Monday, August 24, 2009

Summery Salmon Supper

I realize I've been a bad blogger lately, but I've been doing all sorts of cool things outside of the kitchen, like attending a pig roast on the beach on Tomales Bay (photos up when we find the camera cord).

I also went to visit family, and my sister and I cooked up some dinner to battle the LA heat. The whole meal came together in about an hour, and since the salmon was served at room temperature, it could wait until we were ready to eat. I didn't have my camera with me, so the photos aren't the best.

The menu: Pomegranate Salmon with Feta Tzatziki; Cousous with Mint and Almonds; Tomato Salad. For dessert, Blue and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Figs, roasted until bubbly.

Pomegranate Salmon with Feta Tzatziki

You'll need:
salmon -- 1/3-1/2lb per person
1T pomegranate molasses
5 cloves garlic, minced
1t cayenne
small handful of dill
3 Persian cucumbers
1c lebne or Greek-style yogurt (normal yogurt is ok too)
a good-sized chunk of feta
1 eggplant

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Remove pin bones from salmon with tweezers. Rub salmon with pomegranate molasses and 1t garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Slice eggplant into thin (1/4 inch) rounds. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil and lay eggplant rounds in one layer. Sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Bake 15 minutes, until tender; flip and bake 5-7 minutes longer. The eggplant should be golden but not dark brown. Set aside.

Mince dill and chop cucumbers. Mix with lebne or yogurt. Add garlic. Add feta and mix until incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place baking dish in oven. When dish is hot, turn oven down to 275 degrees. Place salmon skin-side down on dish and return to oven for about 20 minutes, until just done-- salmon should still be pink in the middle, at its thickest part. Let cool.

Serve salmon on top of eggplant. Top with a dollop of tzatziki or serve sauce on the side.

Cousous with Mint and Almonds

You'll need:
1/3c couscous per person
slivered almonds
1 lemon
handful of mint

Make couscouse according to package directions (combine equal parts couscous and hot water; let sit, covered, for 5 minutes; then fluff with fork). Let couscous cool. Mix in slivered almonds, chopped mint, juice and zest of lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tomato Salad

This isn't really a recipe; just combine halved cherry tomatoes (we got some really good heirloom ones at Trader Joe's, which is usually not the best place for produce), chopped avocado, red onion or scallion, olives (crush with the side of a chef's knife to remove the pit), chopped basil, salt and pepper. Dress with balsamic vinegar and olive oil right before serving.

Blue and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Figs

Preheat broiler. Halve figs and stuff with a bit of cheese -- we made some with blue cheese, some with fresh goat cheese. Broil until bubbly, about 5 minutes.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Smoky Shrimp Fettucine

This dish is inspired by Spanish-style shrimp of the kind you get at tapas bars, swimming in garlic and oil and, if you're lucky, pimenton. I didn't have any pimenton on hand-- and I'm trying not to buy new stuff before leaving for a year-- so I used a combination of Hungarian Paprika and smoked Turkish pepper, to tasty results. Another nice thing is that this is ready in under 30 minutes and can probably be made from ingredients on hand (I always keep some frozen shrimp in the freezer). I brined the shrimp, based on Alton Brown's shrimp brining technique, but I'm not sure it's entirely necessary.

You'll need (serves 2):
12 oz shrimp (the cheaper small ones are fine here), shells removed
1/2 head (10-12 cloves) garlic
1t kosher salt
2 heaping tablespoons Hungarian paprika
1 T smoked Turkish pepper
1/4c olive oil
1/2lb spinach fettucine

for brine (optional):
1/4c sugar
1/4c kosher salt
3c water

Set a large pot of salted water to boil.

Dissolve salt and sugar in 1/2c water over medium heat. Add 2 1/2c cold water and stir until cold. Pour over shrimp and let sit about 10-15 minutes.

Mince garlic with salt; you should have about 3-4T.

When water boils, add pasta. Remove shrimp from brine and dry well.

Heat olive oil in a heavy (preferably cast-iron) skillet. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add paprika and smoked pepper; stir until well combined. Add shrimp and stir until just cooked, about 3 minutes.

Drain pasta, reserving 1/4c cooking liquid. Toss pasta with shrimp in pan. Add cooking liquid if sauce is too dry. Top with a drizzle of olive oil.

Serve with parmesan cheese and red wine. We drank a Domaine de Fontenille 2003 Cotes du Luberon.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin