Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The spice of life - and a salmon filet recipe

I've had this nagging interest in cooking since I was a little girl. To be perfectly frank, my parent's didn't really put anything awe inspiring on the table. Not that I blame them. In a busy dual job household with three kids and our entire lives to orchestrate, I think the last thing they were feeling at the end of the day was inspired. Not to say they didn't feed us well - we were instilled from the start with a nutritionally balanced ideal of what was right for our bodies - but you wouldn't often find anything fancier than baked chicken, (okay, okay.. shake'n'baked), with potatoes and steamed veggies for dinner.

This always left me with a hankering for more. I started out small, by inventing - or so I felt - my own recipe for spaghetti sauce. Simple smart ingredients with a healthy dose of fresh garlic, chunky vegetables, italian spices, and chipotle hot sauce. I remember when I sat my dad down for him to try it; I was inwardly cringing at the possibility that my taste buds, and only my taste buds, could possibly enjoy it.

He dropped his fork - and his jaw - looked at me plaintively and asked, "Where did you learn to cook like this!?"

After that I gobbled up, (pardon the pun), any recipe people would throw at me and strove to put my own twist on it or use the idea's to make something wholly new. I'm not a huge chef or foodie, nor do I cook fantastic meals every night. But when I get inspired, and get into the kitchen.. I feel like magic ignites.

Over the years I've had many influences that have developed my tastes, ideas, and my thoughts on food. Ex-lovers, good friends, google and the food network ;p All combining together to create the mini-chef and food lover that I am. I've switched to all organic foods, now, and when I do eat meat I try to let only oceanwise seafood, and organic/free range, (properly fed and no antibiotics!), meats onto my plates. I find this has not only made my karma feel good, but, truthfully, my entire body.

Part of the reason I write this here in my travel blog is because, arguably, one of the greatest aspects of traveling is trying new foods. I've grown incredibly fond of simply wandering through fresh food markets, trying new dishes, expanding my culinary horizons, and enjoying what the world has to offer my taste buds.

Tonight, this is what I created. I hope you all enjoy. This recipe was inspired by a really good friend. Thank you, Camille. I still make this.

"Pan seared wild salmon with spicy peppers and tomato on brown rice. Topped with a simple home made chunky guac."

I have no idea how to write out a recipe, especially since I tend to wing it with the amounts, but here goes.


*Oceanwise Wild Salmon Filet, skin on (salt and peppered)

Rice - Wild, Brown, Long grain white.. whatever your fancy. I chose brown :)

Organic Veggies:
Red, Orange and/or Yellow Bell Pepper - Chopped in approx 1 inch chunks
Fresh Tomato - Chunky like the peppers
Red onion - Yup, you guessed it, like the peppers
Garlic - Chopped
Hot pepper - Diced - I used half a small orange habanero.. but you can decide how brave you are, or not :p

1 large ripe Avacado - (you want it to feel soft to the touch, but not majorly mushy)
Garlic - Diced, abt a clove (I like it garlic-y. Sometimes REAL garlic-y. But I'm a bit of a nutterbutter)
Red onion - Diced, two teaspoons? (it'll be a lil more than your garlic but careful not to overpower your guac with awesomeness)
Tomato - abt half a fresh one, chopped
Lime or Lemon juice - a squirt or two (preferably fresh, but if you hurtin' for citrus I just use a bit of reg lemon juice from the bottle. Shhhhh.. dun tell.)
Olive Oil (extra virgin) - I just pour a small glop in.
Cilantro - Chopped (or flat leaf parsley as an alternative) - ummm... I'ma go with.. a couple table spoons? Depends on how much avacado/tomato you've got goin on....
Salt and Pepper - to taste

The guac can be pre-made, or if you're efficient while you cook you can always just throw it together in between stirs and flips and such :) Basically you chop/mush up your avacado, stir in everything else, and try not to eat it all before dinner's ready.

Start by putting your rice on, and cook as needed depending on which rice is your preference. I baked my salmon a little bit while I was cooking to ensure its readiness, but it was also still a little frozen. (This is what happens when you decide to cook last minute at 9pm and the only food you have is chillin out in your freezer.)

In a frypan heat a little oil, (extra virgin olive, for me), on medium heat. Sautee your bell peppers, garlic, onions, and hot pepper until soft but still a little crisp. Lower the heat and stir in tomato's, just enough to heat them through. Remember to season your food. Salt and maybe pepper - if you dare to spice it up even more- to taste. Remove from heat and place into a covered bowl.

In the same pan add a little more oil if needed, and on high heat lay in your salmon filet. (You may want to google how to properly do this.. I totally wong (winged?) just threw it in and hoped for the best... I'm still alive though, and it tasted pretty freakin good.. so I guess I did it right. But I don't want to be responsible for bad meat out there!) So, yes, pan fry that fishy sucker. Please don't kill yourself with food poisoning. I wouldn't like that.

By this time your rice is hopefully done, your guac is a go, and you're ready to plate this tasty beast.

Lay down a bed of rice, top with your spicy veggie mixture. Place your salmon filet on top, and add a generous dollop of guac. Lastly sprinkle with a bit of extra cilantro or flat leaf parsley because not only does it taste good, it looks good too.

Shablam. Awesome healthy dinner that tastes devine!

My only regret this evening is that I didn't pull out my good cam to photograph the nummy result. Ah well, next time.

Cheers! To good eating!

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