Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Wasabi Salmon & Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts

It's taken me a little while, what with holidays, company, and whatnot, to get back into the swing of cooking again, but hopefully from this point forward I will be more consistent! :)

This week: Wasabi Salmon (my own invention!) and Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts (inspired by the Caramelized Balsamic Glazed sprouts over at Simply Scratch!)

First, the fish:

I don't really like fish. Bones gross me out, and the whole fishiness kind of icks me out, plus I feel like fish is so easy to destroy - overcook it and it turns rubbery, undercook it and you risk a slow, painful death by food poisoning (ok, I might be exaggerating a tiny bit lol), and it's expensive, so it's not something that I've had a lot of practice cooking. But I was trying to eat really well over the weekend (detoxing from a week of way, waaaay too much good food with Rebekah and Joe) and salmon was on sale at the local grocery store.

Salmon is one of the few fish I feel comfortable cooking and enjoy eating (though not from a can - bleh! hi Joe! :)). So I bought some, and cooked it up with brussel sprouts, and it was amazing. So much so, that I decided to cook enough for my whole family on my night to cook this week!

As usual, not a recipe per se (measurements are VERY approximate), but an overview of what I did. :)

Last night, I whisked together some of my new wasabi oil (bought with Rebekah and Joe when we ducked into a cooking shop), (maybe 1/2-1/3 cup?) with some wheat-free soy sauce (about 1/8-1/4 cup), a good squirt of lime, a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic, and a couple of very good shakes of ground ginger. If this sounds like a lot, I put it on 6ish pounds of salmon. :)

I laid the salmon out flesh-side up in a 9X13 baking dish and poured the marinade over, then refrigerated overnight.

Tonight, I transfered the salmon, also flesh side up, to a baking sheet, and brushed the excess marinade on top. I cooked it for about 25-30 minutes on 400, until not shiny anymore (because apparently that's how you know your fish is done).

Amazing! Just enough wasabi to be amazing, and overall the marinade was gentle enough to not overwhelm the fish, but enhance it. :)

Now on to an amazing side dish: glazed carmelized brussel sprouts!

I don't really like brussel sprouts, either, but frozen ones were on sale for $1 a pound, and they're a vegetable, so I got them, remembering a recipe for them on Simply Scratch. Upon further inspection I realized they had bacon (pork), onion (not a fan), and balsamic vinegar (which I love, but I was looking for something sweeter). So I ditched the recipe, kept the inspiration, and did this instead:

Cut your (frozen) brussel sprouts in half. Pour a couple "glugs" of olive oil into a pan (I used cast iron, nothing like it for browning food!), heat on medium, and place all the sprouts cut-side down. I added a little water (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan) and put a lid on them to let them steam and soften for a bit.

When they're mostly soft, drizzle 1/3-1/2 cup of pure maple syrup evenly over the tops, and add a little more olive oil (they soak it up!). Keep the lid off so that whatever water remains will cook off. Add additional maple syrup and/or oil as needed.

When the bottoms are very brown, use a spatula to flip, and cook a minute or so to finish off the tops. Serve!

These are not overly sweet - my mom hates the taste of maple but loved these.

I added a pot of rice as a final side, and we were set. The entire meal took less than 30 minutes (not counting the overnight marinade). I knew the meal was a hit when I was complimented again the next day by various members of my family. :)

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