So what’s your definition of gourmet? Not sure what it is for you, but tonight, my meal felt a little gourmet. Maybe it was because it involved ingredients I don’t use often…yeah, I think that’s why. I don’t normally go the “gourmet” route…unless I’m eating out, and someone else is preparing it for me. Tonight it was all about the ingredients for me…I splurged just a little bit, but didn’t overdo it at all.
It started when I picked up a nice piece of wild sockeye salmon. I have been looking forward to it all summer…apparently this salmon only runs for a short amount of time, according to the guy at the fish counter. All the times I’ve had it (over the last couple of years) it’s been a treat. It’s richer and firmer in texture than your typical pink salmon. I just love it.
I knew I wanted to keep things simple…I found this Alton Brown recipe for Broiled Sockeye Salmon with Citrus Glaze and went with it. I reduced the sugar from 1/3 cup to 1/4 cup and a little less salt…it turned out wonderfully. The lemon zest combined with the warm sweetness of brown sugar just rocked my world. I paired it with a salad that I normally wouldn’t make at home, a tasty mix of greens topped with roasted asparagus, thin sliced red onion, farmer’s market cherry tomatoes and a homemade citrus balsamic vinaigrette…but thanks to a sale on watercress and arugula today at the store, it was inexpensive and absolutely delicious.
The vinaigrette was made with not so everyday ingredients but not totally foreign ingredients either. Here’s my trick in finding “gourmet” ingredients that I normally don’t find at the grocery store…check the food sections of places like Home Goods and Marshalls. That is where I pick up my grapeseed oil..along with infused balsamic vinegars and Herbes de Provence. It’s a treat, and definitely worth it.
And for those of you who have young children…I am asked often if my kids eat what I cook. Well the answer is not always, but I sure do try. Here is an example of what I will serve my kids on a night that I am making salmon or another fish…it’s not much additional effort and to me is a little more reasonable as far as getting them to try something new and something not so new. It’s worth the effort of trying, even if it doesn’t go over well…like for instance, you all know my son loved these salmon tacos, but tonight had no interest in trying this broiled salmon. Kids will be kids I guess. I don’t get it, but I lovingly made him eat his 5 bites and then he was done. Like I said…I’m always trying…
Oh and by the way…I just contributed my first post the the CBSNews Health blog. They featured my healthy version of a slider…Smoky BBQ Turkey Burger Sliders! Check it out and let me know what you think!
Broiled Sockeye Salmon with Citrus Glaze
Recipe slightly adapted from Alton Brown, Food Network
1 side, skin-on, sockeye salmon, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, pin bones removed
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Position a rack in the oven 3 inches from the broiler. Line a half sheet pan with aluminum foil and place the salmon on the pan.
Place the sugar, zest, salt, and pepper into the bowl of a small food processor and process for 1 minute or until well combined. Evenly spread the mixture onto the salmon and allow to sit for 45 minutes, at room temperature. Sugar and lemon zest will combine and slightly liquify into a glaze.
Turn the oven on to the high broiler setting for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, place the salmon into the oven and broil for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the salmon from the oven and allow to rest, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Mixed Green Salad with Roasted Asparagus and Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette
Recipe from Aggie’s Kitchen
1/4 cup citrus balsamic vinaigrette
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 garlic clove, finely minced
good pinch sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Combine ingredients in a mason jar or tupperware container and shake, shake, shake until thickened. Store in fridge for up to 1 week.
Drizzle salad dressing over a plate of mixed greens (I used watercress and arugula), thin sliced onion, halved cherry tomatoes and roasted asparagus.