Wednesday, June 25, 2008

wingin' it

I fancy myself a decent cook. I can whip up my regular dishes effortlessly and with consistent success, and have even adopted my mother's habit of not using measuring utensils (which frustrated me to no end when I was a kid and learning how to cook). I also have a moderately high success rate when following new recipes. Sometimes, I just throw things together based on what's left in the fridge/freezer/cupboards before the next shopping trip. This tactic once resulted in the now-famous and incredibly delicious (if I do say so myself) Esparagas* Tzatziki Tshiken.

Last night's inspiration was a recent trip to Stonewall Kitchen, and the decision to revel in the joy that is salmon. This became a two-course fish delight, where our regular salad course was replaced with an appetizer. Very unusual, but it was all about the fish. Dinner for two, coming up!

Herb Salmon Pâté
(enough for at least four servings)

o 1 can Kirkland Signature salmon
o 2 tablespoons Market Basket cream cheese (pre-whipped)
o 3 generous pinches of Stonewall Kitchen Seafood & Veggie Spice Rub
o Nonni's Garlic Parmesan Panetini

Step 1: Mix salmon, cream cheese, and spices together with a fork until blended.

Step 2: Spread onto panetini, and eat! Easy and delicious!

Note 1: I suppose, if you want to complicate things, you could use a food processor. But why increase the number of dishes to wash?

Note 2: This would also be nice on pita corners or any number of crackers. My newest favorite is Rosemary and Olive Oil Triscuits. Yum!

Tangy Grape Salmon
(two servings)

o 2 Kirkland Signature IQF salmon fillets, thawed
o 1½ teaspoons Stonewall Kitchen Blue Cheese Herb Mustard (separated)
o 1 cup red grapes, sliced into halves
o 2 cups carrots, peeled and cubed**
o ½ cup Rice Select tri-color couscous

Step 1: Bring a couple quarts of water to a boil on the stovetop, drop carrots in, cover, and continue on low boil.

Step 2: Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Place salmon in Pyrex dish. Evenly spread one half-teaspoon of the mustard on each fillet. Layer grape halves over top of both fillets. Cover and bake for 15 minutes.

Step 3: Meanwhile, prepare couscous per the instructions (I use EVOO instead of butter).

Step 4: Change oven settings to high broil, remove Pyrex cover, and move salmon to top rack, directly beneath heating coil. Broil for 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven, cover, and let stand for a couple minutes.

Step 5: Once carrots are tender, drain and add one half teaspoon of the mustard, stirring to coat evenly.

Note 1: This mustard is very tasty but quite strong, so be certain not to use too much of it or it may overpower the other flavors.

Ted is the in-house food critic, and he gave this dish a 7 on a scale of 1-10. I liked it, but am usually more critical than he is. Next time, I will use less mustard (which is how I came to offer the advice of Note 1), and I might squeeze some lime on the salmon. I also might be inclined to use the Seafood & Veggie rub on the carrots instead of the mustard.

Tonight, I'm going to experiment with chicken and Stonewall Kitchen's Maine Maple Champagne Mustard. Mmmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about that! I'm off to our store to do some work, and then to the grocery store to find a good veggie to go with dinner. Spinach? Broccoli?

* This is not a misspelling. It is the translation for "asparagus" from the Greek.

** Check out this website for t-shirts. Rock on.

No comments: