Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Vacation and Salmon

We just returned from a week long vacation from Aruba.
It was wonderful! It was exactly what I wanted: white sand and clear turquoise water. Here is the picture of me sitting on the deck and (probably) thinking about something very important:

The only downside of the vacation was the food. I am used to eating good food. I made my husband love good food. And resort where we stayed, unfortunately wasn't able to provide us with a healthy, tasty food.
For a really unknown reason the one thing I missed the most was a Caprese salad.
Why? Why caprese?? Its not even my favourite dish. I don't know the answer, to tell you the truth. And once we got home, back to NYC, the first thing I eat was a fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil :-)

Ironically, I missed salmon as well (on a beach vacation, yeah).
So to cook a nice salmon dish back at home, isn't a bad idea at all. I managed to find a well priced wild salmon in Trader's Joe. I also got a new cast iron dutch oven which I wanted to try. But you can use any pot for this recipe.
This recipe is adapted and slightly changed from Giada De Laurentiis HERE.
Ok, it REALLY tastes better than it looks!
Wild Rice citrus salad with salmon:

2 lbs of salmon fillet, trimmed ( no skin needed) and diced
3 tbsp of soy sauce
Lime juice from one lime (approx. 2 tbsp), you can substitute with lemon juice
3 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper

Rice Salad:
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups black wild rice, rinsed
3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 lime, zested
1 lemon, zested
1 cup thinly sliced green onions

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

Whisk together the soy sauce, lime juice, olive oil and black pepper in a bowl, and pour over the salmon Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In a blender, combine the olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, honey, and cumin. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Now, there are two ways of cooking this dish: frying and baking. I tried both of them and prefer the frying one more.

Frying method:
While the fish is marinating cook the rice. Black wild rice takes much longer to prepare, but it is so worth it!
In your pot or saucepan (I used enamel cast iron dutch oven), bring water, salt and oil to a boil over medium-high heat Stir in the rice. Cover the saucepan, reduce the heat, and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 50 minutes.
Once the salmon is done marinating, fry it in a skillet with a little bit of olive or coconut oil for 10-15 minutes total. Or you can broil salmon in the oven  (6-8 minutes). To save some time, you do the fish while the rice is cooking. Well, really, this recipe is much simpler than it looks..I don't know how to make it look easier..seems like too many words,but its really not that long and hard to prepare.ok, back to the cooking.

Remove the pan with rice  from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Using a fork, fluff the rice and place in a large serving bowl. Add the cooked salmon, parsley, lime zest, half of the lemon zest, green onions, and 1/4 cup of the almonds. Toss well.
Pour the vinaigrette over the rice mixture and stir well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with the remaining lemon zest and almonds.

Baking method:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Marinate the fish, as described above.
Make the vinaigrette and set aside (no changes here).

Cook the rice approximately for 20-25 minutes. We need the rice not to be fully cooked (there will probably be some water left in the dish). Add the marinated fish to the pot with the rice (please use oven safe pot or casserole dish). Cover with a lid.
Bake for  30-35 minutes.
Once it is baked and fish is fully cooked and flaky, pour the vinaigrette and almonds over the rice. Mix in the parsley, lime and lemon zested and green onions

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