"A good meal is like a present, and it can feel goofy, at best, to give yourself a present. On the other hand, there is something life affirming in taking the trouble to feed yourself well, or even decently. Cooking for yourself allows you to be strange or decadent or both. The chances of you liking what you made are high, but if it winds up being disgusting, you can always throw it away and order a pizza; no one will ever know." (Jenni Ferrari-Adler)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Salmon lovers delight

Sunday night dinners are always challenging events. We are either too tired, too lazy, too cold or just too bored to cook  That's how i felt last Sunday exhausted from trying to get over a flu that insists in lingering. Ordering pizza was out of question, as we are trying to eat healthier here, and cereal.... I'd have to get out of the house and get some soy milk.... hello it was 37F outside... I could see snow from my window (very unusual winter this one..... the ice age is making a comeback, Snow must be "the new black").

But I digress....

Without giving it further thought I decided to pull out my Bimby (TM31) long forgotten BFF seating abandoned on that cluttered counter top. Dust off and voila we were back in business.

I decided to prepare a sexier version of the old dull fish and vegetables.


Steamed Salmon accompanied by steamed asparagus and garlic jerusalem artichokes garnished with blanched lemon zest

To prepare this decadent dinner I used the Thermomix and the Microwave (an exception to my rule)


Steamed Salmon in wine and fresh herbs
(serves 2) 

Ingredients
2 6oz skinless salmon steaks
salt and pepper
zest of 1/2 lemon (make sure its thinly cut) blanched
1 leek (just white part, thinly sliced)
1 Bay leaf
1 Tsp of smashed peppercorns (place peppercorns in a zip loc bag, hammer it with a frying pan a b  out 3 times will do it)
2 Springs of fresh thyme
1/2 Cup of white wine (I used 2009 Chateau Ste Michelle Sauvignon Blanc)
1/2 Cup of water
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs of olive oil


1. Season salmon steaks with salt and pepper, place steaks side by side in the Varoma tray (lower division)
2. Add leeks, bay leaf, peppercorns,thyme, wine and water to the Thermomix (bimby) cup and program 15min/varoma/1. Place varoma on top. You can steam the asparagus at the same time on the upper tray of the varoma (I used a bag to cook the asparagus so the drippings didnt add flavor to the fish) 
3. Meanwhile prepare the sauce. Whisk together olive oil and lemon, season to taste and add blanched lemon zest.

It should all be ready to plate by then. Notice how the asparagus are still vibrant green and crunchy?... thats because this is how JULIA CHILD intended for us to eat it! Do not overcook  or they will be soggy and muchy and no one likes that.

If you dont have a thermomix you can use a bamboom steamer, the cooking time maybe slightly different depending on the quality and properties of your cookware. Make sure to bring liquid to a boil and then simmer it in low heat while fish is cooking (check after 7 min, it may be ready)

Being that this is pretty quick  to prepare you want to prep the Jerusamel artichokes simultaneously


Garlic Jerusalem Artichokes
(serves 2)

Ingredients

1/2lb Jerusalem artichokes (peeled and  cubed)
salt
pepper
1 Tbs olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced

Place jerusamen artichoked in the microwave and program Baked Potato-2 (basically like you would microwave 2 potatoes), season with salt and pepper.

Heat up a skillet, make sure its hot. In low heat, add the olive oil, allow it to heat up before adding the garlic (if the oil smoking, its because it is too hot). Cook garlic till it  becomes translucent, add the jerusalem artichokes and give them a quick stir fry.  DONE

Jerusalem artichokes can be replaced by potatoes (follow same directions)


Plate as shown in the picture.
Enjoy :D


Quick notes on Jerusalem Artichokes (sunchokes)

Pircture from here http://home.howstuffworks.com/jerusalem-artichokes.htm/printable

These "beings" are a bitch to peel. But stay calm and focused, you know you can do this!

Use a potato peeler and then use a knife to remove skin located closest to the ridges. The second one is easier to peel... and it gets easier with practice, I  promise.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Recession proof healthy meal in under 20min

Healthy Hearty Meal, because nothing says comfort food like a bowl of beans



This was my twist to the traditional Portuguese Tuna salad, hope you enjoy it.

Garbanzo and Tuna Salad
Serves 2
Prep time: 20min
(cost per serving $2.50)

Ingredients
1 Can of organic garbanzo beans (run it thru tons of water, be sure to remove as much sodium as possible)
1 Can of tuna in Olive oil
1 Tomato, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 hand full of Microgreens
Salt, pepper, Olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste
fresh thyme (1 spring)
1 Fried egg (sunny side up)

Directions
Run Beans thru running water till water no longer bubbles.
Drain Tuna and take it apart with a fork.
In a large bowl toss beans,  tuna, tomato and onions with oil and vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Plate the salad, sprinkle with fresh thyme and top it with Sunny side-up.
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