Your Life A to Z Recipe: Friday, October 3rd, 2014: Potato Leek Cake and Salmon with Orange Glaze

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Potato Leek Cake
Serves 4
2 lbs white or russet potatoes, peeled and shredded in a food processor
2 T unsalted butter
2 T olive oil
2 large leeks, trimmed and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1 T fresh chives, finely chopped
1. Squeeze the shredded potatoes in a kitchen towel to remove moisture.
2. Heat a 10" cast iron pan over medium heat and add 1 T each olive oil and butter.
3. Add leeks and sauté for 5 minutes, until softened but not browned.
4. Remove leeks from pan and blot with paper towels to remove excess oil.
5. Stir leeks into potatoes and add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Heat remaining oil and butter in same pan over medium heat.
7. Add potato mixture and press with a spatula to flatten and fill circumference of pan.
8. Cover and cook without peeking for 5 minutes.
9. Carefully flip cake by placing a plate over the pan and, holding it in place, inverting the pan. Slide cake from plate back into pan.
10. Press again with spatula and then cover and continue cooking.
11. Check cake at 3 minutes. When finished, it will be golden brown and crispy on top.
12. Flip out onto serving plate. Sprinkle with chives, cut into wedges, and serve.

Salmon with Orange Glaze
Serves Four
4 fillets of fresh salmon; skinned
1 dry ancho chile
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 T mesquite honey
1/2 cup dark molasses
4 T clarified unsalted butter, melted
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 4000.
2. Remove and discard seeds and stem from chile.
3. In a dry non-stick pan over medium heat lightly toast the chile, about 1 minute each side.
4. Stand away from the pan (the steam can burn your eyes) and add 3 T water. Remove pan from heat, cover, and set aside for 10 minutes.
5. Place in a blender with a pinch of salt and puree until smooth, adding more water if needed to reach a smooth consistency.
6. Mix 1 T of the puree with the molasses, honey, orange juice, and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
7. Place grill pan over medium-high heat. When hot, brush with olive oil.
8. Place salmon fillets in the grill pan, laying on a diagonal against the lines on the pan. Sprinkle each with a pinch of sea salt.
9. Cook on one side for 4 minutes, move the fillets one-quarter turn, and cook for another 3 minutes.
10. Remove the fillets to a baking pan and place in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, until just cooked through the middle.
11. Arrange fillets on serving plates and drizzle with the orange glaze.