Suzi's Blog

Salmon with Mashed Peas and Tarragon Butter


The supply of salmon seems endless and almost all of us indulge on a regular basis. After all, if you go to a catered event, your choices generally are steak, chicken or salmon. And salmon is often the safe choice.

With safety can come boredom. It’s tragic that over time this wonderful fish can lose its magic. There are so many ways to serve salmon that it should always be inspiring. How to do that? It’s the sauce and the side. Here the salmon is stacked atop mashed peas and then adorned with herbed butter. You keep the salmon flavor, but anoint it with these accompaniments that make this dish lively to look at and then consumed with surprising pleasure. Yes, this dish is different.

Peas are one of the few food that you can freeze, defrost, and find yourself still with the original taste. Here the texture is transformed by mashing and the flavor is accelerated with onion and cream. The peas provides a lively nip on your palate and well complements the salmon proteins.

As the picture shows, you might as well go all-orange here. Pair this salmon with a side of sautéed carrots, either babies or slices. When you cook them, you can experiment with herbs and spices to match that tarragon butter.

Suzen often serves this dish now for her cooking classes at Cooking by the Book. It's a great recipe for team cooking or for your culinary club. The peas, the butter, and the salmon itself can all be divided out among your group so everyone is happily "employed." And, when the parts come together into that final dish, everyone can take pride. In the kitchen, you can both satisfy your stomach and brighten your soul.


Read This Article


Roasted Poblano and Crab Hush Puppies with Green Goddess Dipping Sauce from The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook


“What are you making?” Suzen asked me. I was upstate. She was in the city. It was dinner time, I was on my own, and I had the opportunity to do whatever I wanted. Whatever. Things I had wanted for decades and never, never got to have. I don’t want to give you the impression I’m deprived. But, still, …

“Hush puppies,” I answered with quiet confidence.

“Don’t make a mess,” she cautioned. I heard the panic: “what is that man about to do to my kitchen.”

“I’m fine. It’ll be fine.” I tried to reassure her.

“I mean it,” she emphasized.

I ended up cleaning for hours. The “hush puppy” pan I thought I had did not quite work out. Wrong shape. Wrong size. Wrong. I tried it, but … There was some spilling, some sizzling, heavy smoke, intense smell.

So for the rest of the batter, I used mini-cupcake tins which worked just fine. [And that explains the picture above!] The flavor of poblano and crab does not depend on the shape or size. It’s all in the mixture.

From The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook, these puppies are richly satisfying. They can be an appetizer or the main course. The Green Goddess Dipping Sauce was posted yesterday, because it truly stands on its own. There is synergy though in having these highly flavored puppies with the tarragon tang of Green Goddess.


Roasted Poblano and Crab Hush Puppies

Yield: 24 puppies


  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 ½ cup yellow cornmeal, finely ground
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup [1/2 stick] unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  •  ½ pound fresh cap [or shrimp, roughly chopped]
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • Green Goddess Dipping Sauce [see separate post]


On an open flame of a gas burner, on a barbecue, or on a baking sheet under the broiler, roast the pepper until charred on that side. Rotate until charred all over. Transfer with gongs to a brown paper bag and close. Let the pepper steam for 5 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel, seed, stem, and finely chop

Meanwhile, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, pepper, baking powder, and baking soda and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, poblano pepper, green onion and crab [or shrimp].Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined. Do not ovemix.

Over medium heat place your hush puppy pan [ebeskiver] o the burner and allow to warm up. Add 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil to each well. Once hot, add heaping tablespoons of the butter to each well. Cook until they are golden and release easily, about 4 minutes, then flip with a skewer or fork. Cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, then plop all of them out onto a platter.

Serve at once with the sauce. Cool any remainders and freeze.


Source: The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: Recipes for the Best Pan in Your Kitchen by Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramis Hearne

Photo Information: Canon T2i, 18-55MM Macro lens, F/2.8, 1/100th second, ISO 1600