Saturday, May 18, 2013

Smoked Salmon BLT

Barbecue cookouts and fish fries are a requisite life experience growing up in the Mid-South and barbecue is probably the food I've missed the most as a pescetarian.  I keep holding on and hoping that one day I'll find a Southern style barbecue joint with enough gumption and foresight to realize that tofu, tempeh, shrimp, salmon and vegetable kabobs are absolutely divine when grilled and slathered in barbecue sauce.  However, at the moment, that's nothing more than a dream deferred.  Just yesterday, I was in York, PA and my eyes began to glisten and sparkle as I came across Big Lou's Bar-B-Q on Yelp.  I was ever so hopeful.  Then, I was abruptly snatched back to reality when I looked at the menu and realized the only vegetarian options were carbs since the vegetables were likely cooked and flavored with meat.

So, for now, I'll continue to comfort my aching heart and wistful spirit with crab cakes (so far Alchemy is the best I've had), oysters and smoked salmon and mussels from Neopol Savory Smokery.   I honestly stop at Neopol for their smoked mussels every single time I'm in that part of town.  Their smoked salmon and mussels are quite reminiscent of the smokiness of barbecue and that causes my palate to sing praises and brings me temporary relief from this meat-free burden that I've place upon myself unspeakable joy.

This sandwich is inspired by Neopol's Salmon BLT.  They make a pescetarian version, by replacing the bacon with thinly sliced apples, that is quite scrumptious. I was thinking how nice it would be to have one for dinner with a glass of white wine during the week (when it's nearly impossible for me to make it over to their counter) so I decided to recreate it at home using the ingredients I had on hand.  

Smoked Salmon BLT


  • 1 tbsp garlic herb lemonaise
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • Bread or sandwich rolls (I used rye pumpernickel)
  • Pea shoots
  • 7-8 oz of cracked peppercorn smoked salmon
  • Thinly sliced tomato
  • 3 pieces of bacon (sub thinly sliced apples for pescetarian version)
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Thinly sliced cucumber


In a small bowl, mix garlic herb lemonaise and dill.  To assemble, spread the dill lemonaise mix over the bread.  Layers with pea shoots, smoked salmon, tomato, bacon or apples, red onion and cucumber.  Add top layer of bread and serve.   

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cocktail Hour: Paloma

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!  What is considered a relatively minor day in Mexico (commemorating the Mexican army's 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War) has evolved into a much larger celebration of Mexican culture and heritage here in the United States.

I am a huge fan of Mexican cuisine and it's a mere coincidence that I had Mexican for lunch today.  I was in Patterson Park for the Kinetic Sculpture Race so I decided to take advantage of being in Baltimore's Hispanic Corridor and went to La Sirenita for lunch.  I had a great ceviche tostada and cheese sopes, but it was the pumpkin flower quesadilla that was the star of the meal.  It had layers of flavor ranging from the corn tortillas and Mexican crema to the pumpkin flowers which tasted like they had been marinated for hours.  I decided to forgo beer and cocktails at the restaurant and opted to make homemade Palomas for me and a couple friends when I got back home.

According to my sources¹, the Paloma cocktail, not the margarita, is the most popular tequila based cocktail in Mexico.  I can definitely see why.  The Paloma is light, refreshing and slightly more balanced than a margarita.  I'm most definitely a fan.

1. Baltimore MagazineBon Appetit and Wikipedia

Paloma Cocktail


  • Course Sea Salt
  • 1 lime
  • 1 shot tequila
  • Grapefruit soda (such as Jarritos, Squirt or Fresca)
  • Grapefruit wedge


Pour some course sea salt on a small plate.  Rub the rim of a glass with lime and dip in salt.  Fill glass with ice.  Add juice from one lime and a dash of sea salt.  Stir in 1 shot of tequila and top with grapefruit soda, roughly 1/4 cup.  Garnish with grapefruit wedge.