Food Network Chef Michael Smith
Three of his favorite recipes
-Francine Segan, Betty’s home+food editor
Chef Michael Smith, popular Food Network star is host of a slew of Food Network TV shows – Chef at Home, Chef at Large, The Inn Chef, and Chef Abroad, where he travels meeting fascinating people who are doing amazing things with food in unique and unusual places.
Betty’s food editor, Francine Segan, recently had a chance to chat on the phone with Chef Michael who shared three delicious recipes.
Prince Edward Island Smoked Salmon with Pasta and Simple Lemon Dill Cream Cheese Sauce
This is one of the most popular dishes on my table. Our friends love its bright, familiar flavors and we love how easy it is to make. You can toss steaming, wet, just cooked pasta with melting cream cheese to form an incredibly smooth luxurious sauce. The smoked salmon adds extravagance balanced by other familiar flavours: dill, lemon, onion, mustard and capers. A five star dish for sharing!
1 pound penne or your favorite short pasta like bowties
1 cup room temperature cream cheese
1 bunch of fresh dill, chopped
4 scallions (green onions), sliced
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 heaping spoonful of Dijon mustard
1/4 cup capers
8 ounces smoked salmon, or more if you like
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Season it liberally with salt until tastes like a day at the beach on Prince Edward Island. As the pasta cooks it will absorb the salted water and become properly seasoned. Cook al dente, until the pasta is cooked through but still pleasantly chewy.
Scoop out some of the starchy cooking water. Drain the pasta but not quite all the way.
Leave it a bit wet. Toss the pasta back into the pot along with a splash or two of the reserved water, perhaps a half-cup or so in total then immediately add the rest of the ingredients. While the pasta is still steaming hot it will easily melt the cream cheese and form a rich creamy sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Simply Steamed Island Blue Mussels with Three Different Flavours
Mussels are super simple to cook and travel with their own built-in sauce base. They’re easy to steam and when you do, they release a flavourful broth that many connoisseurs swear is the best part. That broth can be flavoured any way you care too so mussels are also a great ingredient to freestyle with.
Five to six pounds of mussels, rinsed well with lots of cold running water
Choose ONE of the following three flavouring groups:
– 12 ounce bottle of your favourite local beer, a sliced onion, a tablespoon of butter
-1 cup of orange juice, 1 tablespoon of curry powder
-1 cup of whatever wine you’re drinking, 1 tablespoon of mustard, 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, 1 tablespoon of butter
Wash the mussels very well and discard any that are open and won’t close with a bit of gentle finger pressure.
Pour the liquid and other aromatic ingredients of your choice into a large pot with a tight fitting lid. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the mussels and cover with the lid. Shake the pot occasionally and cook until all the mussels have opened, ten minutes or so.
Spoon out the mussels into a serving bowl. Strain the remaining liquid to remove any broken shell or lingering sand in it. Serve with the mussels and lots of bread for soaking up the flavourful juice.
Organic Prince Edward Island Field Greens with Apple Vinaigrette & Pumpkin Seeds
A simple greens salad is both healthy and tasty. When you toss it yourself with local organic greens and a homemade dressing it can also be a powerful way to support sustainable food choices.
1/4 cup of canola oil
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of local honey
1 teaspoon of any mustard
Four handfuls of local, organic field greens
1/2 cup of toasted pumpkin seeds, optional
salt and pepper to taste
In a salad bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey and mustard until they form a smooth dressing. Toss the greens in the dressing until evenly and lightly coated.
Sprinkle on the pumpkin seeds, if you like, and any other of your favorite locally and seasonally inspired salad garnishes!
Prince Edward Island hosts a wonderful festival in the fall called Fall Flavours, which packs over 130 culinary and cultural events into 12 days from September 25 to October 4. Visit a winery, join local fishermen and farmers as they work, taste artisan products, and much, much more!