June 02, 2010

Less Is More

Sweet and Smoky Salmon with Ginger Mahogany Rice...


My cooking style and culinary outlook have changed drastically in the last several years. Looking back, I remember coming home from work and spending hours in the kitchen, whisking, roasting, pureeing, bruleeing... learning. It was my hobby and my escape. As with all things I enjoy, I studied cookery. I was on a mission to prove something--if only to myself. My goal was always to create a masterpiece.

Seven years ago a life-altering change occurred...

The birth of child number one! As a former teacher, I pompously thought to myself, "How hard could this possibly be? I wrangle 25 kids at a time--all day long! This is going to be a piece of cake!" Yet, sleep deprivation and constant screaming do funny things to a person. Two weeks into motherhood, I had the daunting realization, I was in over my head. This was no easy task! With a greater sense of humility, I asked questions, read parenting books, and researched. I found a new mission, a new passion.

My passion for food hasn't changed, but my willingness to devote a third of my waking hours to it HAS. I'm constantly looking for ways to make recipes quicker and easier, without sacrificing health and flavor. Teaching Confidence In The Kitchen has reinforced this journey for me. The ladies I teach, aren't looking to be gourmands, in most cases. They just want skills to simplify the cooking process, and diversity on the dinner table. They want encouragement!

I am now a "Less is More" kind of cook. Big flavor, fewer ingredients, no one to impress. I like to let the food speak for itself. An ingredient's natural flavor, texture and color should SHINE--not get covered up by throwing the whole pantry in one dish! I still occasionally make a 30 ingredient, cook-all-day, type of meal--just not quite as often.

This dish is a perfect example of simple, flavorful cooking. I marinated the salmon in soy sauce, brown sugar and liquid smoke. The liquid smoke gives the salmon the essence of fish cooked over a cedar plank--without having to make a trip to the lumberyard! The modest rice dish is elevated by crispy, flash-fried ginger strips. Throw is a veggie and you have a wonderful, healthy dinner!

Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward. ~Soren Kierkegaard

Sommer


Sweet-n-Smoky Salmon with Ginger Mahogany Rice

3-4 Salmon fillets, with or with out skin
¼ cup soy sauce
1 ½ tsp. liquid smoke
1/3 cup or more brown sugar + a little extra for sprinkling

1 cup mahogany rice
2 Tb. peanut oil, separated
2 cups chicken stock
1 3-inch piece of ginger
Salt and Pepper

Place the salmon in bowl, or large zip bag with soy sauce, liquid smoke and brown sugar. Let it marinate for at least 1 hour—but you could marinate over night! When ready to use, preheat the grill or an iron skillet to high heat.


In a medium sauce pan, over high heat, toast the rice in 1 Tb. of oil for 2 minutes. Then add the chicken stock and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer the rice for about 40 minutes—or as directed on the package.

Meanwhile, peel the ginger and cut into thin strips. (julienne)



Heat a small skillet over medium-high. Add 1 Tb. of oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, drop the ginger in and pan-fry for 1-2 minutes, moving with a spatula, until they are light brown.


Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt.


While the rice is cooking, CAREFULLY brush the grill with vegetable oil. (You could also use grill spray.) Pepper the salmon and place it on the grill, top-side-down. Cook 3 minutes.


Flip, then carefully sprinkle the tops with a little extra brown sugar and grill for another 3-5 minutes—until just cooked through.


Cover with foil and let them rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serves 4.


Sweet-N-Smoky Salmon With Ginger Mahogany Rice on Foodista

36 comments:

  1. Oooh, I love the fried ginger! What a great idea :)

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  2. Brilliant! This dish looks so good. I used to come home from work and try to make a lasagna from scratch, but I leave that for the weekends now. Most of my week night meals are simple and quick.

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  3. I tend to agree with you, less is more, sometimes too many ingredients are too much, and this is such a lovely salmon dish, I can just imagine the wonderful flavors...

