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pasta smoked salmon
Smoked Salmon Pasta

Hot Spinach Salad

Menu Plan for the week of Sept. 20, 2013: Day 1 Recipes

Smoked Salmon Pasta
Hot Spinach Salad

Cooking time:  30 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

     I use the moist Irish or Scottish smoked salmon for this, but the dry-smoked type (more common in the U.S.) would work as well.... Good Irish smoked salmon can be a bit expensive, but a little goes a long way.

Smoked Salmon Pasta                                        Preparation and cooking time:   30 minutes
    I use crème fraiche for this.  You can substitute sour cream if you like - it will be a bit more tart; or heavy cream  - it will be a bit higher in calories.

1 1/4 cups dried pasta
3 shallots
1 tbs olive oil
4 tbs white wine
3 tbs fresh lemon juice, about 1 small lemon
3/4 cup (6oz, 180gr) crème fraiche or Greek yogurt
2 tsp dill weed 
6oz (180gr) smoked salmon, (the moist kind: Irish or Scottish)

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain.
Thinly slice shallots and sauté in oil until tender.  Add wine and simmer until reduced by half.  Stir in crème fraiche and heat through. Squeeze lemon.  Slice salmon into strips.  Add 3/4 of the salmon, dill and lemon juice to the crème fraiche. Heat through but do not let boil. 
Add pasta and toss well to combine. Put it into a serving bowl, garnish with reserved salmon and serve.

Hot Spinach Salad                                                     Preparation and cooking time: 10 minutes
This is a cross between a salad and a vegetable.  I've added a bit of bacon to it but you can leave it out for a vegetarian version.  Be careful to cook the spinach for a just a minute, only to wilt slightly.

6oz (180gr) fresh spinach
2 slices bacon, 1oz (30gr)
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbs good olive oil
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
salt - sea salt is nice, and pepper   optional

Cut bacon into matchsticks.  Wash and stem spinach if needed.  Drain in a colander.  If you don't feel you need to wash it - do it anyway.  We want a little bit of water on the leaves - what ever is left on the leaves after draining well.  Cut any really large leaves. 
Heat oil over medium high heat in large nonstick skillet.  Add bacon and sauté until crisp.  Add vinegar, thyme, sugar and heat through.  Add spinach and quickly stir-fry, 1 minute.  The spinach should just start to wilt.  Remove, sprinkle with salt, pepper and serve.

Cooking Schedule: 30 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
medium skillet, large skillet, pot, colander for pasta
Put water on high heat for pasta
Peel shallots, thinly slice, sauté
Wash, stem spinach, cut as needed
Cut bacon, slice salmon
Add wine to shallots, reduce
Squeeze lemon

Cook pasta
Sauté bacon in medium skillet
     Pause while stuff cooks
Add vinegar, thyme, sugar to bacon
Stir crème fraiche into shallots, heat through
Drain pasta, add to skillet with shallots
Add 3/4 salmon, lemon, dill to pasta, stir to combine
Add spinach to bacon, stir-fry, put into bowl
Put pasta into bowl, garnish with remaining salmon

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