Sunday, March 13, 2011

A fear of fish

I'll say it.  I think I'm a decent cook.  Meaning, I can navigate my way around the kitchen without starting a fire, cutting a finger and ruining a good frying pan.  I can put together a hearty stew, whip up some nice casseroles and make a mean chicken cordon bleu.  Baking on the other hand is another tragic story....

Anyway, I think I can handle cooking fairly  I'm not sure why I never wanted to tackle fish, probably just the intimidation of the unknown but my mind becomes a blank space when trying to think of the proper way to cook it.  When is it done?!  What do I do with the scales?!  What is considered a good smell?  Why is it looking at me!!!!  AHHHHH!  With thoughts like those, I had never tried/wanted to cook fish, unless you consider heating up frozen breaded fish fillets from the box as cooking.

Which was just silly of me to think.  Because fish is easy.

Today, Thom and I cooked up two salmon fillets with a sweet and tangy glaze using our toaster oven.  And let me just say how unbelievable it was.  It was absolute flaky perfection that just fell apart with a touch of the fork.  Mmmmmm.  I put together a walnut and goat cheese salad with a pomegranate vinaigrette and sliced some sour dough bread to finish the plate off.

So if you like fish, specifically salmon, you must try this recipe listed below.  It's a perfect blend of sweet and tangy flavor with a hint of spiciness.  I put together a sort of step by step guide through the whole process for you all to enjoy.

Supposedly the secret to successful fish cooking is PAM or any cooking spray that doesn't allow the fish to stick to the pan.  I then seasoned the fish with salt and pepper.

I cooked the salmon in the toaster oven [since it wouldn't over heat the kitchen] at 425 degrees for 12 minutes.
While the fish was cooking, I put together the glaze following the recipe using dijon mustard, brown sugar, soy sauce, white wine vinegar and I added on my own, some red pepper flakes for a touch of spiciness.  I added all the ingredients together in a small sauce pan and brought the glaze up to a boil.
When the fish was done cooking, I brushed the glazed on the fish and placed it all back into the toaster oven, now set to broil, for 3 minutes to caramelize the glaze.

I also made a pomegranate vinaigrette on a cranberry, walnut and goat cheese salad.  Thom and I have been eating at some swanky new American restaurants that keep serving savory eclectic salads that always surprise me in the blend of odd ingredients that make a successful whole.  I wanted to create something similar at home and put together a nice blend of sweet[from the vinaigrette], tangy[from the dried cranberries] and salty[from the smooth goat cheese].  Perfection.
I added olive oil, white wine vinegar, pomegranate juice and Dijon Mustard in a small container and shook it all up.
I cut up some bread and put together the rest of the salad, consisting of a spinach/romaine mix salad, candied walnuts, dried cranberries and crumbled goat cheese.
Bon Appétit

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