Monday, December 20, 2010

Salmon and Red Pepper-Coconut Jasmine Rice

We had a delicious Sunday night dinner.  I'm trying to cook healthier, and fortunately my hubby is with me all the way on that one.

So in planning my meals for the week, I decided we'd splurge on Sunday and have salmon.  This is another recipe we've had before and loved, again from Cooking Light - this time, the September 2010 issue.  One of these magazines could probably take me through a couple months of finding and trying new recipes; that's why I only buy them occasionally!

First of all, I am not a huge fan of salmon.  But somehow, prepared this very-simple way, it's great!

Start by making the cilantro-yogurt sauce.  Coincidentally, this is just a great sauce to have on hand, so you might want to make extra to use as a veggie dip or on sandwiches or with crackers.

You'll need 1/2 cup Greek yogurt.  Add to that finely-chopped cucumber.

Some chopped cilantro.

One-half teaspoon fresh lime juice.  I have no idea why I actually measured this, but here it is.

Some salt and you've got the fresh-looking glory below.

Stir it and chill it while you do everything else.

Red Pepper Coconut Rice
This is the recipe that introduced me to jasmine rice, and I will be forever changed.  I don't even want to look at white minute rice anymore.

Bring 1 cup of jasmine rice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, and 1 (14-oz) can of coconut milk (light is better for you, but our grocery store didn't have it) to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, stir in 1/2 cup chopped red pepper.  Cover and let stand 5 minutes.

The Salmon
Maybe there is a lesson to be learned here.  The simplest preparation can often be best?  That's another Real Eating mantra, my friend.

You've got your salmon.  I bought this lovely piece of fish flesh from the meat counter.  It was better priced than the frozen, and I didn't have to worry about thawing it.  That's enough reason for me!

Season it with salt and pepper - use a ration of 2:1.

Heat two teaspoons olive oil in a large, nonstick pan.  Here's what two teaspoons looks like.  It's not much, but take my word for it, it does the trick.

The original recipe said to cook for about 3 minutes per side, but I needed much longer than that.  Maybe because it was such a big, pretty piece of salmon.

After a while, I decided cooking in the large-hunk format just wasn't going to get the job done.  I deftly transferred to a cutting board and returned it to the pan in three portion-sized chunks.  Easy enough!

And finally, the finished product...

I did scorch the bottom of my rice a bit.  Happens every time.  I'm not a careful cook; hence why I stay away from making candy, which requires careful monitoring and a candy thermometer.  However, the crunchy bits gave it nice texture.  You'll love the creaminess combined with occasional jolts of spicy from the crushed red pepper.

And the salmon.  Oh my.  There were crispy edges from the olive oil.  It was tender and well seasoned, not fishy.  I could just feel the omega-3's flooding into my body.

Now how to get this salmon smell out of my house?

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