Monday, May 5, 2008

Salmon Candied with Ginger-Marmalade, Pan Seared Asparagus and Mushroom Quinoa

This is one of my favorite ways to prepare a fresh salmon fillet, which we do eat a fair amount of around here. This is not one of Wife's favorite ways to eat her salmon (which I don't understand at all, this is delicious), but the kids like it well enough so it's not completely vetoed from our menu.

Earlier, we picked up a beauty fillet of sockeye, though even a farmed atlantic salmon would be fine, we eat plenty of that too. Unwrapping the fish and giving it a quick cold water rinse, set it aside. Fire up the oven (on broil) and let the mercury rise. Next prepare the candy coat.
Salmon Candied with Ginger-Marmalade

One big scoop of Orange Marmalade - nothing fancy, I'm using Smuckers.
Grate some ginger - I keep mine in the freezer in a little baggie with my galangal, tumeric and any other rhizomes I might have around. It keeps forever and makes grating on the box grater or microplane a cinch. Today we'll need about a tablespoon or so. Also, about a tablespoon of brown sugar.

Combine these items in a little ramiken and heat in the microwave for, I dunno, how about 54 seconds? Just make it warm so the sugar will dissolve and the ginger flavor permeates the mixture. Put your fillet on a lightly sprayed broil pan and smear your marmalmix all over the top. ooo yeah.

Place under the broiler for about 7-10 minutes, keeping a careful eye on it. Don't blacken the top, but it should just begin to brown and carmelize. If your fillet is very fresh, as this one was, you can serve it a little rare. If you are not sure maybe you'll want to move it to a lower rake and bake it through. Garnish with a little cilantro and platter.

Let's move on to the side dishes.

Pan Seared Asparagus

This is one I cook very regularly. Wife likes it a lot and the kids tolerate it. When I met Wife years & years ago, her least favorite vegetable was asparagus. "It's a weed, it grows by on the freeway," she would say. Now she loves it and I don't think I have ever seen asparagus growing wild. Freeway or no.

1 bunch of asparagus 1 glub of olive oil
dried oregano kosher salt fresh black pepper

Pick over the asparagus and snap off the woody bottoms. Set in a flat-bottomed container and pour enough olive oil over to coat. Sprinkle the herb, salt, pepper over the spears and toss to coat evenly.
Heat a skillet up quite hot, maybe not red hot, but close. Throw the spears in and they'll sizzle and such. Once they brown on the bottom use your tongs and flip 'em on over. Same thing, once they brown on the other side they should be ready to serve. Throw them on a platter and squeeze a little lemon over the lot. You'll probably need to grab a spear and test it too...yep, that's good. This dish is fast, 10 minutes start to finish.

Mushroom and Avocado Quinoa Have you tried the Quinoa? It's awesome. A delicious grain from South America that's cooked with the germ intact so it's loaded with protein. Around here it comes in a little box that holds about three cups of uncooked grain. Make sure you say it right, lest you sound like you read about it on a blog: KEEN-Wah.

I usually cook a little over a cuppa quinoa at a time. It cooks just like rice, but faster, with a 2:1 water to grain ratio.

We're going to cook ours with dried shitakes though. So grab one big handful of dried mushrooms and remove any stems. They don't rehydrate well and will be a weird texture if you leave them in. Next break or chop the shrooms into little pieces. Rehydrated mushrooms can be a little mushy and I don't like they way they feel if the pieces are too large. But they do taste delicious. Next, heat a little more twice as much water as you have grain volume in pot. Put the shitakes in the water to rehyrate for about 10 minutes (sorry, this recipe is a little convoluted, maybe you wanted to heat the water first). Remove the mushrooms from the broth and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Heat the broth to boiling and add the quinoa, reduce heat to low.
Follow the box's stovetop directions from here.
Chop up one large or two small avocados into little cubes. Also, chop some cilantro. Once the grains are done remove from the heat, toss in the mushrooms, avocado and cilantro. Salt & Pepper to taste. This is one is very healthy and everyone likes it fairly well.


  1. Defintely going to try this one!!!
    You should post a pic of your horde.

  2. I did this one for mother's day and it was a big hit! Yum!