Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What's For Dinner? Orange Roasted Salmon and Fennel, Wasabi Mashed Potatoes, and Polenta Pound Cake with Blueberries

Hi everyone,

Along with my new URL, I've decided to change the format of this blog a bit in order to work in better connection with my Youtube channel (and if you haven't subscribed yet, what are you waiting for??) to create an entire meal - main, side, dessert - each week.

Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday I'll be posting a video on Youtube - Tuesdays will feature the main dish, Thursdays "What's on the side?" and Saturday the dessert. And then the following week I'll compile them all here as a featured meal - starting today with the following foodie fabulousity:

Orange Roasted Salmon and Fennel, with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes, and Polenta Pound Cake with Blueberries and Thyme!

And I have to say, this meal was not only incredible - it so well balanced. The slight hint of heat in the Wasabi Mashed Potatoes was the perfect counter point to the roasted fennel and the unctuous orange cream sauce that blanketed the salmon.

So come on over to my Kitchen Witch Cottage and learn how to make this beautiful meal - starting with the Orange Roasted Salmon and Fennel.

Visit the printable recipe here: Orange Roast Salmon and Fennel

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 32 minutes
Serves: 4

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 bulbs fennel, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 large navel orange, zested
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 
  • 1/2 cup Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 3-4 whole sprigs of thyme and 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 4 fresh salmon filets
  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Coat the bottom of a large roasting pan with 2 tbsp of the oil. Add the sliced fennel. Add the sprigs of thyme. Drizzle 1 tbsp of oil over the fennel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to fully coat the fennel with oil and seasonings. Roast 12 minutes.
  2. Remove the fennel from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 400. Top fennel with the salmon, skin side down. Drizzle with the last tbsp of olive oil, salt, pepper, and orange zest.
  3. Roast for 15-20 minutes until the salmon reaches your desired doneness.
  4. Warm the orange juice in a small saucepan along with the thyme leaves. Add the cream cheese and let it melt into the sauce.
  5. Remove pan from oven. Place fennel on a large platter. Remove skin from salmon. Place on top of the fennel and spoon the cream sauce over all.

What's on the Side this week features me mashing up those fluffy, savory, potatoes - along with me dishing about some of the more adventurous things I've done in my life. Mechanical bull anyone?

Help yourself to a coffee, and join me....

Visit the printable recipe here: Wasabi Mashed Potatoes


  • 8-10 unpeeled new potatoes
  • 2 cloves peeled whole garlic
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 tbsp wasabi paste
  1. Quarter the potatoes, cover with water, add the garlic cloves and salt and bring to the boil. Boil potatoes until soft and tender.
  2. Melt the butter, whipping cream and wasabi together over medium heat in a small pot.
  3. Drain the potatoes and garlic and smash with a potato masher, and add the cream mixture. Continue to mash and stir until it's creamy and incorporated.
And finally, join me for this week's happy ending - which is my new favourite dessert for summer! I honestly can't enough about this one and hope all my friends and readers will give it a try!

Again, pull up a chair and join me in the Kitchen Witch cottage...

Visit the printable recipe here: Polenta Pound Cake with Blueberries

For the blueberries

    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
    1 pint fresh blueberries (can also use frozen and thawed)
    1-1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
    Pinch kosher salt

For the cake

    8 oz (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pan
    6-2/3 oz (1-2/3 cups) cake flour; more for the pan
    1/3 cup polenta (cornmeal)
    2 Tbs finely chopped fresh thyme
    1/4 tsp kosher salt
    1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
    5 large eggs, at room temperature
    1 Tbs fresh orange juice
    2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Make the blueberries

In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, 1 tsp fresh thyme, and 2 Tbs. of water. Stir over low heat, until the sugar dissolves. Next add one pint of fresh (or frozen and thawed) blueberries, 1 and a half tsp of orange zest, and a pinch of kosher salt. Raise the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the syrup thickens slightly and the berries are warm - about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat while you make the cake.

To do so, whisk together 1 and 2/3 of a cup of cake flour, with a third cup of cornmeal, 2 tbsp of finely chopped fresh thyme, and 1/4 tsp of kosher salt.

Meanwhile beat 1 cup of softened butter together with 1 and 1/3 cups of sugar on medium-high for about 2 minutes until fluffy. Add 5 large room temperature eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Finally, add 2 tsp of the best vanilla you can get your hands on and 1 tbsp of orange juice. Add the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until just combined.

Scrape the batter into a buttered and floured pan and smooth the top.

Bake in a 325 oven for an hour and 15 minutes - but check on the cake at the hour point and test with a tooth pick. Depending on how hot your oven gets it could be ready earlier.

Slice and serve warm or at room temperature, topped with the blueberries.


Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

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