Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Quicky From the Desert

Here's a dish I LOVE that I took from a restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona. It's almost embarrassing how easy it is, but it's so good. My kids started wolfing this down around age 9 months so it's a regular on our dinner table. The protein, fiber and OMEGA-3's are bountiful and I feel like chef and mom of the day.

Originally this was served with halibut, which is fabulous. But I find salmon is always available, usually on sale, and the best buy nutritionally. I try to always keep frozen, individually wrapped fillets of fish in the freezer. None of the marinated stuff, just all natural, clean protein. We live in the midwest, so this is the best we can do. If you live in an area where fresh seafood is affordable and available, well then, lucky you!

Southwest Salmon:
  • 1 fillet of fish per person (if not fresh, at least partially thawed)
  • 1-2 cups frozen corn (as much as you like... I use a ton!)
  • 1 can no sodium added black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1-2 cans Ro-tel tomatoes with green chilis (mild to hot, you decide, and if you're making 4 or more fillets, I'd go with 2 cans)
  • 1 whole lime in wedges
  • salt, pepper
  • optional: smoked paprika/chili powder/chipotle powder, fresh cilantro

Heat large skillet to medium high, add a little canola or olive oil to barely coat bottom. Add fish, season with sea salt, pepper and any of the spices according to your taste. Allow salmon to sear to a light golden brown before flipping (3-5 minutes or so). Flip and allow to sear a minute before adding beans, tomatoes and corn, mix and evenly distribute the salsa items, cover with lid, and reduce to med-low heat. Simmer until corn and beans are hot and tomato salsa is bubbly. This is why I use partially thawed salmon- it will continue to cook as the other ingredients come up to temperature, and you risk overcooking. Medium cooked salmon is perfectly safe and good to eat, overcooked salmon is pretty gross and worse than canned tuna. Don't email or comment about the deliciousness of canned tuna.

Once everything has married and is bubbling hot, you are ready to enjoy! Squeeze 2 wedges of lime into the pan before serving. Traditionally, you'd serve this with white rice. But, for something with a little more bang for your caloric buck, whole wheat couscous is an excellent choice. It soaks up all the juices and flavors of the dish, is cheap, and takes about 3 minutes to prepare.

Place a small bed of couscous on the plate, (add fresh cilantro if you like) top with fish, then spoon on the corn and bean salsa. Finish with a generous squeeze of lime. And the more spices you added to the dish, the more the lime will bring all the flavors to life.

Ay, caramba, that's good!

Oh, so you're an over achiever? Or lucky enough to live somewhere that offers good quality, locally grown produce year round? Ok, it's on! Roast some corn on the cob and then cut the kernels off. Use fresh tomatoes and start chopping! Grab that green chili or jalapeno out of the garden! Throw in some chopped scallions and cilantro. Go on, I dare you. Just DON'T forget the lime:)

1 comment:

  1. Great Blog! Sounds Yummy and I'm going to try it. Wanda