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  4. Wow, just look at that ginger! Yum! Love salmon, in fact it is pretty much my all time fav:) This is great...

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  5. Less IS more - more time and more sanity! I love this - so spare, so bold both in appearance and flavour and those ginger shreds are the clincher, for me! Love it!

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  6. Mmm. Like the idea of liquid smoke - and that rice is beautiful.

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  7. The salmon with that marinade looks wonderful. The Chinese use a lot of ginger in their cooking and sometimes it is fried to a crisp like that serve with fish. This is a tasty meal!

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  8. Quick, easy and yummy became my motto a long time ago as well.
    I love the idea of the fried ginger with the salmon. Thanks.

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  9. I love your step-by-step photos - this looks and sounds like a very delicious meal.

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  10. This sounds absolutely fantastic! Love the sweet and smoky flavors!

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  11. what would we do without liquid smoke - that glaze on the salmon is just great and the crunch and taste of the ginger must be awesome... just a great job - and yeah, love the ease of it all

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  12. This is a lovely dish, simple yet elegant and healthy. Thank you for sharing.

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  13. If you have goo ingredients let them sing. I agree with your idea of less being more sometimes. Beautiful dish.

    Cheers!

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  14. Umm, that was meant to read GOOD ingredients. Goo ingredients just does not sound right!

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  15. Beautiful dish. I can't say I've ever seen mahogony rice. I love the color. I wonder if Trader Joes would carry it?

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  16. This is really a lovely dish. We so love salmon that it is sure to be a hit here. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  17. Thanks guys! This really is one a my favorite salmon preparations--and it's SO EASY! The flavor is quite amazing, if I do say so myself.

    Mother Rimmy~ I think TJ would carry it...I usually find it in the bulk bins at a few of our "organic" markets.

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  18. This dish looks fantastic. What a great combination of flavours. I love your thoughts on cooking too... good food is so achievable and it's wonderful that you are sharing that message.

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  19. Less is more - that's absolutely true, I share this opinion too. The dish looks extraordinary! Have a sunny weekend...

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  20. I'm just jumping in to thank you for the birthday wishes. Blessings...Mary

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  21. This looks like a fantastic and healthy meal, and it sounds like you do a great job of balancing your cooking passions and your family. :)

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  22. what a perfect dish....everything works and your presentation is just phenomenal!!! love the mahogany rice!

    thanks so much for sharing and keep up the good work!!! as I am sure your family does, we certainly appreciate it too!!

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  23. This is a gorgeous salmon dish! I certainly understand what you mean by changing priorities in time allocation once kids come along.

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  24. This looks so appealing with the flavors in it and its ginger topping. Never cook ginger in this way, must try it.

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  25. I love the fried ginger and sweet and savory is my favorite way to eat salmon! I am always looking for ways to make delicious meals fast - this looks wonderful, Sommer. ( :

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  26. This looks delicious ! So with you before our second was born I would spend so much time on very elaborate dishes and now my mantra has changed :) I love asian inspired fish dishes - going to note this one.

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  27. I love cooking with ginger. My children always want me to add more ginger...weird huh. It's very delicious with fish. Your salmon dish looks simple and very delicious. Thanks for sharing.

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  28. Both cooking and motherhood sound like good passions/missions to me! And this salmon looks great by the way-so pretty a dish it is...

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  29. I couldn't agree with you more!! The salmon looks delicious!!

    Laurie @simplyscratch.com

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  30. This is one of my favorite ways to cook salmon. Love love love ginger with salmon! I use the same ingredients for short ribs too. yummy yummy yummy:)

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  31. Dear Sommer - This is perfect for the summer and the flavors with the fried ginger and the Asian inspired salmon + that gorgeous rice is wonderful!

    Your pics are also totally drool worthy in addition to the delicious food!

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

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  32. I am passionate about salmon and the sweet and smoky angle here is so unique Cant wait to try

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  33. looks like a great meal and the pictures are absolutely amazing

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  34. A stunning well flavoured salmon dish!!

    I so love fresh ginger!

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