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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cream of Asparagus Soup, Salmon Cakes & Lemon Cheesecake

Winter just seems to be hanging on even though it is officially spring. I was feeling a bit creative today and wanted to make something a bit different for dinner, nothing fancy just different. So I went shopping in my pantry and came up with a couple of jars of home canned asparagus and a can of salmon as something we haven't had in awhile.

Asparagus Soup with Salmon Cakes

Canned asparagus does not compare texturally to fresh so I only can up a few jars each year. It is ideal as an ingredient or a quick start for soup. I decided a cream of asparagus soup would go nicely with the salmon cakes I planned to make.

Pictured is the cream of asparagus soup served with niblet corn and salmon cakes. The dinner was a refreshing change from red meat and pork yet it was very filling. Salmon cakes are a tasty budget stretching meat. A large can of salmon made 8 large patties. Adjust the seasonings in the salmon patties to your tastes.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Herbs de Provence
2 tbsp butter
500 ml (2 c) beef stock
500 ml (2 c) milk
250 ml (1 c) 1/2&1/2 cream
2 - 500 ml jars home canned asparagus
1 tbsp flour
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in sauce pan. Stir in onion and garlic. Sautee until onions are transparent. Stir in beef stock and asparagus. Warm through. Use a stick blender to blend the vegetables and stock. Stir in milk, 1/2 & 1/2 and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Mix the flour with a little milk. Slowly pour into the soup while stirring constantly. Allow to thicken slightly. Ladle into soup bowls.

Salmon Cakes

4 medium potatoes
1 - 14.55 oz (418 g) can pink salmon, drained
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 egg
1 tsp garlic/onion seasoning mix
2 c seasoned bread crumbs

Wash, peel and cube the potatoes. Steam until tender then mash. Allow to cool somewhat. Stir in the onion, seasoning, egg and salmon. Mix well. Form into 4 - inch patties about 1/2 - inch thick. Place each patty into the seasoned bread crumbs and press slightly. Turn over and press. Remove from bread crumbs. Fry in a medium hot pan in melted butter.

Lemon Cheesecake

I decided to make a lemon cheesecake recipe I found in the current issue of What's Cooking. This baked cheese cake promised to be refreshing and creamy, with just a hint of lemon. I thought this cheesecake would round out the meal nicely and I wasn't disappointed. I modified the recipe slightly. Next time I make this cheesecake I'm going to add just a bit of mint, not much just enough to enhance the lemon. I also think that substituting an orange for the lemon would make a lovely cheesecake as well.

Lemon Cheesecakesource: Kraft, What's Cooking, Spring 2008. Pp. 15

2 c graham cracker crumbs
6 tbsp melted butter
4 pkg (226 g) cream cheese, softened
1 c organic sugar
1 c sour cream
4 eggs
1 lemon, grated peel and juice

Melt the butter and mix with the graham cracker crumbs. Reserve 1/8 c of this mixture. Press the rest of the mixture into a 13x9-inch baking pan. Preheat oven to 325ºF (165ºC). Beat the softened cream cheese and sugar on speed setting 3 of KitchenAid® stand mixer or medium speed of hand mixer until well blended. Mix in sour cream, lemon peel and juice. Mix well. With mixer on setting 3 add one egg at a time, mixing until just blended. Pour the cheese mixture over the crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake 40 minutes or until centre is almost set. Refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

1 food lovers commented:

Monica @ Gastromony said...

I'm so glad to come across a recipe for asparagus soup that uses beef stock as I bought it by mistake instead of chicken :) Hoping mine works out like yours.