Sunday, October 28, 2012

Teriyaki Salmon Recipe

This teriyaki salmon recipe is one of my "quick and easy" dishes.  In the time it takes you to steam some rice to go along with it, you will have your teriyaki sauce made and your salmon broiled.

Teriyaki Salmon Recipe

In a small bowl, whisk together:

1 Tbsp +1 tsp gluten-free tamari
1 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp kirin (rice wine)

When the sugar is mostly dissolved, take a taste of the sauce.  It should taste balanced out between the salty, sweet, and sour.  It will sort of "sing" on your tongue.  If it seems out of balance, try adjusting with the ingredient that's lacking.  When you have the sauce how you want it, add any or all of these optional items:

1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp hot chili oil
1/2 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced ginger or ginger powder

Put the on a broiler-safe dish:

1 pound salmon fillet, cut into single portions

I use my cast-iron grill.  Baste the salmon with some of the teriyaki sauce and place in the top rack of the oven.  Turn the oven on to a low broil (high broil will cook it too fast and make it tough).  Let it cook for about five minutes, then baste the salmon with more teriyaki sauce.  Keep basting the salmon every few minutes until it's done.  Serve with steamed rice and sauteed vegetables, or your favorite side.  


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Slow-cooked Salmon

One night my cooking partner was in charge of buying ingredients for dinner.  I was in the mood for salmon, and he got a very nice-looking piece.  Good salmon is plentiful here in the Pacific Northwest.  The thing is, we eat salmon a lot.  We have our standard ways of cooking it, like this Salmon Paprika recipe that I do pretty often.  This time I wanted something really different.  After a quick search on one of my favorite food blogs, No Recipes, I found this recipe for Slow-Roasted Salmon.  I took the idea and modified it on a whim.

Here's the concept: cook your salmon at a very low heat.  This way, you avoid over-cooking it and you get a really tender piece of fish.

Simple, eh?  Why didn't I think of that?!  I have struggled with cooking salmon on a really hot flame and pulling it off at that moment of complete perfection.  With the slow cooking technique, there's no risk in ending up with a dry, chewy piece of fish.

Slow-cooked Salmon Recipe:

Heat the oven to 225 F.  Cut into single-serving pieces:

1.5 pounds nice, thick salmon fillet

In a bowl, mix together until emulsified:

1 Tbsp molasses
1 Tbsp olive oil
a dash mustard or mustard powder
1-2 tsp. yellow curry powder
salt to taste
a dash or two balsamic vinegar

If the emulsion starts to separate and looks greasy, add more vinegar or a little bit of water and re-mix until incorporated.  If the sauce won't emulsify, add more mustard and try again.

Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper.  This will keep you from having to clean up a sticky mess later.  Place the salmon on the lined cooking sheet and coat it with the sauce.

Place the salmon in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the thickest part of the salmon reads 140 degrees.  The top should look lovely and glazed.

Serve over greens or rice, or with potatoes.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fast, Easy Chicken Stew

Portland has been unusually dry this summer.  For weeks I've been dreading the day the beautiful weather would end.  It's been one of those eternal summers that makes me feel like warm, beautiful weather would be my privilege forever.  Now I see that tomorrow it's going to rain, and I'm surprisingly happy about it.  Endless summer takes its toll: the ground is dry and hard, there have been wild fires all over the state, and the air is thick with smoky haze.  It's time for this state and this city to get renewed.  The coming week of rain will be like a spa vacation for Oregon.

Today was probably my last big harvest day at my garden.  I finally had to rip up the last of the sunflowers and the squash plant that kept on giving like it would never die.  I picked some carrots, and the ones left behind will be happy about the rain when it comes.  I still have lots of tomatoes on the vine, and I picked those that looked full-size.  I have this Sun Gold tomato plant that produces like nothing else, and I harvested lots of ripe little orange globes from that plant too.  When I got home, I was inspired to make a harvest stew.

Here's the concept: I use my 450-degree oven technique that I spelled out in this post.  I first heard about it on the Splendid Table on NPR.  I cook like this regularly, but I thought I'd change the concept slightly from a roasted dish to a stew, but without any extra work or time.  I simply used a deeper pot than usual and let the ingredients crowd a little.  I added tomatoes to the mix for moisture.  Then I let the oven do the rest.

Harvest Stew Recipe:

Place a heavy, cast-iron dutch oven in the oven, uncovered, and set the temperature to 450 degrees F.

While the oven is heating up, chop up your veggies and place them in a large bowl.  Use about:

2 red potatoes, sliced 1/8" thick
1/4 lb. tomatoes, chopped
1 shallot, sliced thickly
2 small crookneck squash
2 carrrots

sprinkle ove the veggies:

1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Toss the vegetables into the oil.  Add to the bowl:

4-5 chicken thighs

Toss the oil and spices onto that. Add more if necessary to coat the chicken and vegetables.  When the oven is up to temperature, place the chicken and vegetables inside and cook, uncovered, for about 35 minutes or until the chicken is done (160-170 degrees F).

Serve and enjoy!