28 December 2011

Healthy Dinner Party and Super Simple Salmon

We had the funnest party tonight. Well, actually, we had two parties: one for the kids and one for the adults. We bought deli pizzas for the kids and served them up with chips, veggies, and candy-coated popcorn (that's not the healthy part . . .) but then served an elegant buffet upstairs for the adults. The kids played games, made crafts, and watched movies, so they didn't mind the separation at all.

I prepped this meal in my mind many days ago, basing it around some really good salmon I got on sale last week. I popped it in the freezer, then pulled it out for today. It was only as I was assembling the meal this afternoon that I realized what a balanced, nutritious, and almost downright wholesome party I had crafted. We had cheesecake with various homemade sauces for dessert, but a slice won't kill you. Balance in all things. :)

Here's what we had:

The links are for the recipes that inspired tonight's dishes, although I had my own little tweaks and adjustments, of course. That salmon? That's the easiest part, and one of the treasures of my repertoire. It is so easy to make that we ate it all summer, sometimes with salmon, and sometimes with trout. I might even like the stronger flavour of the trout better. Hard to say. Here it is, for your enjoyment.

Super Simple Poached Salmon

2-3 pound salmon filet

Place the salmon in a pan that will hold it. If you'd like a glorious presentation, use a roasting pan and leave the salmon in a single piece. It's not a crime to cut it, though, if you need to. Fill the pan with cold water to cover the salmon, then put a lid on or cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bring to a boil (if you're using a roasting pan, you might need to put it over 2 burners) then turn off the heat and let it sit, undisturbed, for 10 minutes. Check for doneness by using a fork to open up a center section. It should be firm and pink and not shiny. Carefully transfer to a platter, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for several hours, until thoroughly chilled.

That's it. Bring it to a boil during breakfast, put it in the fridge when you clean up that morning meal, and it'll be ready for dinner. Easiest fish EVER.

Lemon-Tarragon Mayonnaise

1 egg
1/4 tsp dry mustard or 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp flaky sea salt
1 tsp dried tarragon or 1 Tbsp fresh, chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced, divided
1 cup oil [I used 3/4 cup peanut and 1/4 cup olive]
fresh ground pepper

Put egg, mustard, salt, half the lemon juice and half the zest in the bowl of a food processor. Turn on to mix, and with mixer running, slowly, even drop by drop, add oil to the mixer. I have some notes on this here. Continue adding oil until fully emulsified, thick, and combined. Season with additional lemon juice and pepper, to taste. I made mine rather tangy. I suggest making it when you make the salmon so it has time to sit and rest and meld and yummify. If you'd prefer it as a sauce, you could thin it down with milk or cream, but I suggest doing it when you make it, as mayonnaise is a little obnoxious to thin with a stirring spoon.

1 comment:

Mom said...

yum. what a fun meal. especially the salmon!