Toss blueberries with sugar and cornstarch in a large mixing bowl. Let mixture set for 10 minutes to macerate the berries. Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with milk and vanilla. Whisk the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients until combined, then whisk in melted butter. Spread blueberry filling into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Spoon batter over the berries, leaving gaps between each spoonful. Bake in oven center for one hour, until fruit is bubbling, and a toothpick inserted into spoon bread comes out clean. Let cool for at least one hour before serving.
Headshot Courtesy of Michael Salisbury, Salmon Escabeche Courtesy of Peden + Munk
Simpler Times With Salmon Escabeche
Paul Kahan, 58, is the executive chef and partner of Chicago's One Off Hospitality group, with a slew of well-known restaurants like Avec, Big Star and the Publican. In his recent cookbook, Cooking for Good Times, Kahan focuses on recipes he likes to make for family and friends. One of those dishes is salmon escabeche, which he often puts out for guests to eat while he cooks the rest of the meal.
"This salmon escabeche recipe is fail-proof and always a win,” he says. “I love the whole cooking process for this dish. The smell of the cracked spices perfumes the air, and it fills the house with a really comforting, aromatic smell."
Salmon Escabeche With Lemon Mayo
- 1 cup store-bought mayonnaise (Kahan prefers Duke's or Hellmann's brands)
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
- 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cranks black pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 pound salmon fillet, bones removed (ask your fishmonger to do this)
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small Fresno or jalapeño chili, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 loaf ciabatta bread, sliced (oiled, grilled and rubbed with garlic if you have time)
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice, garlic and salt. Garnish with pepper. Set aside. Cook the salmon: In a small bowl, combine the cumin, coriander, fennel seed and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Rub the flesh side of the salmon with the spice mixture and let it sit in your refrigerator for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Place the salmon on the baking sheet and bake until the fish is tender and just cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. While the fish is cooking, in a small bowl, combine the onion, chili, oil, vinegar, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Massage the onion with the oil and vinegar until tender. When the fish is finished cooking, pour the onion mixture over it. Let the fish sit for 15 minutes at room temperature or up to overnight in the fridge (and gently warm before serving). To serve, spread slices of bread with a schmear of the mayo and a spoonful of onion-topped salmon, smashed onto the bread. All you're doing here is partially cooking salmon until it's medium-rare, pouring over a vinaigrette — whose acid finishes the “cooking” — and smashing it all on some bread with a schmear of mayo.
Chef Max Hardy, 37, has a varied background. He served as a full-time personal chef for New York Knicks player Amar'e Stoudemire, mobilized thousands of meals for the New York homeless community, and is currently chef and owner of his own restaurant, the COOP, in Detroit (not to mention appearances on the Food Network's Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay). His days are spent at his bustling Caribbean-fusion restaurant, but in the evening, he likes to kick back with some coconut shrimp curry.
"Cooking at home allows me to detox and unwind,” says Hardy, noting that the dish that reminds him of his mother's Bahamian cooking. “There's something about the prep — being able to use my knife skills and just cook — that's fun and eases my mind."