Friday, July 23, 2010

Pistachio Loves Salmon

J:  This is the second time we have tried this, and the first time we have attempted to document it.  So far, we have two overwhelming successes.  Here's how it went tonight:

We arrived at Pick n' Save (Pioneer Rd.) at 6:13pm and agreed to meet with our three ingredient selections at 6:30pm.  By 6:22pm we had both made our separate selections and reconvened to check out.  (Maybe a very short time should be an added challenge in the future?)

I selected some fresh jalapeno peppers, a bottle of sweet chili sauce, and a tub of fresh mozzarella bocconcini ("little mouthfuls") in brine.  Anoush selected coho salmon, fresh mangoes, and some shelled pistachios.

A: We marinated the salmon in the sweet chili sauce and popped it into the fridge. Two white onions were diced and thrown into a pan with olive oil and salt. When lightly caramelized, a diced mango and the juice of an orange were added. Caramelization continued, with occasional water added to keep everything from scorching. When the onions and mango were a lovely deep golden brown,  the mess was blended with a bit of water to make a sticky mango-onion sauce.

Meanwhile, pistachios had been smashed and two jalapenos had been seeded and chopped. The jalapenos went into another pan with olive oil, garlic, and cumin, and after a minute of smelling good jasmine rice was added and sauteed for a bit. Then in went chicken broth and a chopped tomato.

The oven was preheated. The salmon was crusted with pistachios and seared off, and then into the oven it went to finish cooking (there was concern that the pistachios would burn on the stove, and they were rather thick salmon fillets).

Plating: Hot rice was topped with mozzarella slices. Salmon was topped with fresh cilantro and mango-onion sauce. A side of sweet chili sauce was provided, but proved unnecessary.

The salmon was delicious, a nice balance between the sweet marinade, crunchy pistachios, fresh cilantro, and silky onion sauce. The rice was tasty but a bit safe--the salmon could have used a side that was lighter, fresher, more adventurous.

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