Baked Salmon with Hazelnut Butter Sauce makes a light elegant dinner.

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2 (4oz. ) salmon fillets

1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and finely chopped

olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

white wine

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a ovenproof skillet add the butter and a good drizzle of olive oil. Melt the butter on the stove top. Remove from heat. Place salmon fillets on top of the melted butter and turn over in butter so that both sides are coated. Season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and bake for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and add a splash of whit wine and top the salmon fillets with the chopped hazelnuts. Bake another 4 minutes or until salmon is cooked. Remove from oven and spoon sauce from pan over fillets when served.

Nothing is as sweet , tart and light as Lemon Meringue Kisses.

Lemon Meringue Kisses

Meringues Kisses:

1/2 cup sugar

2 egg whites, room temperature

Lemon Curd:

2 whole eggs

8 egg yolks

2/3 cup lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

In a heat proof bowl add the egg whites and sugar. Place bowl over simmering water. Heat the egg whites and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. You check this by using your fingers and rubbing them together in the mixture. When you can no longer feel the sugar granules, remove from heat. Place in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment.  Begin beating on low and gradually increasing to high until egg whites become stiff peaks. Place the meringue in a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a small dab of meringue in the corners to glue down the parchment paper to the baking sheet.  Pipe 12 kisses on each sheet.  Bake meringue kisses until dry . Can be up to an hour or more. Do not allow them to brown. Turn off oven and allow the kisses to to cool in closed oven for 4 hours. Meanwhile prepare the lemon curd. In a saucepan, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks , zest and sugar. Whisk in the lemon juice. Place on medium heat and cook until mixture thickens; stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted. Pour curd into a shallow bowl or baking dish. Cover top with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until ready to use. When kisses are completely cooled, spread bottoms with lemon curd and sandwich together.

There will be extra lemon curd. Use on toast the next morning or topping for waffles.

Meringues Kisses:

1/2 cup sugar

2 egg whites, room temperature

Lemon Curd:

2 whole eggs

8 egg yolks

2/3 cup lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

In a heat proof bowl add the egg whites and sugar. Place bowl over simmering water. Heat the egg whites and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. You check this by using your fingers and rubbing them together in the mixture. When you can no longer feel the sugar granules, remove from heat. Place in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment.  Begin beating on low and gradually increasing to high until egg whites become stiff peaks. Place the meringue in a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a small dab of meringue in the corners to glue down the parchment paper to the baking sheet.  Pipe 12 kisses on each sheet.  Bake meringue kisses until dry . Can be up to an hour or more. Do not allow them to brown. Turn off oven and allow the kisses to to cool in closed oven for 4 hours. Meanwhile prepare the lemon curd. In a saucepan, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks , zest and sugar. Whisk in the lemon juice. Place on medium heat and cook until mixture thickens; stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted. Pour curd into a shallow bowl or baking dish. Cover top with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until ready to use. When kisses are completely cooled, spread bottoms with lemon curd and sandwich together.

There will be extra lemon curd. Use on toast the next morning or topping for waffles.

Ready for Spring time, Risotto with Asparagus Tips.

Risotto with Asparagus Tips

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup chopped shallots

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms

3 tablespoons roasted garlic pulp

1/2 cup white wine

5-6 cups hot chicken stock

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 cups young asparagus , tips reserved and stalks sliced diagonally 1/4 inch long

1/3 cup chives

salt and pepper; to taste

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice; to taste

Additional grated Parmesan for garnish

 

In a deep skillet, melt butter. Add shallots and cook over moderate heat until softened, not brown. Add rice and mushrooms, stirring often until rice is translucent.

Add garlic and wine and enough chicken stock to just cover rice; cook stirring constantly until liquid is nearly absorbed, Continue to add stock a little at a time and letting rice absorb the stock. . Test rice for doneness after about 12 minutes of cooking. It should be creamy not gummy and each rice grain should be al dente in center. Stir in the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes then stir in zest, chives and cheese. Season with salt and pepper and a little lemon juice. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese.