Tag Archives: salmon

“Can” Do

I know the thought of canned fish makes a lot of folks cringe, but for me, it verges on comfort food.  Growing up, I ate it at least as often, if not more than chicken. In the midwest, seafood wasn’t exactly plentiful, and despite our “middle class” status, my parents had three kids to feed and a house and car to pay off on their small salaries.  Making sure we could to live in a neighborhood that afforded access to good schools was more important than what clothes we wore or how fancy the food was on our plates.

I’m lucky enough to have access to a plentiful selection of fresh fish these days, but as I ran through the market after work I spotted a tin of smoked salmon in olive oil and thought “why not?”

Tossed with some arugula and a little quinoa pasta, it makes an easy, and delicious post-run recovery meal (or post-work recovery meal if you’ve had one of those days…).

Smoked Salmon and Arugula Pasta

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Oh hammour

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It didn’t take long for me to start talking about food with my local friends. Everyone has their favorite kababji, but the food vaies only slightly depending on whether the spice blend used is Iranian or Iraqi influenced or Turkish or Lebanese.  More often than not, the decision on where to go seems to comes down to the juice and sheesha options.

After several days in a row of dinners consisting almost entirely of meat (and an occasional chicken kabob for good measure), I needed a change, or possibly more appropriately, an intervention.  The menu said hammour with citrus, coriander, and chile, and it mentioned a side of steamed vegetables, which in itself was starting to seem worth the price of the plate.  I freaked out a little when I saw the bright yellow sauce, but one taste, and I was won over.

Grilled Hammour (grouper) with Mango, Chile, and Cilantro Sauce

I’ve made this recipe a few times now, and the sauce was just as awesome on a grilled salmon fillet.  Watch out, though, the chiles sneak up on you.

Less “fishy” fish

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I like the idea of eating salmon, but for the longest time, the idea of cooking it used to scare me to death.  I can’t stand fishy tasting fish.  And so, I resigned myself to ordering it in restaurants and never venturing close to it at the market out of fear that I would screw it up.  I don’t remember what finally led me to buy my first sockeye fillets, but that night I learned that I didn’t just like salmon – I loved it…and it was a heck of a lot easier to prepare than I ever could have imagined.

Shown here: Broiled Salmon with Sweet Chili Glaze served over buckwheat soba and edamame.

An identity crisis

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How many foods can inspire a passionate backyard barbeque or dinner table debate over whether they should be labelled a grain, vegetable, or fruit?

Corn is one of those ingredients you don’t find on a lot of five star restaurant’s menus. After all, what customer will pay top dollar for something they can get out of a can or find on a buffet line.  It’s a shame, because the sweetness of fresh corn really complements spicy dishes, like this take on a Cajun dish – Blackened Salmon with Sausage Maque Choux (pronounced “mock shoo”).

Oh, and if you haven’t Google’d it already, the answer is all three.

The Envelope, Please

IMG_1101 If you enjoy fish and have not tried it “en papillote,”  you are seriously missing out.  The result is a fillet so moist, tender, and infused with the flavors of the fresh herbs and aromatic vegetables used that you will hardly believe it took so little work.

This technique works well with any delicate, flat fish fillet, but it can also be used for chicken breasts.   For those with a flair for the dramatic, open the pouches at the table in front of your guests!

Salmon with Lemongrass, Basil, and Star Anise en Papillotte

Tandoori Nights

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Craving curry but don’t want to slave over the stove top on a hot summer day?  Here’s a quick and easy tandoori paste that you can use next time you grill chicken, salmon, or  tofu.  Just rub it on your protein of choice and let marinate a half hour  (or up to 24 hours), then grill away from direct heat.  For that smoky flavor, add wood chips to the grill coals (or a handful of soaked wood chips in a foil pack with vents for you gas grill users).

Serve alongside grilled or pan roasted zucchini slices with seasoned basmati rice.

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