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In the Kitchen with Vital Choice

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Baked Salmon Steaks with Oyster Mushrooms; Smoked Sockeye Salmon Hors d' œuvres

Today, we've got two recipes tailor made for holiday entertaining: a simple appetizer and a simply sensational entrée.

As to our appetizer, the French term “hors d'œuvres” refers to the food served before or outside of (hors d') the main dishes of a meal (œuvre, literally “work”). Serve them on dark rye and top with red onions for a Scandinavian accent, or select from among the suggested bottoms and toppings to suit your taste.

Our baked salmon entrée features a rich oyster mushroom sauce that will work equally well with halibut or sablefish. (Just multiply the portions to serve more folks.)

Oyster Mushrooms are available year round in Asian markets and in most large supermarket chains, sometimes in several color varieties.

Aside from adding a subtly earthy flavor, oyster and other mushrooms are significant sources of copper, selenium, potassium, immune-boosting beta-glucan polysaccharides, and small amounts of cholesterol-lowering statins.

A 3-ounce serving of cooked shiitake, oyster, king oyster or maitake also contains up to 13 mg of the uncommon antioxidant ergothioneine
about 40 times as much as in wheat germmaking these fungi by far the richest dietary sources found to date.

Smoked Sockeye Salmon Hors d' œuvre

Serves 8
Prep time about 10 minutes.

Spread Ingredients

6 oz softened cream cheese or crème frâiche
4 teaspoons fresh chopped dill, thyme or tarragon
2 teaspoons lime juice
8 whole grain bagel halves or dark rye bread slices (or pita chip rounds or crisp rye crackers)
16 oz sockeye salmon nova lox, sliced or chunked


4 tablespoons of any of the following: capers, minced red onion, jalapeño, finely chopped cucumber, red bell pepper or black olive slices.

  • Blend cream cheese, dill and lime juice. Spread cream cheese on bread pieces; top with smoked salmon. Garnish as desired.
  • Nutrients per serving: 412 calories, 12g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 25% calories from fat, 37mg cholesterol, 17g protein, 62g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 749mg sodium, 47mg calcium and .4g omega-3 fatty acids.

Baked Salmon Steaks with Oyster Mushrooms
Recipe courtesy of Dave Shorten. Serve with a green salad, brown basmati rice, or small new potatoes, skin on.

Serves 2

2 (6 oz each) salmon fillet portions
4 oz oyster mushrooms
1 small onion or 2 shallots, finely chopped
Organic extra virgin olive or macadamia nut oil
4 oz dry white wine
2 tablespoons low-fat plain unsweetened yogurt
Organic bay leaves
Sea salt and organic black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Clean the oyster mushrooms carefully (brush any debris out of the gills with a dry soft paintbrush). Cut off the tougher parts of the stem and dice finely, cut up the caps into rough chunks.
  • Place each of the salmon fillets on top of one bay leaf in a lightly oiled ovenproof dish, brush with oil, season with salt and black pepper.

  • Bake until almost done (the timing varies according to the type and size of fish, but it is ready when a sharp knife meets no resistance between the bone and flesh). Drain off any cook-out juices from the salmon and reserve.

  • Meanwhile fry the chopped onion or shallots and the mushroom stems in a little olive oil until the onion is softened and just starting to brown. Add the chunks of oyster mushroom caps and continue cooking at a low heat, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper add a glass of dry white wine and the reserved cooking liquor from the salmon steaks. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

  • Thicken up the sauce just before serving by adding two tablespoons of yogurt and stir in well to bind the mushrooms together.

  • Remove the bay leaf from under the fish just before serving and pour the mushroom sauce over the baked salmon just before serving.

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