Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Playdates Past: Two Salmons on Quinoa Bed

We took a few days off to celebrate Mother's Day with our families. While we're on break, we're revisiting some favorite recipes from the archives. We'll be back with something fresh in a few days! I chose this recipe here for its surprising result and good reviews from our kids.

My little pretend-to-be pirates Captain Jack Hook and his matey Captain Bonanza Arco Iris were in the mood to eat fish. That was a novelty. Many times I tried to lure them with all types of fish I know, but all ended up in the garbage and the cook ...was mentally sent to the plank. They had their motives to be so eager to try new food. All costumes of pirates were ready for Halloween and our Sunday was an unusual one: It started on a hunt for different kinds of pumpkins at Farmer's John at Half Moon Bay. And got even better with our mini trip looking at the bay eating fish and chips, calamari and prawns at Half Moon Bay Brewery.

After the weekend I was then brave enough to try fish for our playdate. The following recipe gathered many things that I wanted to introduce to my cooking, but never had courage to do. And the result was a wonderful surprise. As an appetizer the kids... ooops, pirates, had a taste of hard-boiled quail eggs, something very popular for kids in Brazil but never on our table before. They loved them and even asked  this "pirate Cook" to boil another dozen. The "pink fish" was a hit! Not only was the dish tasty and attractive, all of our kids ate it all. And for the humble cook of the pirate ship here, was that blissful sensation of cooking the right fish, with the right taste and texture, and probably a wonderful dose of omega-3,  and all B6 vitamin, protein and goodness of organic quinoa grain. Hey matey!

Wild Coho Alaskan Salmon with Colorful Quinoa

The kids called the translucent grains of quinoa mini pearls and named the salmon as pink fish. I thought that was not just cute, but a wonderful interpretation of a very unusual dish.

1 medium fillet (about 1 pound) of wild-caught Alaskan Coho salmon, skin on
5 slices smoked salmon
2 cups quinoa, cooked as instructed by package
2 stalks celery, thinly chopped
2 cups white cabbage, thinly sliced
3 stems scallions or spring onions, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 tablespoon sesame oil, drizzled over fish and cabbage
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

On a very hot skillet grill put salmon on skin side and sprinkle its surface with salt, scallions and a drizzle, or mist, of sesame oil. Cover it with slices of smoked salmon and let it cook for about 7 minutes or up when skin begins to get crunchy. Turn the fish, keeping the smoked fish with it, and let it shallow fry for more 5 minutes. Set aside. In the meantime prepare quinoa grains with water, adding celery to it, as directed in the package. Reserve on the side. In another skillet, stir fry cabbage in olive oil. Remove smoked fish from the top of fresh salmon and cut in tiny strips, adding to cabbage pan. Take quinoa from pan and mix with the stir fry for about 4 more minutes. Add drizzle of sesame oil and more drops of soy sauce. Serve fish with quinoa "pearls"on the side and double check while dishing it to kids looking for tiny bones.

1 comment:

Myrna said...

I really enjoyed this posting, where you show that, if one has enough creativity - and sense of humour - one finds the way to brake the barriers and feed one's kids - oops, pirates - with the best quality food. An example to be followed. And the recipy seems very tasty indeed, I will try it.


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