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Fancy Dinner for Upcoming Holiday

Fine in home dinner

By Ken Washington - December 19, 2018

Skip the fuss of making a fancy dinner reservation this weekend and spend the night in making a delicious meal for the ones you love to hang with. In many ways, sitting down to enjoy a meal with your family has never been about the food that’s on the table; it’s about taking the time to connect and break bread together. Now you can have the fancy dinner also. Whether it’s your spouse, significant other, best friend, group of friends, or just yourself, you can’t go wrong with any of these romantic recipes. And, of course, make sure there’s plenty of fancy wine. With a few more idea's for holiday meals for you to try.

Garlic Butter Baked Salmon
Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Baked Salmon with crispy potatoes, asparagus and a garlic butter sauce with a touch of lemon. A complete meal on one tray using minimal ingredients you already have in your kitchen! Full of flavor and so easy to make!
Ingredients

      *   1 pound (500 g) fingerling potatoes, halved (or Yukon golds or halved white/red baby potatoes)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper, divided
  • 4 (6 oz | 170 g) skinless salmon fillets
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 3 bunches asparagus, (18 spears, woody ends removed)
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine (substitute with 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth)

1 lemon sliced to garnish
Direction

Heat oven to 400°F | 200°C. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss together potatoes with the oil, 1/2 tablespoon of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread out in an even layer and roast for 15 minutes until they're just starting to soften and brown.

  1. Push potatoes to one side of the sheet pan and arrange salmon down the center. Rub salmon evenly with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the minced garlic and 2 tablespoons of parsley. Add the asparagus to the other side of the pan. 
  2. Combine 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1/4 cup of the melted butter together and pour the mixture over the salmon and asparagus. Season everything with the remaining salt and pepper.
  3. Return to oven and continue baking until the potatoes are golden and fork-tender and the salmon is opaque throughout, (about 10 minutes). Optional: broil in the last 2 minutes for charred edges. 
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining butter, garlic and lemon juice with the wine (or chicken stock). Serve with the salmon, veggies and lemon slices!

Pan Seared Icelandic cod fillets or Halibut With Red Wine Reduction Sauce

This recipe for pan-seared halibut with red wine reduction can be made with salmon, snapper or other white fish as well, but the meatiness of halibut really lends itself to searing. Choose thick (1 1/2) filets for this recipe. The sauce can be made ahead of time because it holds very well (store in an airtight glass container), which makes this an excellent choice for entertaining. 

Ingredients

  • 4 halibut fillets (about 5 ounces each, skinned)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry herbs de Provence (Provencal herb blend of savory, thyme, basil, fennel, rosemary and/or lavender)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons mild local honey or organic sugar
  • 1 shallot (cut in half)
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 rosemary sprig, about 2 ½ inches long
  • 2 1/2 cups good quality red wine, such as pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon
  • ½ cup strong vegetable stock or chicken broth
Directions
  1. Prepare the sauce: Place the honey, shallot, bay leaf, rosemary sprig, red wine and broth in a small, heavy-bottomed stainless steel saucepan.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, and continue cooking, until the liquid has reduced to 1 cup and coats the back of a spoon. 
  4. Discard the rosemary, bay leaf, and shallot. (This makes about 1 cup, enough sauce for 8-10 entree servings. Leftover sauce will keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
  5. While the sauce is cooking, season the halibut filets top and bottom with sea salt, pepper, and herbs.
  6. Heat the olive oil in a cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet (or lightly oil a stovetop grill) over medium-high flame.
  7. Place the filets top down in the skillet, and cook about 7 minutes, until deep golden. 
Enjoy
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