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Fish

Although I could go on and on about the spicy-sweet glaze on the salmon or the subtle sweetness of the hominy purée, I do love hominy, I’m going to tell you about my foot instead. You see, I finally got around to going back to a doctor yesterday.

The bad news: I have, for the most part, stopped running since mid-March and it looks like I will be out fo 6-8 weeks longer before a very gradual ramp-up over another 6-8 weeks. Not really such a bad thing though. That was pretty much in line with my expectations going into the appointment.

The good news: Over the next few weeks I will go back and have an insert made for my running shoe to take pressure off of my sesamoids. This should allow my foot to heal fully and hopefully reduce the risk of reinjury.

Now to get myself psyched up for a lot of cycling. In the next few weeks most of it will be indoors because of the massive amount of rain that we get in Southern Indiana in the Spring. (It is really poor mountain biking etiquette to ride on wet trails because it tears them up and ruins them for other users.) I should check out some of those spinning DVDs to switch up my scenery some!

From Bon Appetit.

Ingredients:

  • 3 chipotle chiles from canned chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam or preserves
  • 1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Nonstick  spray
  • 4 4-oz salmon fillets with skin (scant 1 inch thick)
  • 2 15-oz can hominy, drained, juice reserved
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  • Salmon:
    • Pre-heat oven to 450°F.
    • Using back of spoon, press enough chipotles through fine sieve into small bowl to measure 2 tsp purée.
    • Mix chipotle purée, jam, vinegar, and cumin in bowl, then season to taste with salt.
    • Coat a small rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Arrange salmon on sheet; sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
    • Distribute the glaze evenly over the fillets.
    • Roast until just opaque in center, about 10 minutes.
  • Hominy Purée:
    • While the salmon is cooking, purée hominy plus 6 tbsp reserved juice in mini processor until almost smooth.
    • Transfer purée to a small skillet and add butter and cilantro.
    • Stir over medium heat until warmed through, mixing in more reserved juice by teaspoonfuls if too thick.
    • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Divide hominy between plates, top with salmon, and serve.

Servings ~ 4
Calories ~ 374, Fat ~ 16.3 g, Carbohydrates ~ 23.6 g, Protein ~ 31.1 g

Sunday was yard work day at Duke’s House. Not exactly our favorite weekend activity.

Chris spent his afternoon mowing acres and acres of grass while I got to do the fun stuff. I crawled around our flower beds for hours pulling out tons of bulbs and what I think are were chives.

We have a war on bulbs at Duke’s House. They have begun to unstake the weed cloth that we so carefully placed in our flower beds last summer.  Some exceptionally rebellious bulbs have been growing up through the weed cloth. There are bulbs abound.

Even our weed pile, full of remanents from last year’s plant carnage,  is sprouting daffodils and what my non-green thumb can best identify as white amaryllis and purple hyacinths.

After I decimated hundreds of flower bulbs, Chris used the tractor to dump loads of mulch in strategic locations so that we could spread it more easily and fill in the spots where it had washed away over the winter. Finally, for the first time in the three years that we have lived here, I feel pretty happy with the appearance of our yard.

Our long day of yard work was rewarded with a little time vegging on our back porch. This meant an easy grilled dinner, including some of the first asparagus from our garden, prepped by me and cooked by Chris.

From Bon Apetit.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp white miso
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 4 4-oz. skinless salmon fillets
  • 4 lime wedges (for serving)

Directions:

  • Combine miso, mirin, rice vinegar, ginger, and sesame oil in a small bowl and whisk together.
  • Heat grill to a medium heat.
  • Place salmon on grill, brush top side with miso glaze, and grill for about 5 minutes.
  • Flip salmon, brush with miso glaze, then continue grill for about 5 more minutes.
  • Serve with a squeeze of lime

Servings ~ 4
Calories ~ 228, Fat ~ 9.9 g, Carbohydrates ~ 4 g, Protein ~ 29 g

Just as I was thinking about how lame my dinner plans for this week were, my friend Rayna came to the rescue. “Do you want to try another Lebanese dish? Have you ever had Samkeh Harrah?’

No, I had not. In fact, I had never even heard of Samkeh Harrah, but I was immediately off to Google to learn about it.

Not only does this dish have a recommendation from a trusted source, but it sounds tasty, reasonably healthy, and we happen to own all of the ingredients commonly found in Samkeh Harrah recipes! Win!

What I learned from my research is that there are many varieties of Samkeh Harrah. Some versions include fish, usually red snapper, that has been stuffed and then fried whole. Other recipes more closely resemble a stew with vegetables, a sauce, and shredded fish mixed in.

Because of my aversion to fish heads (Fish with heads look too much like creatures that may have been happily living and swimming along at one point.) and because of Duke’s House Budget (Remember the 4 lbs. of tilapia I got on sale a few weeks ago?) I have opted to go with the stew variety.

I’m not sure what type of Samkeh Harrah Rayna made, but it might be fun to get her recipe and try it out for comparison sometime. I can’t picture her stuffing a fish, head and all, but she always surprises me.

This recipe is cobbled together based on the ingredients and proportions of many other recipes, then adjusted to scale back the fat and calorie content, i.e. less tahini than recommended.

Ingredients

  • 24 oz fried or grilled fish (red snapper is recommended, but I used tilapia) flaked
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped coriander
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbps coriander
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground chili (red pepper)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • lemon wedges, toasted pine nuts, and parsley for garnish

Directions:

  • Bake fish in a lightly greased dish at 375 degrees until the fish easily flakes with a fork. (My tilapia took about 10 minutes.)
  • Saute the onion and bell pepper until the pepper softens and the onion turns translucent.
  • Stir in spices, salt and ground almonds.
  • Pour sesame paste sauce over the mixture, stir constantly on medium heat until the mixture thickens.
  • Pour mixture in serving platter over the flaked fish. 
  • Garnish with lemon wedges, toasted pine nuts and some chopped parsley.

Servings ~ 6
Calories ~ 237, Fat ~ 13 g, Carbohydrates ~ 7 g, Protein ~ 26 g