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As it had been fifteen years since my brother and his girlfriend, now wife, had been to visit from New Zealand, and the first time for their kids to come, I must admit, I did put a little pressure on myself, feeling like I wanted to make things as perfect as possible. Although we made it to Crystal Bridges and the Walmart Museum in Bentonville, Eureka Springs and Thorncrown Chapel, Beaver Lake, Terra Studios and the University of Arkansas, we barely made it through half of the list I had compiled of “things to do in Northwest Arkansas”, or, “wonderful home cooked meals to serve”.

Following a day on the Lake and a walk down to Dickson Street to experience the Bikes Blues and Barbecue event, we enjoyed dinner at home, enveloped in the quiet, calm atmosphere of the wine cellar. Although I am embarrassed to say, I did not take one picture of people or places the entire time my family was here, I did document every meal I made!! This Triple Mustard Salmon was a quick, easy, delicious dish for the end of a busy day, and I made the Salmon Pate the following night, with the leftover fillets.


triple mustard salmon3 tablespoons toasted wheat germ

1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds, crushed

4 6-ounce salmon fillets

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon of canola oil

In a shallow dish, combine the wheat germ and mustard seeds. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. In a bowl, blend the Dijon mustard with the dry mustard and spread it over the skinned side of the fillets. Dip the mustard side of the fillets in the wheat germ mixture until thickly coated.

In a non-stick skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the fillets, crust side down, and cook over moderately high heat until browned and crisp, 3 minutes. Turn the fillets and cook over moderate heat until barely cooked in the center, 3 minutes longer. Transfer the fillets to plates and serve crust side up.


Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, March 2011


salmon pate

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 shallot, finely chopped

2 tablespoons dry white wine

6 ounces skinless salmon, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 cup finely chopped smoked salmon

2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the shallot, and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 to 4 minutes or until softened but not browned. Add the wine to the skillet and bring to a boil. Place the salmon pieces in the skillet and cover tightly. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, turn the salmon pieces over, cover and simmer for 3 more minutes, until the salmon is just cooked through. Remove the skillet from the heat. Chill salmon pieces in the refrigerator until cold, about 10 to 15 minutes (or use left over salmon from the night/recipe before, adding the butter, shallot and white wine in the next step).

In the meantime, return the skillet to the heat and bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid is reduced to about a teaspoon. Add the Dijon mustard and whisk until combined. Whisk in the mayonnaise and stir in the smoked salmon and chives. Chop the cooked salmon and add to the bowl, stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat, serve on toasted baguette slices.


Recipe adapted from Shape Magazine, July/August 2014