Lightly seasoned with honey, mustard and pecans, this salmon recipe is a fast-fix meal that deliver delicious high quality protein.

1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1-1/2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup pecans
4 teaspoons Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
4 6-ounce salmon fillet
Pepper, freshly cracked and ground
Lemon wedges
2 – 3 sprigs parsley, optional garnish

Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Prepare the topping:
Melt the butter and stir together with mustard and honey in a small bowl. Mince the parsley and finely chop the pecans. In a small bowl, stir together parsley, pecans and breadcrumbs.

Assemble and cook:
Dust the salmon pieces with salt and pepper; place the salmon in the prepared baking sheet. Generously brush the salmon with the honey-mustard glaze; evenly sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top. Cook the salmon just until cooked through, approximately 10 – 15 minutes.

Transfer the salmon to a warmed platter. Squeeze one lemon wedge over the salmon, discard wedge. Add remaining lemon wedges and parsley to create an attractive presentation. Encourage your guests to adjust the lemon flavor by squeezing juice from the lemon wedges onto their serving.

Yield: 4 servings.

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Cut into smaller wedges, smoked salmon quesadillas make wonderful warm appetizers. Add a crisp green salad for a delicious fast-fix light supper.

4 ounces smoked salmon
2 ounces goat cheese
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, drained
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh dill weed, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
White pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 (7-inch) flour tortillas

Cut the salmon into 6 thin slices. Mix together the goat cheese, horseradish, sour cream and 1 teaspoon of the dill weed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add enough olive oil to a skillet to lightly coat the bottom. Place the skillet over medium-high heat; when hot add a tortilla. Heat through and lightly brown, turning once. Remove to a warmed platter and loosely cover.

With all tortillas warmed, spread 1/3 of the goat cheese mixture on one-half of each tortilla. Add 2 slices of the salmon to each tortilla. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the chopped dill weed and sprinkle with lemon juice. Fold tortilla over to form quesadilla. With the heat turned off, you can carefully set the folded and uncut quesadillas back into the warm skillet to keep them warm while filling the remaining tortillas. Cut each tortilla into 4 – 6 wedges. Serve immediately.

Yield: 12 – 18 wedges

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Wine, garlic, ginger and extra virgin olive oil create a classic marinade for fresh scallops. This quickly prepared main course makes an elegant impression.

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, mashed or ground
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 Chablis
1-1/2 pounds fresh scallops
Lemon and/or lime wedges

Lightly rinse the scallops and drain well. In a large bowl, mix the ginger and garlic. Add the olive oil, soy sauce and Chablis and stir to blend well. Add the scallops to the marinade and turn to coat. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.

Position your broiler rack about 2 inches below the heat. If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in cold water for 20 – 30 minutes before threading.

Turn on the broiler to preheat. Remove the scallops from the marinade and thread onto skewers, leaving a little space between each scallop to encourage even cooking. Place the skewered scallops on an oiled broiler rack and place the rack below the broiler. Cook the scallops for 4 – 6 minutes, turning and basting with marinade frequently. The scallops are done when they loose their translucence and you might see a bit of light golden brown.

Serve with wedges of lemon and/or lime.

Yield: 4 servings

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A hot appetizer dip of artichoke, crab and Parmesan cheese is a splendid way to treat a cracker or fresh vegetable. If you manage to have any left over, try it as a decadent sandwich spread.

1 can artichokes, drained
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 can crab meat, drained

Quarter and mash the artichokes. Add the mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese; mix thoroughly. Add the crab meat and mix just enough

to incorporate. Put the dip in a pretty oven proof serving dish and bake at 350° for 20 – 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

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This versatile Hot Smoked Salmon Spread recipe will serve you well, whether your appetizer course includes fresh vegetables, crackers or both.

1 pound smoked salmon, skinned and boned
1 pound cream cheese, room temperature or manually softened
1/4 cups grated sweet onion
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 – 1 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 375°

Combine smoked salmon, cream cheese, onion, milk and horseradish. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place the spread in a small baking dish. Top with almonds and bake 10 – 15 minutes until the almonds are slightly browned and the spread is bubbling hot.

Serve hot. This spread is especially delicious as a fresh vegetable dip, and of course, with crackers.

Tip: If you use an attractive baking dish, you won’t need to transfer the hot spread for serving.

Yield: serves 8 – 10 as the central appetizer.

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