Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Vikings may stink, but dinner saved the day

Ohhhhhh football I love thee........and ohhhh let me down again.......

But enough of that....... I consider myself to be pretty well-rounded when it comes to food. I've eaten many different foods from many many cultures, read cookbooks from all over the world, will try almost anything cooked or uncooked, been to cooking classes of all types. I absolutely love steak tartare, which is actually one of my favorite childhood memories- ordering that in restaurants (back in the 70s when people weren't such germophobes about their food and actually served uncooked meat in restaurants) and watching the uncomfortable look on the waitress' face as she tried to eplain to me that it was, well, RAW. No one would guess a kid would know that, or eat it !! I love liver, although no one else ever does, so it remains on the DO NOT COOK list (but I do sometimes get chicken livers with my spaghetti if a restaurant offers it). I love everyday foods and some off the wall foods.......

So how is it that I've reached nearly half a century on this planet and have not ever eaten fresh salmon ? For that, I have no explanation. I've caught, killed, cleaned and cooked fish. Not everyone can say they murdered their dinner. Salmon is such a common fish, and so TRENDY off and on over the years. When blackening became the buzz word in food I saw it on menus all the time. Next came grilled and served with heart healthy sides. And of course, the big sushi craze.

But still.......salmon and I avoided eachother, and I don't really know why. When I eat out, it's usually something I'm not going to make at home, like prime rib, or something special like lobster ravioli. You get the idea. I scanned over seafood selections without a second glance because, honestly, fried shrimp I can have anywhere, and tilapia ? Don't I have some of that in the freezer ??.......... Donesn't everyone ??.....Hmmmm........ Our last trip to the grocery store we found ourselves looking for other options- something different- something we don't make every couple weeks. We live at a lake, fish is right out the front door, but, salmon......... now THERE is something I have never had, and the Chef has alot of experience cooking......

Salmon with Maple Soy Glaze

1/4 maple syrup
3 tb soy sauce
one clove garlic, minced
freshly cracked black pepper

Mix together and pour over salmon filets in baking dish (makes enough for about 1 lb filets). Marinate for 15-20 minutes then place in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until fish is done.

While the Chef was working on the salmon, I started some wild rice (about 1/2 cup) in some water and let simmer for 20 minutes. Then I drained the wild rice and added 1 cup long grain white rice, 2 cups water, 1 clove garlic, minced, a palmfull chopped onion, 1 leek thinkly sliced, couple tablespoons chopped chives, 1 tb chicken soup base (or cube, whichever you have), pinch of thyme, pepper, and brought that to boil, reduced to low and let cook til all the liquid was absorbed and the rice is tender. I melted about 1 b butter in a small skillet and toasted about 1/2 slivered almonds til golden brown, then tossed that in the rice in a big bowl with a handful of chopped parsley, give it a nice splash of lemon juice, toss and serve alongside the salmon.

So what did I think ? was good !! Was it life-changing, of course not, but it was very very good and the marinade/sauce was really really delicious. I didn't have a "where have you been all my life" moment but I definitely liked it, and definitely will eat it again. In fact, the salmon was the highlight of the day !!! Crummy weather, crummy football games........delicious dinner with my Chef. That's a great Sunday if you ask me.

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