various spices, but this time I decided to try another approach and go with a barbecue based rub, and holy moly was it ever good.

BBQ Baked Salmon Recipe
BBQ Baked Salmon Recipe

This recipe is way too easy to make, and not only does it yield quite a bit to feed several people but it is delicious to boot.

Ingredients:

  • ~ 1lb salmon filet
  • 1 cup of your favorite bbq sauce
  • parchment paper, optional

Yep, that’s it. Simple. Delicious. Nutritious.

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees.

Add parchment paper to a baking sheet (I find it much easier for cleanup). Take the salmon filet, skin side down, and rub it all over with your favorite barbecue sauce. I used Sweet Baby Ray’s as it was simple, and not too spicy for my family. Let this set in for about 15 minutes, then place the onto the baking sheet, and bake for about 35 minutes, or cooked until the right temperature, about 145 degrees internal.

BBQ Baked Salmon Recipe
BBQ Baked Salmon Recipe

Once you hit 145 degrees, remove from the oven and let the salmon rest for about 10 minutes before digging in.

This salmon was irresistible and my youngest daughter could not resist. I think she even ate this for lunch, and dinner! Yes, it was that good. If you are looking for a simple salmon recipe, give this one a shot. Hope you enjoy!

Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon

This past Thanksgiving was pretty darn good. As you recall I made a couple of different turkeys, including a smoked turkey breast that was out of this world. My mother-n-law laid out a few appetizers before the big feast, and one of them was this great smoked salmon she picked up from Empire Fish in our area. Everyone surrounded that smoked salmon like they have never eaten in days, it was that good. So the following week, I remembered I had purchased a salmon that was on sale not too long ago, and I brought it up, only to be placed onto the smoker.

Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon Recipe
Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon Recipe

Any time I can mask mustard into a recipe, as my wife does not like mustard, I do, and this was one of those occasions. This recipe uses a dill and mustard spread over the top, that almost builds this awesome smokey crust on the salmon, and impart packs a bunch of additional flavor.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole salmon filet, bones removed, skin on
  • 1/2 cup of yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • Cherry wood chips, soaked in water
  • Smoker
  • 1 tbsp canola oil

Start by getting your smoker started. Again, I use my Weber grill with the Smokenator 1000 accessory, which works really well, but use what you have.

In the meantime, rub the meat side of the salmon with the yellow mustard, then sprinkle on the dill. That’s it.

Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon Ingredients
Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon Ingredients

Before placing the salmon onto the smoker, I liked to brush a bit of oil on the grates where you are going to place the salmon to prevent the skin from sticking. Place the fish, skin side down onto the oiled grates, cover, and let smoke until your internal temperature of the salmon reads 150 degrees on your food thermometer.

Carefully lift up, and place on a plate.

Let cool for about 15 minutes or so, and then dig in. The end result is a perfectly smoked salmon that just flakes apart. When I served this up, it reminded me a lot like that Thanksgiving day. Everyone was picking at it and placing on top of crackers. Regardless, it was super delicious, and was way too easy to make. Hope you enjoy, and happy holidays to everyone!

Open-Faced Sardine and Onion Sandwich

I don’t know what it is, but when I am home alone and my wife and kids are out running errands, I decide to make something a bit naughty. I mean naughty in the sense where I don’t need a comment from any of the family members such as ‘gross’ or ‘what the heck is that?’. This was one of those times. A can of sardines and I have been having a stare down for some time now. You know that can I’m talking about. That can you quickly go past when shopping at the store. Not me. Those cans are something I take a look at carefully, and actually loved those darn little smoked oysters years ago, especially when served on a cracker. Sardines are no exception to that.

You can buy an array of sardines in a can, whether they are boneless and skinless and packed in oil, or mustard, or tomato sauce. For me, I like mine packed in olive oil, and I could not care less whether they are boneless or skinless.

So as I sat alone, and hungry on a Saturday morning, I decided to win that stare down and come up with a pretty darn good open-faced sardine and onion sandwich. If you are scared of sardines, don’t be.

Open-Faced Sardine and Onion Sandwich
Open-Faced Sardine and Onion Sandwich

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 whole sardines, boneless and skinless
  • 1 slice of Texas toast, toasted, or standard sandwich slice
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 lemon, lightly squeezed

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Upon the preheat, add the sardines to a oven safe plate, and place in the oven during the preheat to warm through.

Place your bread in the toaster.

How to make a sardine and onion sandwich
How to make a sardine and onion sandwich

When the bread has toasted, remove it from the toaster and slather on the Dijon mustard, from edge to edge.

Place on half of the sliced onions on the mustard. Remove the sardines from the oven and arrange them on the toast.

Place the remaining onion onto the sardines, and squeeze a bit of lemon over the top.

Open-faced Sardine and Onion Sandwich
Open-faced Sardine and Onion Sandwich

Was this sandwich good? Are you kidding me? It was so satisfying. The sardines themselves lend the flavor and texture of what you might expect from tuna, but possibly better in this case. The slight bite of onion along with the tangy lemon and mustard made every bite memorable, especially with the crunch of the toast.

Did I mention how good sardines, in moderation, are good for you?