What’s for Dinner: Skillet-grilled Salmon with Pineapples and Quinoa with Petite Peas

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Summertime… and the livin’ is easy.  As far as Ms. Foodie is concerned, so should the cooking.

With the help of my rice cooker, Ms. Foodie was able to mount this dinner in 30 minutes. The salmon was grilled in a cast iron skillet with a tablespoon of Sesame Oil, then spiced with Sea Salt, Cayenne, Ginger, Minced Onion, and basted with Pineapples and a bit of the juice.

Easy, filling, and Ms. Foodie didn’t even break a sweat. My kind of Summer meal!

Simple Fare: Pan-fried Salmon with Onions, Garlic, and Kale accompanied by Cilantro-Jasmine Rice

Ms. Foodie is finding that it is often the simple things that turn out to be the best. This would be especially true of tonight’s dinner.

Ms. Foodie took less than 45 minutes (thank you, Rice Cooker!) to make this meal, and if I put my foot in it, if I must say so myself!

Ms. Foodie rubbed down a large Salmon Fillet with Sea Salt and Red Pepper Flakes then let it sit for about 20 minutes.

While the Salmon was marinating, Ms. Foodie added chicken boullion and Cilantro to the Jasmine Rice to create a flavorful and refreshing rice dish in the Rice Cooker. I added equal parts water to the cups of rice (I did two), hit the “Cook” button, and forget about it.

Ms. Foodie then chopped a bit of White Onion (about 1/4 cup), 2 cloves of Garlic (sliced), and some Kale leaves (about a 1/2 cup) and sauteed the mix in a tablespoon butter until the onion was clear and the Kale was vibrant and a bit tender. I removed this mix from the skillet, added another tablespoon of butter, and threw on the Salmon Fillet, skin side down. Ms. Foodie cooked it for about 5 minutes, or until the skin was crisp, then flipped the Fillet and cooked it for another 5 minutes until it was cooked through.

Mr. Foodie gave it the thumbs up and said “It was delicious!” I’m inclined to agree with him. 😉

Food Truck Heaven: Ricky’s Fish Tacos

So Ms. Foodie is making it a New Year’s goal (no resolutions on this blog) to explore more of the L.A. Food Truck scene. After Christmas, Ms. Foodie and visiting family paid a visit to Ricky’s Fish Tacos. The menu is simple: Ensenada-style Fish Tacos and Shrimp Tacos with a few traditional Mexican drinks. In-N-Out has done well with that strategy, so why not?

Ms. Foodie tried both the Fish and Shrimp Tacos. The Shrimp was good, but the flavor of the shellfish felt overwhelmed by all that breading. But the Fish Taco? Oh My! Divine and melt in your mouth. Topped by delicious crema, or a mild, medium, or hot salsa, and you have a winner for dinner. Ms. Foodie didn’t see any lines around the block–yet; but I have no doubt Ricky’s will get there.

Ms. Foodie highly recommends you try the Mint-Cucumber drink–it will change your life!

Follow Ricky’s Fish Tacos on Twitter: @RickysFishTacos.

Eating Out: The Oinkster’s “Nick Offerman” All-American Burger

It’s been a rough week, and as much as Ms. Foodie loves to cook, even I need a night off sometimes. It was also the last day in October, and I had yet to try the Burger of the Month at one my favorite burger joints, The Oinkster.

Mr. Foodie and I were not disappointed in the “Nick Offerman” All-American Burger: Shaved Ham, Gruyere, hot n’ sweet Mustard, Mayo and house-made Pickles on top of a Beef Patty and stuffed in a Sourdough Bun.

Despite the list of ingredients, it was quite light, and always tasty. Ms. Foodie approves, and The Oinkster continues to not disappoint!

What’s for Dinner?

Ground Beef Casserole is tonight’s selection, from a recipe on About.com (http://southernfood.about.com/od/hamburgcasseroles/r/bl30426e.htm). Ms. Foodie made some variations, but the end result was still yum!

#foodie #ieatthereforeiam #fallmenu

I Eat, therefore, I Am: Panko-Breaded Salmon in Sweet Chili Sauce

The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”― Julia Child

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Right on, Julia! Ms. Foodie loves Salmon, but is always looking for ways to “spice it up” so to speak. Only so much baked, broiled, and grilled Salmon one foodie can stand. So, this epiphany came to me today: Panko and Sweet Chili Sauce.

Trader Joe’s has a wonderful Sweet Chili Sauce that I have decided to buy in threes, because it’s not only great for dipping, but for cooking too. And the 10.1 oz. bottle gets used up fairly quick!

Ms. Foodie sliced her Pacific Salmon into quarter-inch strips, basted them in a mixture of egg and milk, with a bit of ground black pepper, salt, turmeric, and thyme, then lightly coated them with the Panko breading.

Be on your guard: Not all Panko is created equal: I recommend Trader Joe’s brand, or one from your local Asian market.  Panko should not taste like run-of-the-mill bread crumbs. There’s a lightness to the texture which balances out the weightiness of the fish.

Ms. Foodie then heated one to two tablespoons of Sesame Oil in a skillet until it was a bit smoky (Sesame is a wonderful oil for stir fry) and placed the breaded Salmon pieces in the oil, lightly browning on both sides; about 2-5 minutes.

Once the breaded Salmon was sufficiently colorful, I used about three-quarters (maybe 8 oz. give or take) of the Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili Sauce (you could use the whole bottle, depending on how much spice you like) and coated the pieces with it, poured some Sweet Peas (about a cup) on top, covered this, and turned the heat to a low simmer.

While the dish was marinating in heat, I put Jasmine Rice in the Rice Cooker–one of the best inventions ever created–I kid you not!

About 15 minutes into the simmer, I gently stirred the Salmon pieces to sufficiently let the Sweet Chili Sauce cover and coat every piece, as well as to spread the Sweet Peas throughout. Then, I chopped up two green onions, sprinkled them on top of the Salmon-Chili Sauce-Sweet Pea combo, covered it again, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes more. After that, I turned off the heat, and let the dish sit for about 5 minutes.

Once the Jasmine Rice was perfectly steamed, Ms. Foodie spooned it into a dish, and served the Sweet Chili infused Panko-breaded Salmon over it.

Ms. Foodie put her foot in this–Mr. Foodie’s second helping was the proof!

Yummy Catfish Tacos

So Ms. Foodie wishes she were in Monterey, but couldn’t swing it this year; so I tried a dish reminiscent of the Pier and seafood.

I cut Catfish fillets into little chunks, coated them with an egg mixture spiced with Coriander, Chili Powder, Cayenne, Thyme and Cilantro; then covered the nuggets with Panko breading.

This was my first fry with Coconut Oil, and I must say, I like it! It is light, barely discernible, and doesn’t overheat. Can’t wait to pop some popcorn with it.

I served up my nuggets in a flour tortilla (but you can use corn if you like), and freshly harvested chopped tomatoes, avocados, Trader Joe’s Three-Cheese Blend, and a dollop of sour cream and Pineapple Salsa–Tasty!

What’s for Dinner?

Lemon Garlic Tilapia, compliments of AllRecipes.com accompanied by Candied Carrots and Kale, which is fast becoming my favorite Iron-Beta Carotene source. Mr. Foodie even whipped up his favorite Kraft Macaroni & Cheese!

Delicious and nutritious….

Broiled Dijon Burger

Is what’s for dinner!  Marinated in Dijon Mustard, and stuffed with colorful red and orange Baby Bells, Green Onion, Garlic and Mushrooms, you get all of the flavor, without all the fat.

With a slice of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Kale and Tomato, it’s even tastier!