Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Salmon in South Bay

During my recent visit to the wonderful beach communities south of LAX, I was treated to a lovely salmon dinner by my talented daughter. This might seem like an unremarkable thing to you, but Katherine has rarely been interested in the kitchen arts. She did want to learn to make macarons, which we did together at a Sur la Table class a few years ago.

Baking sweets was something she enjoyed now and then as she grew up, but mostly she was charmed to eat delicious things that others prepared and cooked.

So what has changed? Many things, but the one that is the current motivator is Penzeys.

Never heard of Penzeys? They are purveyors of spices...and these are high quality spices. They have all the usual single spice selections, but they also have their own blends and that has been part of the fun. One that Sweetie also loves to use is the Bicentennial Rub which is "Hand-mixed from: coarse flake salt, Tellicherry black pepper, sugar, turmeric, minced orange peel and coriander."  Penzeys says, "The rich flavor and golden color make this our favorite blend for turkey, duck, goose and pork roast. Perfect for the grill, sprinkle heavily on rotisserie-style chicken or pork roast, also on thick-cut pork chops and beef short ribs. The larger chunks of spices in our Bicentennial Rub also make it perfect for any large cut that takes an hour or longer to cook, and the beautiful golden color can't be beat. Try on roast leg of lamb, baked or roasted whole stuffed chicken, Yankee pot roast and thick-cut pork or veal chops."

This may seem like an odd combination of ingredients, but it really is a great flavor combo for grilled items like chicken and pork, and for the salmon bake that we enjoyed at Katherine's home. Their black pepper is wonderful all by itself and will be an eye opener if you just use grocery store pepper.

Of course I've been home for a handful of days and spent a good amount of time each day in the garden. 

The larkspur, red poppies, golden California poppies, blue love-in-a-mist, red and yellow roses, 

orange and gold nasturtiums, and pink Sweet William flowers really are a pleasure to look at. Soon there will be zucchini, beans, cucumbers and tomatoes, plus lots of morning glories. Hard to tell if any of the sweet peas will bloom...they got a late start and some were eaten by the snails and small lizards. The joys of country gardening.

And now for the perfect and simple salmon recipe:

Baked Salmon
for two

Two center cut salmon filets

Bicentennial Rub or similar spice mixture

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Lay out a large square of heavy duty aluminum foil. Rinse the salmon and place on the foil, slightly apart. Sprinkle with a generous amount of the spice rub and use your clean fingers to lightly rub the spice mixture on all sides of the filets.

Fold in the foil, first one side then the two opposing sides, then the final side, sealing the foil. Cut a small slit in the top to allow a little steam to escape.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes. Turn the packets around 180 degrees, then bake for another 12 minutes.

Unwrap the packets, being careful because they are hot. Fish should flake lightly. Place one filet on each plate. Serve at once. We served ours with corn and black bean salad and some green salad. 

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