Archive for the 'fish' Category

Grainy Mustard-Balsamic Salmon, Sesame Asparagus and Snap Peas, and Orange Mashed Sweet Potatoes



I defy anyone out there to come up with faster food than this. (Cereal doesn’t count.)

OK, I got a head start on the sweet potato, so that can be an exception if it evens things out a little. W and I make banana bread a lot – a recipe that allows W to mash the banana, sugar, oil and eggs in a bowl with a potato masher, then add the dry ingredients, stir them in, scrape it into a pan and bake. The other day it seemed like a waste to have the oven on with only a loaf pan inside, so I threw a sweet potato and head of garlic, wrapped in foil, in for the hour it took to bake the banana bread. (Both will keep just fine in the fridge for up to a week.) Roasted sweet potatoes are best for mashing – they have more flavour and retain all their nutrients (none lost to the cooking water), and they practically peel themselves as they come out of the oven. Seriously – you just pull the skin off with your fingers. So I mashed it with a teeny pat of butter and splash of orange juice, and that was done.

As for the rest – I had some glaze leftover from the Easter ham: equal parts balsamic, brown sugar and grainy mustard – so I picked up a salmon filet to make use of it. Threw it on a foil-lined sheet (only to avoid sticky clean-up after) and poured the marinade overtop while heating the oven to 400F. (Anything will do – basil or sun-dried tomato pesto, teriyaki sauce, even barbecue sauce.) Snapped the ends off the asparagus and stirred 1 tablespoon sugar (white or brown) into 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Put the salmon in. Drizzled some sesame oil in a hot pan and cranked it on to medium-high. Set the table. (Yes, I have an electric oven. Pity me. And “setting the table” involves W getting 3 forks from the drawer and me pouring 3 waters.) Threw the asparagus in the pan and tossed them around for a minute or two; added the pea pods for another minute or so, turned off the heat and poured over the sugary soy sauce. Sprinkled with sesame seeds. Pulled the salmon out. (Salmon takes 10 minutes per inch of thickness. So usually around 10 minutes.)

Total time lapsed: 8 MINUTES. (I know this because the timer was on. It didn’t just seem fast.)

And battered frozen fish fillets take 25? Where’s the convenience?

One Year Ago: Crabcakes Benedict (with Classic Hollandaise and a lightened version!)


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April 16 2009 | fish and vegetables | 12 Comments »

Crispy Fish Cakes



Something that can’t be categorized as dessert! Huzzah! (Is it just me who feels as if everything she has eaten in the recent past started out as batter?)

But wait, it is technically cake again.

I taught a class in Red Deer last night, so the boys came up with dinner on their own. (I didn’t ask.) Tonight, fish cakes. My Mom had a chunk of leftover sea bass (yes I know, but it was already cooked, so it would have been worse not to eat it) from a dinner party, and my favourite use of scraps of leftover fish is fish cakes. (Canned salmon works very well too. I haven’t tried sardines yet, but if you’re a fan – why not?) Really all you do is mix the flaked fish with about an equal amount of mashed potatoes (yes you have to mash the potatoes, but come on, it’s easy. You don’t have to worry about getting them all smooth, because you’re stirring fish and stuff into them anyway) and all manner of accessorizing ingredients if you’re so inclined – usually I’ll add some finely chopped green onion, or parsley, chives, red pepper, a bit of mustard… but I had none, and once again this bare cupboard has opened my eyes to something I may not have otherwise tried.

Plain Old Fish Cakes. Nothing but fish, potato, salt and pepper. Once in awhile I am reminded of the pleasure of plain, unadorned food. It doesn’t always need to be jazzed up, spiced and garnished, Thai-inspired or spicy. The simplest of fish cakes allowed us to taste the actual fish and potato (and even oil), rather than serve merely as a vehicle for my culinary whims. Shape the mixture into patties and douse them in a shallow dish of flour, then of beaten egg, then of bread crumbs or Panko (extra-crispy Japanese breadcrumbs) and cook them up in a skillet with a skiff of canola or olive oil. These were so tasty. W even devoured them, which I wasn’t expecting at all. Served with peas, of course.

(Tomorrow I am so ditching this whole no-shop thing and sending Mike for one of those tubs of mixed greens. Come to mama…)

One Year Ago: Roasted Red Pepper and Ricotta Cannelloni

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March 18 2009 | fish and vegetarian | 14 Comments »

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