Q: Sunset Catch serves the most incredible salmon baked in parchment paper. It is so moist and delicious. Please see if they will share the recipe. — Kitty Cooper, Lighthouse Point
A: The menu at Sunset Catch (101 N. Riverside Drive, Pompano Beach, 954 545-0901, sunsetcatch.com) focuses on fresh seafood and authentic Italian specialties executed by chef Mario Spina. His wife, Nadia Spina, keeps things flowing smoothly in the dining room of this waterfront seafood restaurant near the Marina at Sands Harbor.
Since relocating from Sicily in 1985, Mario Spina has manned the stove at various South Florida haunts, including The Big Apple, Café Mediterraneo and Mario Ristorante Italiano and Wine Bar. He runs a tight ship, which was evident when I visited his impeccably spotless kitchen and wrote today's recipe as he passionately prepared the Salmon. The couple has developed a loyal following by providing consistent quality food and attentive service in a beautiful and warm environment.
"The people come as customers and leave as friends," he says. Spoken like a true, hospitable Italian.
Sunset Catch's Salmon in parchment
Cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the salmon filet. The thickest parts of the filets chef Mario Spina used were 2 inches.
2 8-ounce salmon filets, skin on
1 cup Bruschetta topping (see recipe)
1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves picked
4 sprigs fresh parsley, leaves picked
1 sprig fresh basil, leaves picked and torn
8 dry cured black olives, pitted
Flavored olive oil, infused with basil and garlic
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place each salmon filet on the center of a piece of parchment paper large enough to completely wrap the fish. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Top each salmon with half the tomato mixture. Sprinkle the fish with fresh herbs. Top with olives and a drizzle of olive oil. Bring the two sides of paper together and fold down. Fold ends under fish and place on a baking sheet.
2 Bake until fish is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Unwrap salmon and transfer to serving plates.
Makes 2 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 747 calories, 66% calories from fat, 55 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 143 mg cholesterol, 8 g carbohydrates, 53 g protein, 305 mg sodium, 2 g fiber
The topping for today's salmon recipe keeps the fish moist while adding flavor, but it also makes a quick-and-easy appetizer served with a sliced, toasted baguette.
½ pound chopped tomato
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 leaves basil, chopped
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a nonreactive bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and refrigerate several hours allowing flavors to meld.
Makes about 1 cup.
Nutrition information per 1/2 cup serving: 219 calories, 88% calories from fat, 21 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 6 g carbohydrates, 1 g protein, 11 mg sodium, 1 g fiber
Q: I just had the lamb burger at the new BGR in Plantation. It was so flavorful and cooked to perfection. I especially loved the sauce. I'd like to serve it at my next cookout. Can you please get the recipe? — Josh Ferguson, Sunrise
A: Founded in 2008, the chain called BGR, The Burger Joint (1015 S. University Drive, Plantation, 754-206-4912, bgrtheburgerjoint.com) recently christened its first Florida location. The menu boasts prime, dry-aged beef, cooked to order, over an open flame. Its menu extends beyond beef, though, as shown by today's lamb burger recipes. Additional specialty burgers include tuna, veggie, turkey and chicken. There's a lengthy list of toppings to create your own. A selection of beer and wine elevates the burger experience.
BGR's Greek burger
Recipe adapted from BGR
1½ pounds ground lamb
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
4 hamburger buns
4 slices feta cheese
4 leaves green leaf lettuce
4 slices tomato
4 thin slices red onion
¼ cup BGR Tzatziki sauce (see recipe)
Olive oil, for grilling
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Using a medium bowl, combine lamb, onion, garlic, parsley and mint. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Shape the meat into 4 oval patties, ½ -inch thick. Brush patties with olive oil.
2 Prepare a grill to medium heat. Brush grill grates with olive oil. Grill the lamb burgers 12 minutes, turning once for medium temperature or to desired doneness.
3 To serve, place burgers on buns and top with feta, lettuce, tomato, red onion and a tablespoon of Tzatziki sauce. Serve remaining sauce on the side.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 598 calories, 56% calories from fat, 37 g fat, 14 g saturated fat, 137 mg cholesterol, 27 g carbohydrates, 39 g protein, 466 mg sodium, 4 g fiber
BGR Tzatziki sauce
The sauce keeps well refrigerated in an airtight container. It also makes a great appetizer. Serve as a dip with toasted pita bread or raw vegetables.
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 small cucumber, seeded, finely grated and drained
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Using a medium bowl combine all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir well until combined. Cover and refrigerate for several hours, allowing flavors to meld.
Makes about 2 cups.
Nutrition information per 1 tablespoon: 6 calories, 23% calories from fat, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 1 g carbohydrates, 1 g protein, 3 mg sodium, 0 g fiber