Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Two Dishes For Those Who Love Fishes

Fishy Facts: Typically, salmon are anadromous: they are born in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, then return to fresh water to reproduce. However, there are rare species that can only survive in fresh water habitats.

Meal 1:

This meal is so fast, easy and tasty! I cut costs by growing my own basil and garlic.

Baked Pesto Salmon
1 lb of fresh salmon
2 c loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 c pine nuts
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Place the basil, pine nuts, garlic, cheese, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. With the motor running, slowly pour the oil through the tube. Stop the motor when you have a thick, slightly chunky paste.

Spary a baking sheet with cooking spray; put salmon on the baking sheet. Generously coat the top of the salmon with the pesto. Tent with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue cooking for 10 more minutes, until the edges of the pesto begin to brown.

I served this with the left-over quinoa from the stuffed peppers I made the other day, and steamed broccoli.

Meal 2:

I don't particularly care for left-over fish, so I adapted this dish so as not to waste the leftovers.

Salmon Pesto Pasta

8 oz pasta (I use liguine or penne; adjust depending on how much fish you have left-over)
leftover pesto salmon
salt and pepper
5 oz evaporated milk (adjusted depending on how much salmon you have left-over)
½ cup pesto (recipe above)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When water is boiling, add pasta. Cook pasta until al dente; drain. Pour evaporated milk into empty pot and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to ¼ cup. Add cooked pasta to pot and stir to combine.

Add salmon to pasta mixture and stir over medium heat until hot. Remove from heat and stir in pesto. Top with parmesan, if desired.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Dry Fruit Curry

This recipe is from one of my Australian friends. If I hadn't eaten it before I saw the recipe I probably would not have ever made it. The final dish has much more flavor than the ingredients might suggest. Enjoy!

Dry Fruit Curry
1 small red apple, peel on, diced
1 small tomato diced
1 small green pepper diced
1/2 red pepper diced
1/2 small yellow onion diced
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 Tbsp raisins (I use sweet golden raisins)
1 lb ground pork (I use ground turkey to make it leaner, but the pork certainly has more flavor)
3 Tbsp white wine (water can be substituted, but the wine is much better)
1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar

Cook the chopped onion, garlic and red pepper in the oil over medium heat. Once the vegetables have softened slightly add the ground meat. Once the meat begins to brown add the wine, sugar, soy, salt and curry powder. Stir as meat continues to cook. Add the tomato, green pepper and raisins and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. Serve over white or brown rice.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers with Romesco Sauce

1/3 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
4 large red, green or yellow bell peppers (a variety is nice)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 package (10 oz) fresh spinach, tough stems removed, torn into large pieces
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup dried currants or raisins

Heat oven to 375°F.

In small nonstick skillet, toast almonds over medium heat, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly toasted. Tip onto a plate and let cool.

In a saucepan, heat water and salt to boiling. Place quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer; rinse under cold running water 2 minutes. Stir quinoa into boiling water. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Uncover and set aside.

Fill a saucepan half full with water; heat to boiling. Cut off and reserve tops of peppers. Remove seeds and ribs. Add peppers and tops to boiling water; cook 5 minutes. Drain. In same saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 6 minutes or until onions are golden brown. Stir in garlic. Remove 2 tablespoons of onion mixture; set aside. Add spinach to saucepan; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until wilted and any water evaporates. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir goat cheese, currants, almonds and quinoa into spinach mixture.

Arrange peppers in shallow baking dish. Spoon stuffing into peppers, mounding to fill; replace tops. Bake 20 minutes or until peppers are tender.

Romesco Sauce
1 oz French bread chunks, crusts removed
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 cup toasted almonds
1/4 cup drained diced tomatoes
1 roasted red pepper, charred skins removed and sliced
1 clove garlic
1 tsp paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

In a bowl, combine the bread with the red wine vinegar. Put the toasted almonds in the food processor and pulse until grainy. Add the bread, tomatoes, red pepper, garlic, paprika and cayenne. Puree until smooth. With the motor running, pour the oil in a slow stream and process until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Spoon Romesco sauce on plate and top with a cooked pepper.