Garlic lemon salmon with green beans and couscous

This is the first barbeque post on my blog.  Unlike many couples, I’m the one that barbeque’s.  I love cooking, so why not cook on the giant outdoor grill we have available in the summer?  We use a propane grill but I would imagine any of my dishes would work just as well with charcoal, just adjust the time accordingly.  This meal, as with many I make, came about when I opened my fridge with no idea about what to make for dinner.  I had fish and green beans, but no starch.  I could, theoretically, have made fish and green beans alone but I always feel that something is missing in a meal without starch.  I decided to make couscous simply because I hadn’t made it in some time and it’s a favourite in our home.  The lemon and garlic marinade was also an afterthought, I was out of balsamic vinegar and needed a good acid to balance out the extra virgin olive oil; lemon seemed very summery and appropriate.

4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp Sriracha
1 tsp garlic powder
Dash of chilli flakes
Salt, to taste

Mix your marinade and pour over your salmon in a sealed container.  Leave at least 3o minutes to marinate.

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4 cloves garlic, sliced lengthwise
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Dash of chilli powder
Evoo

Trim then cook your green beans until done but still crunchy.  Drain and lay out on foil.  Season and seal the foil package.

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Make the couscous the same as my earlier recipe, Roasted chicken with Israeli couscous and mushrooms.  Once the couscous is nicely cooked, pour onto some foil and fold the edges to make a dish.

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Preheat your barbeque at medium high, I had mine around 500 degrees.

Cook your fish skin down to prevent sticking and place your foil packages on the grill.  Barbeque until your fish is cooked through; your couscous and green beans will be nicely cooked at that point.

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Drizzle a bit of olive oil over your couscous and serve immediately.  Yum 🙂

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Atlantic Salmon with sauteed kale and baby spinach

As much as I love to cook, the last thing I want to do after a long stressful day of work is spend an hour cooking dinner.  This meal looks quite time consuming but came together in a matter of minutes (about 10).  I tend to buy my fish and freeze it immediately to keep it fresh for use another day.  The worst feeling is knowing you spent money on beautiful fish that sat in the fridge too long and went bad. Since I had already defrosted my fish (one fillet each of salmon and trout), I started looking in my fridge and pantry for side dish inspiration.  I found kale and baby spinach, and pesto immediately came to mind.  This side dish is essentially a warm, deconstructed pesto: a delicious way to get your leafy greens.

3 cups of chopped kale
2 cups of baby spinach
1/4 cup of minced Vidalia onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp of olive oil
Salt to taste
Pecorino cheese (you can also use Parmesan if you’d prefer)
3-4 tsp of pine nuts (dry roasted on a skillet until lightly browned)
Lidded frying pan
Mixing bowl

Heat the olive oil at medium heat and add your garlic and onion.  Saute until the garlic has started to brown and the onion is translucent.  Add the kale, cover and saute for about 4 minutes until almost fully cooked.  IMG_5437

Add your baby spinach, mix and continue to saute another minute or two.

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Immediately transfer your kale and spinach to a bowl, salt lightly and toss with your toasted pine nuts.  Grate some Pecorino cheese on the finished product once plated.

1 lb Atlantic Salmon
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp chili flakes
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt to taste
Non stick frying pan

While your kale is sauteing, cook your fish.  Mix your olive oil, chili flakes, balsamic vinegar and salt: this is not a marinade, you will cook your fish in it.  Saute the minced garlic in a tiny bit of olive oil on medium heat, when it starts to brown add the rest of your olive oil mixture.  Place your fish flesh down until it’s browned on one side then flip.  Atlantic Salmon is a deliciously oily fish so don’t worry if it gets nice and crispy on the outside, it should still be beautifully cooked on the inside as long as you’re careful.  Once cooked, transfer your fish to a plate immediately to let it rest a few minutes before eating: this gives the juices and oils time to sink into the fish and keep it juicy and delicious.IMG_5438

Delicious, Italian inspired fish and leafy greens 🙂

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Spicy pan fried Rainbow Trout with roasted beets

As someone with a Polish-German-Jewish background, beets were frequently served in my parent’s home.  There are lots of amazing, traditional recipes for borscht, roasted beets and beet salads:  this is not one of them.  My Sri Lankan husband loves spices and hot sauces so I always try to adapt dishes I grew up with by adding some heat.  To me, the blend of sweet and heat adds a level of complexity to a dish.  Beets are naturally sweet so I like to roast them with a tangy marinade of vinegar and chili flakes.  The sweet and savory beets are a delicious and healthy side dish to pan fried fish, marinated in a sweet and spicy dressing.

2 bunches of beets (the stalks can also be used, just make sure to cut off the leaves and wash them thoroughly!)
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp of good quality balsamic vinegar (good quality balsamic has a sweetness to it which adds to the flavour of the marinade)
1/2 tbsp of sea salt
1 tsp of black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp of chili flakes
Small roasting dish

Pre heat your oven to 400 F.  Make sure to wash your beets thoroughly then cut them into 1 inch pieces.  Whether you peel the beets is entirely up to you.  The skin is edible but some people don’t enjoy eating it (whether I peel them depends on how lazy I am on a particular day).  Arrange your beets in a roasting pan and prepare your marinade by whisking all the ingredients together (taste and adjust accordingly).  Pour your marinade over the beets and cover with foil.  The best beets are roasted slowly, the longer they are in the oven the more tender and delicious they’ll be.

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1 lb Rainbow Trout fillets (Atlantic Salmon works well too)
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (I have tried this recipe with other vinegars and it’s just not as tasty)
1 tbsp Sriracha
2 tsp maple syrup
Pinch of sea salt
Clove of garlic, minced
Non stick frying pan

While your beets are in the oven you can prepare and marinate your fish.  Whisk your marinade ingredients together and pour into a lidded container.  Place your fish flesh down on the marinade, cover and refrigerate until your beets are finished (about 1 1/2 hours).  After you’ve taken your beets out of the oven they’ll need a few minutes to cool, take this time to cook your fish.  I tend to cook my fish on medium heat and begin with it skin up, making it easier to remove the skin and flip the fish when one side is cooked.  Your fish is ready to flip when the skin begins to release from the fish.  You don’t have to remove the skin, my husband is just picky.  After flipping your fish it’s just a few seconds on the other side before it’s done (be careful not to overcook the fish).

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Dinner is served!

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