Friday, June 21, 2013

Slammin' salmon

If I could pick one food to eat for the rest of my life, hands down, it would be salmon. I like it raw, cooked, seared, and everything in between. I have for as long as I can remember, and I always will.

So when the Whole Foods in Bellingham, Massachusetts offered me the opportunity to sample their (amazing, delish, beautiful, scrumptious) fresh salmon and come up with a few recipes using it, I jumped at that chance.

First off, it's well-known by visitors of this blog that LOVE*LOVE*LOVE Whole Foods. I go there and grab lunch all the time. Sometimes, it's from their prepared foods bar, sometimes from the deli, sometimes a salad or sandwich, but who am I kidding -- it's most often sushi. I love Whole Foods because not only can I get ingredients there I can't get ANYWHERE else, their food is different. It's local. It's fresh. It's delicious. And if you ask any of the people who work there, they can tell you where it came from. Quite frankly, I feel good at Whole Foods. Click here to find your local Whole Foods!

I never used to like cooked salmon, because I thought it tasted too fishy. But once I bought it and cooked it myself, I realized the degree of fishiness has do with the freshness of the fish and the method used to cook it -- salmon isn't "fishy" as a rule. Broiled, grilled, however you prefer it -- you want the freshest fish and freshest ingredients. Whole Foods is just the place for that.

Today -- AND TODAY ONLY -- Whole Foods is having a sale on Wild Sockeye Salmon for $11.99/pound. The recipes I made don't HAVE to use that particular kind but, well, they would be scrumptious if you used that. In the interest of full disclosure, the salmon Whole Foods gave me for these recipes was King Salmon, a more mild fish that's fabullously rich and buttery.

So even if you aren't able to get to Whole Foods today, try to get there soon -- the quality of all of their ingredients is unrivaled and their salmon (sweet Mary, THE SALMON) is delicious beyond words.

Already have your salmon and looking for ideas of what to do with it? I've got two recipes absolutely worth trying -- both fresh and healthy, and -- boohoo apartment living -- neither requires a grill. Read on and enjoy!

Summer Salmon Kebabs
Serves 4  
1/2 pound fresh raw salmon
about 1 cup raw bell peppers (I used red, orange and yellow), cut into 1" pieces
red onion cut into large 1" chunks
2 tomatoes on the vine, cut into 1" chunks (or use grape/cherry tomatoes)
1 tablespoon soy sauce 2 tablespoons peanut sauce*
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper
olive oil
lemon (optional)

wooden (or metal) kebab sticks
cookie sheet
aluminum foil
ziploc bags (2)

Cut skin off salmon and cut into chunks about the same size as vegetables.

Combine peanut sauce, honey and soy sauce in Ziploc bag and toss in salmon. Let marinate for minimum one hour, up to overnight in refrigerator.

When finished marinating, turn broiler on low, cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil. On sticks, stack pepper, onion, tomato pieces with chunks of salmon. Set gently on pan. Once all kebabs are finished, broil on low and on middle rack of oven for 10 minutes, flipping once at 8 minutes. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over kebabs while still hot. Serve over rice or rice noodles.

Sweet and Sour Chili Salmon
Serves 2
1/2 pound fresh raw salmon, thinly sliced
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce*
2 tablespoons water
about 1 cup cucumber sliced
1 tablespoon chopped red onion or shallot
1 teaspoon salt

cookie sheet
aluminum foil
slotted spoon

Create marinade for salmon by combining 1/4 cup rice vinegar and 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce in baggie. Toss in salmon, marinate for one to two hours in refrigerator.

In separate bowl, combine salt and cucumber slices, and let sit for half an hour. This will draw the water out of the cucmbers. Lay them out on a paper towel and dry them off, toss them into a dry bowl.

Combine remaining vinegar, chili sauce, water and onion or shallot in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as mixture starts to bubble, remove from heat and pour over cucumber slices.

Cover cookie sheet with foil, place salmon slices on pan, sprinkly with salt and pepper, broil on low for 8 minutes.

Use slotted spoon to put cucumber slices on plate, place salmon on top. Serve while salmon is still hot. Enjoy!

*Chili Garlic Sauce: I'm specifically talking about this product, that I got at the grocery store. It's about $4 and very versatile!
*Peanut Sauce: This came directly from Whole Foods. It has a deeply rich peanut flavor and it's organic.

*Disclosure: I was provided with a sample of salmon from Whole Foods for this post. All opinions expressed within are wonderfully and deliciously my own.

I'm back baby!

Well hi there! It's been a long and crazy journey. Two years and a whole lot of changes later, and I'm back. Madame Menu has been calling my name for some time, and I'm finally ready to do this again. I've gone through a lot of changes in the past two years and so has my life. Reasonably soon, things will look a little different around here to reflect that. Stay tuned... I'M BACK BABY!