Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday, August 18th - Pink Salmon and Arugula Cous Cous

The Pink is accidental, resulting from the red onions and red pepper corns that have bled into the cous cous while sousing. Result is distinctly pink and ymmy. Highlighted by a topping of bright pink seared coho salmon.

Pink Salmon and Arugula Cous Cous

(serves 1 and a lunch... but I ate it all, I'm afraid)

1/4 c cous cous
3/4 c hot water
1/2 organic, low sodium, vegetable broth
1/4 c pine nuts
2 T dried cranberries
1 green onion chopped
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1/4 - 1/2 c chickpeas
1/2 small red onion (or 1/8 c minced)
1 T whatever fresh herbs you have on hand
chili flakes (optional)
fresh cracked pink pepper corns
100 g of leftover salmon. Or sear a small piece of salmon for a few minutes on each side and flake. Don't over cook. You want it slightly ruby in the midddle.
2 handfuls baby arugula (run a knife through it just twice or not at all)


Juice of 1 lime
1 T dill mustard (The one I used is slighly horseradishy)
1/2 T ground ginger
1/2 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
Whisk vigourously.

1. In a large mixing bowl, place the cous cous. Nuke or boil the water and dissolve the boullion cube with a whisk or fork. Pour over cous cous, cover and walk away for at least an hour. I do this part in advance because I always panic when it doesn't absorb and make adjustments which results in way way way too much cous cous. If you don't have time, do it in advance. If you really don't have time, cook it.
2. After a few minutes of sitting, toss in the onion to spread the flavour.

At this point I went for a bike ride.

3. Chop and add and toss as you go now. Add the herbs, I used three rosemary needles, a few leaves of oregano and sage. Add the cranberries and chickpeas and toss.
4. In a small pan, roast the pine nuts. No oil required. Keep them moving. Because of the high protein level in pine nuts, they'll brown quickly. Toss into the mix.
5. Chop the cilantro and green onion fine. I like to have cous cous managable on a spoon. Toss.
6. Add the dressing and mix thoroughly. You could let it sit for a bit if you have time.
7. Here is the bit that contradicts my desire to scoop cous cous. I take two handfuls of baby arugula and run a knife through once or twice. Why? Because I love baby arugula or as they call it in London, where I fell in love with it, Rocket. YUM. The peppery, firm and meaty green is awesome. Add this last.

Top with the salmon and serve.

I love cous cous and I'm going to do this with the arugula again. Usually you need something salty or 'meaty' like crumbled feta to really bring a cous together and the arugula did it. One of the other things I've tried to do here is to fight the urge to over garnish. D likes to keep things simple. Take green curry for example. I've been known to add three-four different veg plus aromatics and protein. D would max out at two. I think it's the Korean in me. We normally have like half a dozen banchan on the table at any given time and you get it all, sometimes in one mouthful ;-P. What can I tell you? It's in my blud,

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