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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Countdown to Dinner: Picky eater loves salmon baked in wine

Thursday, September 14, 2000

Tested by Nancy Anderson

Helen Andrascik of Mt. Lebanon added her own touch -- garlic and butter -- to today's Countdown recipe and then named it after her toughest dinnertime customer -- 4-year-old Ben.

"Everyone in the family loves it, including Ben" she said. "He's my pickiest eater, but he knows what he likes."

The kid has good taste. Salmon baked in wine and seasonings is quite a gourmet dish for any age.

Helen makes Ben's Favorite Salmon about every three weeks because it's not only popular with Ben but with the rest of the troops as well -- Lily, 8; Eli, 18 months; and husband Zachary Smith, who plays French horn with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

The recipe basically was one her mother-in-law made. But when Helen went to make it for her own family, she wasn't sure of the ingredients.

"All I could remember was the wine and dill," she said. "So I added garlic and butter, and it was a hit."

A full-time mom, she gets help in the kitchen from Lily, who's a third-grader at Markham Elementary.

"She loves to pretend that we're putting on a cooking show," Helen said. "We have to put on aprons and explain what we're doing while we cook."

Ben's Favorite Salmon

Salmon fillet, any size
White wine
Dill weed to taste
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place salmon fillet in a glass baking dish just a little larger than the fish. Pour white wine over it to a depth of a 1/2-inch.

Sprinkle with salt and dill weed, and dot with butter or olive oil. Add garlic to the wine bath. Bake uncovered until done, about 15 or 20 minutes depending on thickness of salmon. Baste once or twice with the wine after it begins to bubble.

Note:If there is no time to chop garlic, use garlic salt instead of regular salt.

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com. Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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