Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Pretty Salmon and Rice Dish

We've been addicted to Dr. Who on Netflix.  For Smith and Mad it's the stories, the space travel fantasy, gadgets (who wouldn't want a sonic screwdriver - or a TARDIS - who wouldn't want a TARDIS?) - but for me it has everything to do with this guy:


 But the Doctor regenerated, as the Doctor does, and we're on to this guy:

This guy has great energy and he's funny, and Mad thinks he's cute, despite the Flock of Seagulls hair...  But he's no

AmIright?  Sigh.

What does Dr Who have to do with salmon and rice?  Nothing, except that since I'm now only mildly obsessed with Dr. Who (as opposed to completely) I thought I might use some of the spare space in my brain cooking up something new for dinner.  We haven't had salmon in a while and they were running a special on wild caught Coho at the grocery and so I bought a pound.  And I only had to sell one kidney to do it.

Usually, I just throw salmon in a pan dressed with a bit of olive oil and some lemon, but, due to the extra brain space, I was feeling a bit creative and I came up with this:

It looked prettier in real life - I need to take a photography class

It's pretty, right?  Obviously, not as pretty as:

But, enough said.  The Doctor moved on, and I will too...

Here's my recipe:

Pretty Salmon and Rice:

1TBLSP Olive oil
1 small or 1/2 of a large yellow onion thinly sliced
1 cup of arborio rice (or, a long grain brown rice if you have it)
2 cups of cauliflower florets
1 cup of golden raisins
1 large or 2 small carrots thinly sliced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
2 teaspoons of curry powder
1 1/2 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable stock- if canned use low sodium)
1 large orange - zested  and juiced - my orange gave me about 1 cup of juice
1 TBLSP of parsely, or cilantro or even basil if you like
1 - 1 1/2 lbs of salmon filets  - for God's sake, buy what's on sale.  Or go to Trader Joes and get some frozen filets and thaw them under running cold water

Preheat the oven to 350 F

Heat a lidded skillet or a Dutch oven on a medium flame, when it's hot, swirl in your olive oil then throw in the onions and saute until translucent.  Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice becomes translucent looking as well.  Add the cauliflower, raisins, curry powder, carrots, celery, 1/2 of the orange zest and juice from 1/2 the orange (1/2 cup).  Add the chicken stock.  Cover your pot with foil or parchment, and then put the lid on (this keeps the steam and flavor in the pot)  and put the whole thing in the oven for 25 minutes.  (If you are using a long grain brown rice, it will take a lot longer to cook - closer to an hour.  Also, in this house, we like our rice very mushy.  If you're looking for something more al dente, take it out after 15/20 minutes.)

Meanwhile, season your salmon on both sides with salt, pepper and the other half of the orange zest.  Squeeze the other half of the orange over top.  When the timer for the rice goes off, take the pot out, and taste your rice - adjust the seasonings adding Kosher salt and pepper to taste.  Place your salmon on top of the rice.  Put the whole thing back in the oven, uncovered this time, and bake until the salmon is cooked through: 10 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of your filet, and how well done your like your salmon.  (Quite well done in this house - but most people like it to still be a bit pink in the center.)

Let your salmon sit for a minute before serving. Then sprinkle it with some chopped parsley or cilantro, depending on what you have.  I had neither, as you can clearly see from my photo.  However, if I'd had one or the other I'd have sprinkled and my salmon dish would have been even prettier.  (Although, David Tennant, you will always be prettiest...)

 A salad with a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and a splash of sherry vinegar would taste good with this.  Or you can saute some frozen green beans in olive oil until they are cooked through - finish with fleur de sel sea salt and fresh pepper.