Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Salmon Tikka with Cucumber Yoghurt

If you are looking for a way to become friends with fish, this might be a good recipe for you. If you are already a fish enthusiast, then you're in luck too. The Indian spices, though not terribly hot, are so delicious - I'm sure there is a way to do this completely from scratch but I followed directions and bought a jar of Patak's Tandoori paste - if I hadn't made my own naan bread, this would have been a very quick, less than 30 minute meal. This recipe serves two.

You need:
- 1.5 c plain yoghurt
- 1/4 c minced red onion
- 1/2 c chopped cucumber
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2 salmon fillets
- 3 TBS Patak's Tandoori paste
- 1 TBS oil
- 2 pieces of naan bread
- 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro

First, prepare your yoghurt. This is a really nice, cool side that complements the spices on the fish really well. If you add some hot peppers to it, you will also get some bit. We are wimps though and don't abide by such things. Anyways, seed a half a cucumber, or a third if you have one of those giant long ones, and dice it finely. I left the skin on because I like it that way. Finely mince a about a quarter cup of red onion. Stir these, along with about a 1/2 tsp of ground cumin, into 1.5 cups of plain yoghurt. I used fat-free organic, but thick Greek style would be great too. Set this aside in the fridge.

If you are making your own naan, you want to start that well in advance, as the bread will have to rise etc. But if not, and you have purchased naan from your local Indian restaurant or from your grocery store, then you can move right on to the salmon portion of this dinner.

You need a couple of fillets of salmon - make sure the fish you are buying is sustainably fished in your part of the world. If you can't find salmon, red-fleshed trout works well too. Cut the fish into thirds lengthwise and leave the skin on. Brush the top and sides of each piece with the Tandoori paste - I used about 3 tablespoons total - maybe a little less. Don't put the brush back into the jar because you will get fishy things in your jar of paste and that is unsanitary.

At this point, bake your naan bread if you made your own, or start heating it up if you bought some. Heat up about a tablespoon of oil in a cast-iron pan, or other pan if you don't have a cast-iron one. But cast-iron is really the best. It should be on about medium or medium high depending on how hot your stove gets. Place the salmon pieces in the pan and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until the salmon turns opaque.

Give each person a warm naan bread, dollop some of the yoghurt on it, top with the salmon, and with some chopped cilantro if you are into cilantro. If not, that is sad but not your fault. You can fold up the sides and munch on it like a taco, or use a sophisticated knife and fork. Either way, enjoy!

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lazy Saturday

If making that pasta was one of the more involved projects I've undertaken for this wee blog of mine, I think this post marks one of the simplest -- short of the soft-boiled eggs post, of course. Anyways pancakes.

I also wanted an excuse to show off my adorable plate and tea cup collection. My mom's friend Oona has these cups and I always loved them, so every Christmas and/or birthday, my mom scours eBay and antique stores for a piece for the collection and gives whatever she finds to me. I have four lunch (or pancake!) plates, about 8 tea cups and saucers, and few tiny tea plates for fancy sandwiches or cakes.

On a sunny Saturday they called out to be filled with sliced oranges, hot coffee, and steaming pancakes fresh from the pan.

Do you want to know my pancake recipe? I love this recipe because it is the perfect amount for two people. Four little pancakes each.

You need:
1/2 c flour
2 tsp wheat germ or flax (optional but healthy!)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 c milk or butter milk
1.5 tsp plain yogurt or oil or apple sauce

You just put all the ingredients into a shaker bottle (mine was $1 from the dollar store!) and shake them up. Then just pour out a bit into a heated and lightly buttered cast-iron pan (my fav!) and you're good to go! You can obviously add whatever you like to your pancakes - blueberries, raspberries, chopped apple - but we like ours plain.

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