In the Kitchen

Wednesday Night Dinner: Feb 6, 2013

Since Kelvin and I will be getting married in May of this year and therefore moving out, I try to spend as much time as I can helping out at home because although I may not love it now, I’ll probably miss it soon. One of the things I try to do is cook dinner for the family since my mom comes home from work tired, and as of now I don’t work yet so I have time to prepare. If you haven’t seen yet, the last dinner I cooked was the brown butter shrimp scampi. This time I was going to follow a recipe but was more in the mood to cook “on the fly”. I used to do this a lot because I’m just not good with following recipes and I figured I knew enough general knowledge about cooking that most things would turn out fine. This time around, it turned out more than fine and in fact it was deeeee-licious! It’s a simple pan fried salmon with prawns in a butter-shallot-white wine-cream sauce served with a side of quinoa salad. Only problem is that I can’t give you the ingredient list because I don’t quite recall… but I’ll try my best! Just go with it 🙂

Salmon with Superdy-Duper Awesome Sauce:
1 salmon fillet per person
3 prawns per person
for 4 people, I used 5 large shallots, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 cup whipping cream
salt and pepper for seasoning
2 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp canola oil
4-5 prawn shells (optional)

1. Melt butter and oil in a large skillet/pan that has an accompanying lid. I melt butter and oil together because the butter can scorch and burn really easily, so the oil helps it last longer without burning. Once it’s all melted, place your seasoned (salt and pepper) salmon in the pan and brown both sides ( about 3 minutes each side). The point isn’t to cook it through, rather just to sear both sides. Also, the butter will start to brown while you cook the salmon but have no fear! It makes the sauce taste awesome 😉
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2. Take the salmon out of the pan and set aside. Turn the heat to medium and then add in all your sliced shallots. Let them sweat out for a few minutes. We don’t want to caramelize them, as if we were making french onion soup, but just cook until they are translucent. Then add in your garlic and cook until fragrant.

3. Splash in the white wine and let it cook out for a bit. Then I stirred in some prawn shells in hopes it would flavour the sauce. I think it did, or maybe it was all the butter, shallots, wine and eventual cream? Either way, I don’t think you need to have it.

4. Once wine has evaporated a bit, add in the cream. Stir it up and then nestle the somewhat cooked salmon and the raw prawns (seasoned with salt and pepper) into the sauce. Put a lid on it, and bring the heat to med-low. Let it simmer until the shrimp are cooked through and same with the salmon. This will happen fairly quick, 4-5 minutes ish.
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5. Remove the seafood and bring the heat back up to med-high to reduce the sauce just a bit further. And voila! Done! Serve over rice or pasta if you’d like. I decided to serve it with a quinoa salad to try and make the meal healthier.

Quino Salad:
1 cup quinoa (will become 3 cups when cooked)
2 cups water
1 tomato
1 orange pepper
1-2 avocadoes
1/2-3/4 of a cucumber
1 lemon
About 2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Rinse the quinoa in cold water, as if rice, and then place it into a pot along with the 2 cups of water. Bring it up to a boil, then turn the heat down to low to simmer for 12-15 minutes. After 12 minutes, take a peek at the quinoa and see if it’s ready or not. Give it a stir and if it’s done, take it off the heat. If not, keep it at a low temp until all the water has been absorbed/evaporated. If it looks a little clumpy or mushy, fluff it with a fork. By fluff, I mean sort of flick the quinoa around lightly so it isn’t as compact. Then set aside to cool.

2. While quinoa is cooking, dice up all the vegetables into small pieces. The veg I listed is just what I like, if you want some red onion, add that in! Want more tomatoes and no avocado? Do that instead. I chose the above vegetables based first on if I like them or not, and then on colour so the salad looks more colourful. Once chopped, place into a large mixing bowl or serving bowl.

3. Once quinoa is cooled, mix the vegetables with quinoa. Squeeze in the lemon juice and the olive oil. Season it with salt and pepper. Give it a taste, if you think it needs more acid add more lemon. Not salty enough? Add salt. You get the idea.

And voila! My dinner on Wednesday night 🙂 Hope you give it a try.
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