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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Few Ingredients, A Preheated Oven, A Simple Recipe = Dinner for One

I'm a Vegas widow tonight. The hubby is in Sin City on business (it's amazing how much "business" is conducted there these days). Whatever.....

I'll be out with girlfriends for lunch & dinner the next few nights. I wanted to be sure to cook myself a simple healthy meal tonight so I put on my sneaks, headed out the door and took a long walk down to the Marina on Chestnut & Divisadero where a new meat & seafood market opened a couple of months ago called aptly enough, Marina Meats.

It's a great small neighborhood market & I urge you to go. The owner, Joey Gandolfo, was one of my favorite butchers at Bryan's Quality Meats & I wondered where he went since I hadn't seen him in some time. Then one day, I was walking down Chestnut & who should I see dressed in his butcher's whites but Joey! After a quick hello, what are you doing here?, he told me he opened his own shop on Chestnut Street.

It's a great place, friendly guys just like Bryan's but without all that Presidio Heights riff-raff that shopped there!

Here's the website, go there. I picked up everything I made tonight right in his shop. They sell Loch Duart Scottish Salmon which is sustainably raised & what I decided to buy. They stock all kinds of great foodie finds. I picked up a nice veal demiglace for a great price, too. Yaaaay! A 30 minute walk back home & I was ready for dinner.

The pomegranate jam comes from Stonewall Kitchen; they also make a pomegranate grill sauce that could work well here, instead. Most quality grocery stores in the Bay Area sell it. Cowgirl Creamery in the Ferry Building sells pomegranate jelly from Oregon's The Wild Pear Co.

Of course, you could always reduce a cup of pomegranate juice with a 1/2 cup of sugar, a 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, a thinly sliced shallot until it is syrupy. Then add a teaspoon of cumin & a little blueberry jam for texture. But, I am trying to make this a super simple one pan meal; hence the shortcut of pomegranate jam mixed with cumin powder & balsamic vinegar to thin it out.

Pomegranate Glazed Salmon, Crispy Salmon Skin, Roasted Asparagus with Meyer Lemon Oil, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Scented Fingerling Potatoes

Note: Sometimes the best recipes are the simplest. A quality protein, some fresh veggies, an herb, an aromatic, a great olive oil (I used O Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, click here for more info), sea salt & fresh cracked pepper, a 350 degree oven & 30-40 minutes later... dinner!

You start with this:

Add a little to it olive oil, a few slivers of garlic, freshly ground sea salt & pepper

I like to halve the fingerling potatoes lengthwise and toss them with the olive oil, minced thyme, sea salt & pepper into a ziploc bag, mix them together well between my fingers, allowing the slivers of garlic to give up their essence and marinate with the potatoes for 10 minutes before tossing them onto one side of a foil-lined baking sheet to cook for 15 minutes before adding the asparagus & salmon which both, separately, receive the same ziploc treatment, before being added to that same baking sheet.

I place the salmon in the middle of the baking sheet with the potatoes on one side & the asparagus on the other side of it.
The salmon is lightly brushed with a little (about a tablespoon) fig or pomegranate jam that has been mixed with a pinch of cumin & thinned out with a little broth, balsamic vinegar or water. The pan is then placed back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes or until everything is done to your taste; depending on the thickness of the salmon & the asparagus, of course.
I like my salmon done somewhere between medium and medium rare.

Then we have this for dinner:

If you use a good fish spatula, you can remove the salmon by separating it from the skin and leave the skin behind to cook until it is crisp and bacon-like (about 10 more minutes). Crispy salmon skin is a real treat for the cook but it's not everyone's cup of tea (since it does tend to leave the house smelling like an old fish & chips joint).

See what I mean about that crispy salmon skin?
Like bacon but, hey, it's healthy fat!

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