Tuesday, February 19, 2008

La la la la lemon

I really have a hard time cooking single meals for myself. By the time the pot of leftovers is halfway finished, I am usually sick of a dish. I've made a point lately to try and make individual meals, but it's hard! This one only ended up with one meal's worth of leftovers.

Quinoa is a grain that's slowly gaining popularity in the food world again. It cooks up perfectly in a rice cooker! I add lemon zest to mine and cook it with chicken broth. The quinoa puffs up easily to 3-4 times its original size (2:1 water:quinoa ratio) so make sure that you only make as much as you need! I'll be eating quinoa for a while.

Salmon and Lemony Quinoa

1/2 c quinoa
1 c water + boullion, or 1c chicken broth
Zest from one lemon

1 lb fresh salmon, skin still attached
1 tsp dry mustard
lemon leftover from zesting, quartered and juiced
1/2 tsp dill weed
1 tsp salt
a few turns of pepper

oil for cooking, vegetable or safflower (I used safflower)

Throw first three ingredients in rice cooker. Combine last six in bowl, let salmon marinate for 20 minutes while waiting for quinoa to cook.

Preheat a cast iron pan with 3 tsp oil. When oil is hot, set salmon skin-side down in pan. Run for cover, or add a splater screen. Four to five minutes later, turn salmon and let go 4-5 minutes longer (depends on salmon, I had two big pieces). If one side gets too brown, throw it back on the skin side: it can take more abuse. Let internal temperature come to 135 degrees.

Plate salmon on top of quinoa. Eat!

I also made a tartar sauce of leftover yogurt, dill relish and lime juice. It added a bright flavor to a somewhat heavier dish.

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