Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Avocado Pasta

When I first saw a pin for avocado pasta on Pinterest, my reaction was "No way."  Then I saw it it again, and then again.  Finally I decided that since I do love avocados, perhaps I should give it a chance.  So I followed the recipe.  I was surprised to find I liked it.   But it was a bit TOO avocado for me.  I know, I never thought I'd say that.  Yesterday I made it again but reduced the avocado to 1/2.  I also thinned it a little with some olive oil.  I happened to have lemon infused olive oil AND jalapeƱo infused olive oil so I used both - about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of each. And now I have a recipe I will use often.   It is extremely rich and 6oz will probably satisfy 2 people and still result in leftovers.  Especially if you add some shrimp or chicken to go with it.  Or in it.

Today I had my leftover pasta with some tuna and halved grape tomatoes.  The pasta had been in the refrigerator so I warmed it up just a bit (40 seconds) in the microwave before adding the new ingredients.  It was delicious.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Lose

Not everything I cook is a soaring success and mostly I blog about the successes.  My first try with salmon this week wasn't my greatest creation ever but I'll write about it anyway because I think there is hope for the sauce.

I recently bought a container of herbs from Trader Joe's.  The pot includes mint, oregano and thyme.  The mint is growing like mad, so I wanted some ideas and turned to the web.  I found a recipe for cilantro mint sauce and decided to try it.  It consists of 2 cups cilantro leaves, a dozen or so mint leaves, a Serrano pepper, some oil, a little water and salt.  Just blend it all together to make a spicy, minty sauce.  The result was not bad at all.  I decided to marinate some salmon in the sauce and then bake the salmon, which I wrapped in aluminum foil.  The final product was fine but not great.  I served it up with some lentils & feta and a few slices of avocado.  A decent meal.  I have some of the sauce left over and I'm trying to decide where it might be more successful.

The next attempt at salmon was a spectacular success.  I love the sweet chili salmon that Whole Foods sells in the prepared foods department.  I don't love the cost though - $23.00/lb.  I decided I could make something just as good for about half the cost.  I travelled around the web a bit and found a recipe for Chili-Garlic Glazed Salmon.  I didn't have green onions but I did happen to have sweet chili garlic sauce that I add to many, many things for a little heat in the event I don't use sriracha.  I also have some orange marmalade.   Both should be staples in your kitchen.   And of course, I always have soy sauce.  I did not measure, I just mixed things in until I liked the taste. Then I broiled the salmon as suggested - a little longer in my case.  The salmon was so moist and sweet and spicy.  I outdid Whole Foods and will never spend $23/lb again.

I served my salmon with some homemade cucumber salad.  I marinated the cucumbers in a mix of rice vinegar, water and sugar.  I think the original recipe called for equal parts of all but I use a little more vinegar and a little less sugar.  You can add salt to taste and garlic if you like.  I heat the mixture to melt the sugar and make a more syrupy consistency.  I slice the cucumber very, very thin.  Think mandoline. Wait for the liquid to cool, cover the cucumbers and let them sit at least an hour in the refrigerator.  I can eat them plain, but I love them with salmon.

That concludes my salmon update for the week.  If you have thoughts about how I can use the mint & cilantro sauce, speak up.

P.S.  I did buy the salmon at Whole Foods in the seafood department (much less than $23/lb), so they do deserve some of the credit.