Monday, December 22, 2008

Grilled Salmon with Mango Red Pepper Salsa and Rice Pilaf with Wilted Kale

I think all the components make this recipe sound complicated, but it couldn't be simpler. Regarding the mango salsa, my father-in-law (who did not actually try or see it, incidentally) asked where I got it, thinking that such things needed to be bought. Really, salsa requires only a knife, a cutting board and a bowl ... nothing more. I suppose for very thin salsas you might want a food processor or blender, but I like the chunky variety. I'm not really sure why people buy this stuff in a jar. It can't possibly taste as good as the fresh stuff.

Grilled Salmon with Mango Red Pepper Salsa
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsps. red onion, minced
1 cup mango (fresh or frozen is fine), diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
2 Tbsps. cilantro, minced
1 Tbsp. lime juice
salt to taste

safflower oil spray
4 portions wild salmon fillets (4-6 oz. each)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine garlic, red onion, mango, red pepper, cilantro and lime juice in a bowl. Season with salt. Set aside.

In a large cast iron skillet (or a cast iron grill pan), spray safflower oil spray. Heat the pan on high. Season the salmon on both sides with salt and pepper. Once the pan is hot, add the salmon, skin side down. Reduce the heat slightly. Cook on each side for 4-5 minutes. Remove the salmon skin (I find it much easier to do this after cooking than before ... just place the skin side down on the plate). Serve the salmon topped with a generous amount of the salsa.

Rice Pilaf
Rice pilaf can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people, and it means a variety of things in my house, depending on what I have on hand. Mostly, it's rice that is toasted prior to boiling, and is flavored with one thing or another. So, this version is just how we made it this time. Next time could be vastly different.

1/2 Tbsp. butter
3/4 cup brown basmati rice
1/4 cup wild rice
2 cups low-sodium veggie broth
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. ground coriander seed
1 tsp. dried chopped onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add rices and stir to coat. Toast, stirring frequently, until rice begins to get some white spots as well as some golden spots. Add veggie broth and all seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Wilted Kale
Although we made this with kale, if you prefer another leafy green (spinach, swiss chard, mustard greens, turnip greens, beet greens ... whatever), feel free to substitute. They're all good.

1 Tbsp butter
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 bunch Italian kale, washed, trimmed of stems and torn into pieces
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stainless steel skillet, heat the olive oil and butter. Add kale once butter has melted, and wilt over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once mostly wilted, season sparingly with salt and pepper (the salt will draw out more of the moisture and will allow it to wilt completely). Serve immediately.

To serve this dish, you could have all the components separate (well, the salsa really should top the salmon), or you could get fancy and pile it high, starting with the rice, then the kale, then the salmon, then the salsa. Why not?

No comments: