Cooking with Bobby Flay – A Gourmet Group Adventure

Spice-Crusted Salmon with Shaved Beet, Fennel, Lemon and Herbs

Cooking with Bobby Flay is our latest Gourmet Group Adventure. Read on and Share this delicious 4 course meal!

Cooking with Bobby Flay

We have to dig deep for new Gourmet Group ideas after 15 years. Yet our hosts Lynda and Brian managed to pick a real winner when they selected recipes by Bobby Flay. Bobby, is best know for his southwestern flavors and all things grilled. As it turned out, our menu didn’t include anything grilled, but Bobby’s bold, southwestern flavors were crafted into every flavorful course.


Shrimp with Tomatillo-Horseradish Cocktail Sauce

Shrimp with Tomatilla-Horseradish Cocktail Sauce

Bill and Miriam, our lovely guest couple, were assigned to bring the appetizer course. They selected Shrimp with Tomatillo-Horseradish Cocktail Sauce. 

This was a southwestern riff on a basic cocktail sauce and also a perfect sized starter. A light nosh is all you need when you have  3 more courses to go! 


First Course

Apple Salad with Walnuts, Blue Cheese & Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Apple Salad with Walnuts, Blue Cheese & Pomegranate VinaigretteNext, Sue and Gary tossed up a delightful spin on a Waldorf salad. Like all things Bobby Flay, this is an apple salad with an assertive personality. Chunks of salty blue cheese, crunchy toasted walnuts, a vinaigrette featuring pomegranate molasses and a colorful mix of Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples.


Main Course

Spice-Crusted Salmon with Shaved Beets, Fennel, Lemon and Herbs

Spice-Crusted Salmon with Shaved Beets, Fennel, Lemon and Herbs

Now here’s where the southwestern flavors really sing! Brian and Linda toasted, ground, rubbed, sliced and cooked up a main course which made our taste buds sit up and take notice! This recipe features a home made rub which doubles as a coating for both the salmon and the sliced almonds. These addictive spiced nuts are great for snacking, but don’t eat them all! Be sure to leave plenty for stirring into the jasmine rice which is served as a side for the salmon. Rounding out this course, a shaved raw beet and fennel salad
with a tart lemon and herb dressing. A refreshing touch that balances out the punch of spice in this dish. 



Mini Coconut Cream Pie with Salted Lime Caramel

Mini Coconut Cream Pie with Salted Lime Caramel

Last but not least – Mini Coconut Cream Pie with Salted Lime Caramel. On the same “right-sizing” theme, Mike and I decided to keep these pies on the small side by using 4 inch tart pans. I
also decided to hit the easy button by using a jar of sea salt caramel sauce I had on hand. All I had to do was stir in the juice of one lime to create an easy version of the salted lime caramel sauce. This turned out to be a real life saver because I had to make a 2nd batch of pie crust as it turned out. Not sure if dessert is Bobby’s “sweet spot”, or if I was to blame. Regardless, I have included the crust recipe I used which worked out much better. 

Mike did indeed attend our dinner party in case you’re wondering! As the flighty paparazzi at this event, I neglected to capture a picture of my handsome hubby. This photo is from our recent trip to Florida. Sorry about that honey!


My Heart Bleeds as Gourmet Group Winds Down

Two touching stories stem from this lovely bleeding heart center piece. Lynda explained that all the plants had come from their beautiful woodland gardens. She called special attention to the bleeding heart. It was planted by her recently departed mom, at the time of their daughter’s First Communion. Isn’t that a wonderful tradition? 

The Gourmet Group has been another wonderful tradition that I’ve deeply enjoyed. As it turns out, Sue and Gary will soon be moving to a new home in Myrtle Beach to live closer to family. Brian and Lynda are also making longer range plans to head to Chicago for the same reason. My heart bleeds as I think about our little group disbanding. However, I am so grateful for the many years we’ve shared wining, dining and enjoying each other’s company. We hope to manage one more Gourmet Group gathering before we head our separate ways. If that happens, you can be sure to read all about our culinary adventure on ItsThyme2Cook!

