I have had the longest week and a half, shipping three children off to college. The withdrawal symptoms are slightly dimmed by a steady flow of red wine..... Reality ought to set in by Wednesday, I figure.... So, I really want to share with you this amazing dinner I made for my daughter, Kelsey, on the eve of her last year of leaving the nest. She requested Salmon. It was left up to me how to prepare it. I decided to look at what I had on to work with.
I had bought some brussel sprouts and love to roast them, so I washed and cut them in half. I drizzled some of this dipping oil I had (Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper, fresh garlic, and oil), made sure they were coated, and cooked them in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
While those are cooking, I now look at the ingredients I found: left over grilled corn on the cob, a vidalia onion I needed to cook, and that same bread dipping oil, along with a jar of Hearts of Palm.... hmmmmmm.
I caramelize the half of a vidalia onion. I cut the corn off of the cobs, and combined that with some Panko crumbs. I cut up about 5 Hearts of Palm and added them, and 2 cloves of garlic, crushed. I also added half of the caramelized onions. The rest will go into the risotto. Now for the spices...I have a mix of cilantro, mint, cinnamon, cloves, cayenne, cardamom, and nutmeg. I know you don't have this exact mix, but if you at least add the first three ingredients, the flavors should be perfect. I also used lemon pepper, salt, and parsley. Oh, and don't forget the Parmesan cheese. The tarragon I used in the risotto.
Into a 450 degree oven it goes for about 15-20 minutes. Your cooking time may be different, depending on the piece of salmon you have. I had to check it to make sure the thicker end was cooked through, and it was! If you want, you can throw it under the broiler on for a few minutes to brown the top. I absolutely love avocado and try to use it whenever I can. So....... I thought that it might just be the cherry on top, so on it went. Well, I have to tell you, it totally made this! The flavor of the salmon, along with the topping with the mint mixture and all the other spices, and the creaminess of the avocado was amazing!
Now, on to the risotto. This has got to be the easiest thing to make.... 1 cup of risotto in a pan with a little olive oil. I added the rest of the caramelized onions and let it heat for a couple of minutes. Start adding chicken broth, one cup at a time, allowing it to get absorbed. Usually 3 cups of broth are enough. If you prefer your risotto to be really soft, add one more cup.
In another pan, I sauteed the asparagus in a little butter. I folded it into the risotto, grated some lemon zest in, added the tarragon, and sprinkled in the Parmesan cheese. I like to use a good amount of cheese, but it's totally up to you.
So, there you have it. My daughter was thrilled. It always makes me feel so good to wow them with my cooking!
I hope this doesn't sound too confusing. It really wasn't. The hardest part was trying to come up with the idea of what to make!
In answer to a few requests, my next post will be a list of ingredients that you should always have on hand to be able to put together a yummy meal.