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!

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What’s for Dinner: Salmon Stir Fry in Sweet Chili Sauce

In a quest to find different things to do with Salmon fillet, Ms. Foodie decided to try a stir fry. After combing a few recipes, and coming up empty, Ms. Foodie decided to play around with what was in the Store.

After foraging in the refrigerator, I discovered Mushrooms, Baby Carrots, Snow Peas, and Kale. Ms. Foodie chopped those up, along with Onions and Garlic, then sauteed the lot in a base of Sesame Oil and dried Basil. Ms. Foodie then chopped up the Salmon fillet, and added it to the veggie mix. Then I added a tablespoon or so of Soy Sauce, and a cup of Sweet Chili Sauce to complete the transformation.

Served over a bed of Jasmine Rice, this quickie meal was just the ticket!

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. 😉

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!

Creamy Salmon Soup with Lemon and Lime

Happy Valentine’s Day!

For our Valentine dinner, Ms. Foodie was searching for something different to make with some Salmon fillets than the typical grill or broil. We’ve been having some nippy nights in beautiful Los Angeles, so a soup or a stew seemed like the perfect choice.

But, my troll of the Internet rendered recipes that had too many ingredients, or that would just take too long–you know Ms. Foodie–I’m big on Kitchen Cabinet Cooking–using what’s in store. So in typical Foodie fashion, I came up with my own recipe!

I sauteed the Salmon in Olive Oil with Lemon and Lime Juice, using light, but flavorful spices like Thyme, Celery Salt, Parsley, and Rosemary. Once the Salmon was cooked, I removed the skin, and broke up the Salmon into chunks.

After melting 4 tablespoons of butter in a corner of the pot, I mixed that in with crushed Garlic, chopped Onion, Telecherry Pepper, diced Potatoes, Basil, and a bit more Celery Salt, Lemon and Lime.

Some more saute time to meld the flavors, and then the final piece: 12 ounces of Evaporated Milk and one cup Milk to make the creamy base.

Thirty minutes on low heat to cook the potatoes, and the deed was done!

My friend Brigette contributed to our meal with a crusty loaf of homemade bread–Ms. Foodie is feeling the love, all the way down to her tummy!

Honey and Orange Glazed Salmon

So Ms. Foodie did an informal poll on Facebook about how I should prepare my Salmon.  While usually not lacking ideas, I just felt like finding out what other people do, and I was not disappointed! Definitely will store some of the suggestions for future use.

Tonight’s winner was a suggestion by my friend, Christine Heneise: Coating the Salmon with a honey and orange glaze. I tented the fillet in aluminum foil, then seasoned it with Thyme, Sea Salt and Ground Ginger.  I put a bit of honey in a ramekin, then microwaved for about 5-10 seconds to liquefy.

Using a pastry brush,  I coated the Salmon with the honey. Ms. Foodie just happened to have some fresh blood oranges on hand, so I cut one in half and squeezed the juice over the honeyed fillet, then cut the other half into slices, and placed them decoratively on top.

Grill it in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes–35 if you like your fish crispier.  Brown Rice or pasta is a nice complement, or something creamy, like Alfredo or macaroni and cheese. 

Pan-seared Salmon–the beginning of simple fare

Ms. Foodie Patootie is keepin’ it simple and keepin’ it real this evening.  Spring has finally sprung, the weather is the warmest it’s been in months, and so it’s time to drag out the lighter fare.  For me, that always include a good cut of salmon.

I first marinate chopped garlic and green onions with Sesame oil  in my cast-iron skillet, just to bring out the color and flavor.  Cooking in cast iron has an added the benefit: incorporating the mineral into the food, which makes for better absorption by the body.  So for you iron-deficient folks, this is a good thing!

Then, I threw in the salmon fillets, added some ground Sea Salt, pepper, Thyme, plus a hint of ground Ginger and a touch of red wine.  A few minutes over medium heat for a quick pan sear, and dinner is served.

Jasmine rice and steamed green beans add to the delicateness and simplicity of the fare.  Gives new meaning to the term, Eating Well.