Dinner and a Playlist: Sautéed Salmon, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and a Side of Cool Jazz

For a jazz fan, there’s almost nothing better than heading out to a jazz club for an evening of fine food, good times and great jazz. But what if we told you we could bring the jazz club to you?

Here, we present our latest Dinner and a Playlist feature, which pairs a delectable, easy-to-make recipe from professional chef (and amateur jazz fan) Carlos Loza with a playlist curated by JAZZIZ editors. The idea: gather up the ingredients, fire up the stove, open the playlist on the platform of your choice, and enjoy a wonderful evening of cooking, listening, and fine dining. We’ve got music to keep you company from the first chop to the final bite.

On the menu is a night of tangy, zesty goodness. Enjoy Loza’s sautéed salmon with mushrooms and asparagus, a side of lemony mashed potatoes and a big helping of Cool Jazz, which features the sleek, sophisticated sounds of the West Coast jazz scene in the 1950s and ’60s. As you dine, enjoy top tracks from Chet Baker, Dave Brubeck, Gerry Mulligan, Paul Desmond, Bill Evans and many more. It all goes great with a bottle of Chardonnay and a great pair of speakers. If you ask us, jazz never tasted better.

The Recipe

For the mashed potatoes

2lbs Idaho potatoes peeled (cut roughly to 1inch cubes and keep in cold water)
2Tbs Olive oil
1 Shallot chopped
2 pc Garlic cloves minced
½ cup Heavy cream
To taste.  Salt/ pepper

Step 1. Boil the potatoes until they’re soft. 

Step 2. In a large pot, pour the oil over low heat. Add shallots and garlic, and cook for about two minutes until fragrant.

Step 3. Carefully pour in the heavy cream so as not to splatter, and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and mash them, adding salt and pepper to taste. 

For the sautéed vegetables
1 bunch Asparagus
8-10 Porcini mushrooms quartered
Tsp. Shallots minced
½ Garlic clove minced
2 tbsp. Vegetable oil
½ tsp. Dried thyme, rosemary chopped each
1Tbs. Sherry vine


Step 1. In a pot, boil enough water with salt and a pinch of baking soda (this will help the flavor and give asparagus a bright green color). Cook al dente for about 5 mins and take them out. Set aside. 


Step 1. Set a pan over medium-high heat and let it get very hot. Put the mushrooms in, drizzle about 2 Tbs vegetable oil, add salt and pepper and let them cook. Give a stir every 30 seconds until they are seared brown.  

Step 2. Once you see them getting a nice brown color, turn flame to low, add shallots and garlic, and a little bit more oil if needed. Add herbs and keep stirring, adding salt and pepper to taste.  

Step 3. After about 3 minutes, turn the heat back to medium-high and splash with the sherry wine and cook another minute to the deglaze mushrooms.  Set them aside.

For the salmon with fresh  herbs ( poèler/arroser)
4pcs  Salmon fillets skin on or without
1 tsp fresh Thyme, dill and rosemary ( you may use dry herbs instead )
½ Lemon
½ stick. Unsalted butter
To taste:  Salt/ pepper 

Brown butter with capers
4 Tbs. capers
½ stick Unsalted butter 

Step 1. Melt butter in a pan using medium heat. Once it starts bubbling, lower the heat and stir the butter with a whisk. Continue cooking for about 5 – 10 minutes and keep continuously stirring to keep the butter from burning. You will see the butter start to get foamy, then a little yellow-brown, and you will smell the nutty flavor as it starts getting close.

 Step 2. Add your capers and pour onto a heat resistant bowl. (Don’t use plastic or it might melt it.) Be patient while browning the butter. If you rush it by using high heat, the butter will go from a nice brown to burned. Even after you take it out of the flame, it will continue cooking and therefore burn. But if you keep the flame low you will be able to control the heat and you will end with delicious brown butter. You should be able to see little specks at the bottom of it, which are all the solids toasted from the butter. They taste nutty and salty!


Last but not least! And yes, more butter. Start by preheating oven to 350 degrees.

Step 1. Season the fillets with salt and pepper.  Put a skillet or a non-stick pan over medium heat and let it get hot.  Drizzle some vegetable oil, just enough to sear the skin side (if it has skin). When the side facing down has a nice brown crisp, lower the heat, flip the salmon, add the butter and the herbs. Use a spoon to pour the hot butter onto the top of the salmon fillets a couple of times. Place salmon fillets in the oven for about 5 minutes with the butter and herbs.

Step 2. While the salmon cooks, reheat and plate the vegetables and the mashed potatoes. Place salmon on the plate, garnish with the caper brown butter and a squeeze of lemon. 

This dish would go perfect with a nice glass of Chardonnay, enjoy! 

Carlos Loza is a pastry chef living in the Chicago suburbs. A graduate of The French Pastry school, he previously worked as a sous chef at New York’s Café Cluny and as a pastry cook for Chicago’s Vanille Pâtisserie. He’s currently the head pastry chef at My Chef Catering in Naperville, Illinois.

The Playlist

Listen on: qobuz

It Could Happen to You
Chet Baker
Chet Baker Sings: It Could Happen To You

Theme from “Black Orpheus”
Paul Desmond
Greatest Hits Series: Paul Desmond

The Cat Walk
Gerry Mulligan
Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster

Kathy’s Waltz
The Dave Brubeck Quartet
Time Out

When I Fall In Love
Miles Davis Quintet
Steamin’ With The Miles Davis Quintet

There Will Never Be Another You
Lester Young, Oscar Peterson Trio
Lester Young With The Oscar Peterson Trio

Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
Vince Guaraldi Trio
The Very Best Of Vince Guaraldi

The Modern Jazz Quartet

Pennies From Heaven
Stan Getz, Oscar Peterson Trio
Stan Getz And The Oscar Peterson Trio

California Nights
Wes Montgomery
A Day In The Life (Reissue)

I Can’t Get Started
Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh
Lee Konitz with Warne Marsh

Ahmad Jamal

I’m A Fool To Want You
Dexter Gordon

Blue Friday
Kenny Dorham
Quiet Kenny

A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening
Oscar Peterson Trio, Herb Ellis
Hello Herbie

Here’s That Rainy Day
Paul Desmond, Jim Hall, Connie Kay, Percy Heath
Cool Imagination

I Love You
Milt Jackson
Jazz ‘N’ Samba

Jersey Bounce
Barney Kessel
Let’s Cook!

Art Pepper
Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section

Isn’t It Romantic
Jimmy Raney, Bob Brookmeyer
Jimmy Raney Featuring Bob Brookmeyer

People Will Say We’re In Love
Johnny Smith Trio
Easy Listening (2005 Remaster)

Who Can I Turn To?
Sonny Stitt
Moonlight In Vermont

Cal Tjader
Latin Kick

My Romance
Bill Evans Trio
The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961

In A Sentimental Mood
Sonny Rollins, The Modern Jazz Quartet
Sonny Rollins With The Modern Jazz Quartet

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