I hope you enjoy this main course recipe for the Spice-Crusted Salmon with Shaved Beets, Fennel, Lemon and Herbs. You can also access the recipes for the remaining 3 courses by clicking on the links above.

Spice-Crusted Salmon with Shaved Beets, Fennel Lemon and Herbs

Serves 6


    Spice Rub
  • 2 tbsp. fennel seed
  • 1 tbsp. mustard seed
  • 2 tbsp. coriander seed
  • 1 tbsp. cumin seed
  • 2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
    Spiced Almonds
  • 2 c. sliced almonds
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. spice rub (recipe included)
    Spiced Salmon with Shaved Beets, Fennel Lemon and Herbs
  • 1 3-4 lb. salmon fillet or individual fillets for 6 servings
  • 1/4 c. spice rub (recipe included)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large beet, peeled, cut in half and sliced paper thin
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cut into quarters and sliced paper thin
  • 1/2 c. assorted fresh herbs, chopped (select a mix of some, or all of the following - parsley, chervil, tarragon, chives, dill and cilantro)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • cooked jasmine rice, for serving
    Special Equipment
  • Mandoline - for slicing the beets and fennel


    Spice Rub
  • Place fennel seed, mustard seed, coriander seed and cumin seed in a small, dry saute pan over medium heat to carefully toast the spices, approximately 3 minutes or until fragrant. Remove the spices from the pan and let cool. Grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle.
  • In a small bowl, combine the toasted spices with the turmeric, cayenne, brown sugar, salt and pepper and stir until thoroughly mixed. Set aside, reserving 1/4 cup for the spiced almonds and another 1/4 cup for the salmon rub.
    Spiced Almonds
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the sliced almonds on a cookie sheet, spread out in a single layer, and toast in the oven until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  • Place the honey, water and olive oil in a large saute pan over low heat just until they melt together and combine, about 1 minute. Off the heat, add the toasted almonds to the pan and toss until they are evenly coated. Remove the spice-crusted almonds from the bowl and lay out on a cookie sheet in a single layer to cool. Set aside to be served with fluffy jasmine rice, as a side dish to the salmon.
    Spiced Salmon with Shaved Beets, Fennel, Lemon and Herbs
  • Notes - When roasting salmon, bring ingredients to room temperature first to ensure even cooking (about 60 minutes.) Also, if you purchased skin on salmon, you can either leave the skin on or remove it. If you leave it on, apply the rub to the skinless side and be sure to let your guests know, so they can navigate around the skin. Personally, I prefer to buy skinless or remove it myself.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the salmon in a large baking dish or on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Brush one side of the salmon with 2 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper, and 1/4 cup of spice rub. Roast until the fish is cooked through, about 12-20 minutes depending on the thickness of your fillets. Test by seeing if it flakes easily with a fork. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine the beets, fennel, lemon juice, herbs and the remaining 4 tbsp. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Set aside,
  • You can serve the salmon in the baking dish, on a family style platter, or placed on individual plates, mounding the shaved vegetable salad on top. Serve with jasmine rice, stirred with spiced almonds.


Adapted from Bobby Flay's Spice-Crusted Salmon with Shaved Beets, Fennel, Lemon and Herbs - June 1 2015













6 thoughts on “Cooking with Bobby Flay – A Gourmet Group Adventure

  1. It looks like a wonderful meal with a wonderful group of people. I have had the pleasure of participating in your gourmet club and it is always such a delight! Wonderful food and company that is for sure. You have had a great run with gourmet club and I am sad that people are moving (I am going to miss those meals too!). I say keep it going with travel to Myrtle Beach and Chicago. They are great places for a long weekend or more!

    • That sounds like fun doesn’t it? Not sure that’s in the cards for us. You can be sure we will get the chance to share more good meals together on the homefront.

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