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Jul 29, 2011 04:10 PM

Here's what I've got for dinner, suggest a recipe!

So I've got some smoked salmon, but I don't know how to prepare it. I want to make a meal with what's in my kitchen:

1 box of organic Rotini
1 can spaghetti sauce
1 box frozen spinach in butter sauce
1 jar of pickled jalapeno peppers
1/4 lb of pepper jack cheese
2 fresh tomatoes
8 cloves marinated garlic
Italian seasoning
sea salt
black pepper
Land O Lakes light butter
1 loaf of fresh Tuscani sesame bread

That's pretty much what I've got to work with, and some decent red wine.

Help me out please!

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  1. What kind of smoked salmon is it? The chunky hard-smoked kind, the silky-smooth really expensive kind, or lox? However it's cured, it's already "prepared"; although it is nice to use in recipes, your existing pantry stock doesn't give much to go on in that department. My favorite way to eat the hard-smoked chunks, or "squaw candy" as we called it in Alaska, is how we mostly ate it there: out of the greasy brown paper bag it was kept in. For company most people would just put it in a basket lined with paper towels … The softer varieties are usually presented as hors d'oeuvres, sliced (the fancy kinds come whole but sliced) on a platter, with thin slices of bread or crackers, softened cream cheese, garnish of capers, maybe chopped onion, fresh dill, whatever. If it's just you and you want to have a nosh before dinner, take a clue from that and treat yourself to what you want. Any of the softer salmon types are also really good in scrambled eggs, or added to a reduced cream pasta sauce (Alfredo type) with suitable seasonings.

    For the rest, I would cook and drain some pasta, chop some of the marinated garlic, melt some butter in a skillet and add Italian seasoning (not a lot), the garlic, and the tomatoes chopped and drained. When the tomatoes softened a bit I'd stir in the pasta and toss to coat. Depending on how much pasta to sauce ratio I'd wound up with I'd either just cook the spinach, slice some bread and sit down, or stir in some canned sauce (+ a splash of wine) to make up the deficit and either heat it through in the skillet or turn it out into a gratin pan, grate some of that cheese over it (so pepper jack isn't Italian - are you? Me neither!) and run it through a hot oven for ten minutes. Then I'd sit down with the spinach, bread and wine.