Seriously, this past week and the meals that I have planned have been so delicious. I feel like patting myself on the back every time I heat the oven and start cooking. Tonight for dinner was like no other. The meal I chose tonight was chosen because over the sauce we were buying incredibly large hunks of salmon and freezing them so that I would have meals easily at hand. Unfortunately however, I was getting sort of sick of making salmon since I had eaten many, many packets of the salmon fillets. Part of my new years resolution (which I didn't write on here is to use up food, personal products, etc... trying to use up these products before buying new ones).
With that being said, I've saved two recipes that I wanted to try out with the remaining fillets. One of them being this recipe that I found today for Seared Salmon with Shallot and Green Onion Relish. When I first saw this, the thing that drew me most to the plate wasn't the name (because I hadn't looked at that for a few seconds), it was the picture. I was so enamored by the beauty of the photograph. I'm not sure why, it might of been the contrast of the beautiful salmon colour with the green and the white of the plate. Next I looked at the title, and although the flavour pairings aren't flavours that I usually treat my palette with I was interested in trying it nonetheless.
This morning I set up to go upstairs and took out the salmon. I let it sit out all day so that it would certainly be thawed by the time I wanted to cook dinner. So tonight when it was around dinner time i.e. the time my stomach started rumbling I headed upstairs.
I quickly started preparing the relish for this meal and was a tad bit scared because first off I don't usually eat mustard. I like mustard seeds but Dijon and all those sorts eh not so much. Also, there is just something about capers. Today was my first time having them. I've had smoked salmon numerous times which I down like a maniac however I always flick off the capers and allow the others to eat them. I really was not expecting them to be that salty, I was in for a shock I tell ya. When I had finished the relish and mixed everything in I literally out a little "woah!", but it was good.
Next just as he recipe called for I set out to make the fish. I hate cooking with oil. Everything about it freaks me out, especially when I'm in a t-shirt. Needless to say, this time was just like no other and I seemed to somehow get hit with more flaming hot oil, not so fun. However, I sprinkled it with salt (even though the relish was incredibly salty, and I'm not a salt fan) and let the fish do it's magic. I took the fish out, took a bite of a little piece that had fallen off and let out a "woooooow". It was... I know I've used this term about twice already this week "like candy". It was delicious! I've never been much of a fan of cooked salmon, always found it to be really fishy, this however was marvelous, divine, excellent, perfect, it was just so delicious. The fish almost tasted buttery, I never thought I'd say that about salmon that's for sure but it was, it was buttery, flaky, juicy, salty (but not overpowering salty), crispy, just amazing.
The combination with the relish and the fish also was pure divination. I even sat down to eat. Now... unless you see me in the kitchen, know me in real life you won't know this. But... I barely ever sit down to eat, unless I'm at someone else's house or at a restaurant. I barely ever eat meals with those I live with because well there palettes suck. Okay okay, that was mean, but they're palettes are just simpler than mine and not as... well-rounded. That has nothing really to do with why I don't sit when I eat other than I don't make large sums of food so when I'm done making my meal I immediately start to clean up. I guess that's a flaw of mine, I should add to my new years resolution: slowing down, relaxing, and enjoying meals, enjoying my company by sitting, eating and reflecting on my day, the flavours etc... So that is why I don't sit. However, this meal was so good that I sat. I sat by myself, I took in the flavours, I reflected on my day, and I sincerely enjoyed my company and sitting in the dining room by myself, it almost felt like a spiritual experience and it was all thanks to this one very special dish that I found.
- 4 wild salmon fillet or steak
- 2/3 cup diced shallots - about 3 small-medium shallots
- 1 cup chopped green onions (about 6)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp chopped, drained capers
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tsp for cooking
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Sea salt + pepper
In a pan over medium-low heat, saute the shallots and green onions for about 7 minutes, stirring enough to prevent burning. Spoon into a glass bowl and set aside for about 10 minutes, to cool. At this time, add the mustard, capers and lemon juice. Finally, blend in the olive oil. Taste, and if you find that the salt from the capers and mustard is not sufficient (as I, an avid salt lover, did), add more to taste, along with a few grinds of the pepper mill. Set aside.
Meanwhile, pat salmon fillets dry and salt lightly. Heat a clean pan to medium-high. When hot, coat with a thin film of oil. When oil is hot, place salmon in pan and cook, undisturbed, for 3 minutes. (Reduce to 2 minutes if fillet is thin.) Flip once, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, depending on desired degree of doneness and the density of fillet.
Spoon relish over salmon, garnish with green onion and lemon zest, and serve.
Nutty Goji Berry Power Balls
As I mentioned a few posts back I want to start baking and cooking more healthily. As I said part of this was trying to incorporate more environmentally friendly recipes which certainly includes more vegan recipes or at least more vegetarian recipes... despite the fact that I'm posting this underneath a recipe for fish. I made two desserts/snacks today that are not out of my range of baking but just not what I had been making for a couple months now.
The first recipe comes from one of my favourite "healthy" blogs Anja's Food 4 Thought. The recipe I made was inspired from her Goji Power Balls post. These were so incredibly delicious. My mom's boyfriend enjoyed the flavour but not the texture. My mom and I however absolutely loved the flavour and the texture didn't seem to bother either of us. I'm not even really sure what about the texture bothered him, but to each their own. What I like about this is how interchangeable this recipe can be, you could seriously add in whatever you'd like according to your taste buds and I'm sure it would taste blissful. This is a perfect pick-me up snack that would be great to have lying around in the fridge especially when you're craving something sweet but still want to remain along the lines of health.
- 3 tbsp dried Goji berries
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp dried cranberries
- 1 tbsp dried raisins
- 3 pitted dried dates, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp almonds mixed with chow mien noodles
- 1 tsp honey/agave nectar
- 3 squares of chocolate covered pistachios
- Dried coconut flakes
- Rolo hot chocolate mix
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until combined and sticky. Form balls of the size of a walnut out of the batter. Roll in cocoa powder or coconut flakes.
Strawberry Kiwi Banana Popsicles
The next dessert I had made earlier in the day was because I didn't want to wake up tomorrow morning and have yoghurt for breakfast, I really am over yoghurt for the next little while. However, I had a green tea Popsicle for lunch and knew that I wanted to use the remaining yoghurt for popsicles. So, I looked up a few different recipes and this is what I came up with. They were sooooo good! They were creamy, sweet, tart, crunchy, perfect! I loved them! I will be buying some low-fat Greek yoghurt and certainly mixing up the flavour combination's, mmmm this reminded me of the summer which was perfect especially on a cold snowy winters day.
- 6 tbsp strawberry kiwi yoghurt
- 6 tbsp vanilla fortified soy milk
- 2 frozen bananas
- 1/4 juice of a lemon
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey
Combine bananas, yoghurt, and milk in a blender and blend until smooth. Add lemon juice and honey and pulse blender to combine. Pour liquid into Popsicle molds. Close up with the Popsicle stick. Freeze until Popsicle are set.