Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Feb 3rd - Dill Salmon and Israeli Cous Cous with Grape Tomatoes

I like israely cous cous for the distinct texture. If done well, it still stays firm but not raw. We've bought it a few times in a few shops. We bought sack form a middle eastern shop with arabic writing and no instructions. No matter how I cooked it or water proportions, it turned out goopy. It also took a long long time to cook compared to the recipes I found online. The two times I've bought it from Trader Joe's (an american grocery based on the West coast). It turns out fantastic! Stays separated, not goopy, and cooked firm. I would highly recommend Trader Joe's or in this rare case, only the boxed shop brand. I wouldn't say the same for 'regular' semolina cous cous. The boxed varieties are exactly the same and normally too salty and over priced.

Israeli Cous Cous with Zanzibar Pilau mix

1 shallot minced
1 1/2 c vegetable broth
1 c Israeli Cous Cous
1 t Zanzibar Pilau spice mix
1/2 t salt
1 c grape tomatoes

The Zanzibar Pilau mix is a spice pack D bought in Zanzibar on his trip a couple of years ago. It's a aromatic mix of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, garlic and ginger. It's original intention was to be added to rice. It's totally optional and you can use some dried spices or rice spice that you might have like italian herbs or herbes de provence.

In a small saucepan, heat some olive oil on medium/high heat. Sautee the minced shallot until soft. Add the cous cous. Stir for a few minutes until all the cous is shiny and starting to brown. Add the spices and salt. Stir and add broth. Cover. Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer covered for 12 minutes.

In a small non stick pan, heat some olive oil. Add the tomatoes. Sautee until slightly browned and wrinkly. Toss back into the cous cous when ready.

Garnish with fresh parsley or tonight, we have dill. I lurves fresh dill.

D doesn't like Kale. He informed me of this this morning. I thought he was indifferent. He is not. He doesn't like Kale. Well too bad. I'm cooking and I like the nutty, meaty flavour. It is from the same family as Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts and Cabbage. When browned, it gets a nice nutty flavour. It is not at all like lettuce or shard. It's got substance. It takes cooking in many forms well, sautee, BBQ or roasting.

Kale and Onions

1 large bunch kale
1/2 white onion
pinch seasalt

Slice the onion

Chop off the woody ends of the kale. Chop into 1 inch ribbons.

Sautee the onions in a wok or large pan until soft. Toss in the kale. Turn the heat up. Toss until soft and starting to brown. You don't want to burn the onion. Season with coarse seasalt.

Okay.... so the Kale didn't work out. It was a bit 'off'. So I ditched it and in the process clogged the garbage disposal. Wonderful. What have I learned? D is right. Kale is bad.

Salmon with Dill and Lemon

1 salmon fillet (400g for two people)
1/2 c chopped fresh dill
zest of one lemon
olive oil

Spread some chopped dill out on a non stick baking sheet or a baking sheet with some parchement paper. Drizzle some olive oil. Place the salmon skin side down. We also rubbed in a dry seafood spice mix but barely a teaspoon because it is too salty and I don't recommend it. We coved the top with dill, zest and drizzled olive oil.

Turn the oven on low broil. Put the rack second from the top.

Place the salmon under the low broil for 5 minutes. Turn off the broiler and place the salmon on a lower rack and leave in the hot oven for 5 more minutes.

Check the middle. It should still be slightly dark pink in the middle.

Serve with some more fresh dill.

The fresh herbs will burn slightly. That's okay. The zest ribbons got all crispy and they were quite tasty. Fresh dill couldn't be nicer with fish.


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