Wednesday, June 17, 2009

glazed salmon with polenta and tomatoes

In an effort to update this blog on a more regular basis, I'll start by posting my dinner menus throughout the week. I've been cooking for myself more often now that I'm on my own so might as well write about it.

I had bought salmon a couple of days ago and thought I'd make it for dinner. I wasn't sure what I wanted as a side so I stood in my pantry staring at a box of quinoa, a can of garbonzo beans, when I spotted a bag of organic polenta tucked behind the box of brown sugar. Polenta is ground cornmeal, a traditional stable you'll find in maybe central european cuisines. The texture is gritty, of course depending on the coarseness of the grind, and can be served creamy, baked, or fried. I kept mine simple; I was hungry. Guten Appetit!

plum sauce glazed salmon with polenta and roasted tomatoes


1 tbsp plum sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp garlic chili sauce
4 tbsp mirin
salt and pepper


dab of butter
1 cup milk
1 cup water
3/4 cups polenta

roasted tomatoes

salt and pepper
olive oil

Whisk the glaze ingredients together and marinate the salmon for at least 1 hour. Dice tomatoes into large chucks and toss it in extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper, and oregano (or whatever herb suits your fancy). Pre-heat oven to 375, bake the salmon on the middle rack for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Pop the tomatoes into the oven for the same amount of time. In a sauce pan, heat the butter, milk and water to a scald. Lower the heat, season with salt, and slowly add the polenta. Keep stirring until the cornmeal has thickened. You can add grated parmesan cheese, but I opted not to. Serve the tomatoes on top of the polenta.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

kale and pea rice salad

It's a weekday, I don't feel like cooking, but desperately need to consume some greens and all I have on hand are frozen kale and peas, some scallions and one tomato. So what's a girl to do? Chop it up and throw it all together with some barley rice and season it with a little love. I think it ended up needing a bit more love, but it was a light, healthy meal. Maybe adding some protein like grilled chicken or a fried egg would have been a nice touch.

[frozen] kale and pea rice salad

1 1/2 cup of day old rice*
1/4 cup thawed out frozen kale
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
2 scallions, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp light oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
dash of ground cumin
salt & pepper to taste

Saute garlic in the oil on medium high heat in a non stick pan making sure not to burn the garlic. Toss in the diced tomatoes; season as you go. Add the kale and rice, giving it some good stirs. Add the frozen peas, cook until peas are heated through. Season with soy sauce, sesame oil, and cumin. Always taste as you go. And yes, it reads more like fried rice, but rice salad sounds much healthier, don't you think?

* Make your own two-minute ready-rice. Having to cook for myself most of the time and cooking just one serving of rice be foolish, here is a little trick I learned. When the cooked rice is still piping hot, I scoop one serving size into a sandwich size freezer bag. When it's still steaming, zip it up and pop it in the freezer. Whenever you need rice, peel open a bag, add a sprinkle of water if you choose, and nuke it in the microwave for 2 minutes and voila!