Thursday, September 30, 2010

riding on the Marrakesh Express…

salmon, rice and salad...Alex's favorite dinner

I’m so inspired by my friend Sarah, and her fantastic blog What's Cooking In Your World ?  . I’m definitely an “equal opportunity” foodie – love all kinds of cuisines, and am just as happy eating a full Japanese meal as I am making Jamaican Jerk Chicken (neither of which have anything to do with my own ancestors). But Sarah is really doing it – cooking meals from every country around the world. No hesitation, no hemming and hawing - just jump in and start cooking. I can’t think of a better way to step into someone else’s shoes then to eat how they do – food is truly a common denominator.

We found ourselves eating salmon again this week  - Wild-Caught Coho is on sale at Whole Foods, and that’s just too good to pass up. I wanted something completely different that the miso we had last week though, so I was perusing some links Mark found – the recipe section of Fish Alaska magazine. . . Moroccan Style Wild Alaska Salmon caught my eye…I’ve always wanted to try and make Moroccan food…and I thought “What Would Sarah Do” ? She’d go for it, of course…and so did I J

Since it was a weeknight and I was trying a new main dish, I took it easy on myself with the sides…Toasted Almond Rice Pilaf (yep, the Near East one) and a wonderful salad of tender butter lettuce, multicolored peppers, tomatoes, English cucumbers, and red onion. Both were easy and delicious.

The salmon and Charmoula Sauce definitely got three thumbs up. The guys weren’t as enamored of the raita – they felt the salmon didn’t need it – but I enjoyed it, so am leaving the recipe here. Perfect wine match : Pouilly-Fuissé. We're picky about white wines - has to be a good one to pass muster around here - and this was really perfect, flavorful enough to stand up to the flavors we had going on here.

Moroccan Style Wild Alaska Salmon
Adapted from Fish Alaska magazine

2  ½ lbs salmon fillets, bones removed, cut into 4 pieces.

Charmoula Sauce
Mix in small bowl:
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tsp kosher salt
dash white pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Place in food processor:
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup Italian flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup cilantro
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lime
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup olive oil

Add first spice mixture to above ingredients in food processor. With motor running slowly add olive oil until blended well.

Drizzle half of Charmoula Sauce on both sides of salmon. Set in fridge until ready to grill.

1/2 small seedless cucumber, chopped
2 tbsp chopped red onion
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and white pepper to taste

Process in food processor until smooth. This is part of the garnish and gives the Charmoula Sauce a little contrast, as it is cool and smooth.

Preheat grill (oil grill grates so fish doesn’t stick) .

Cook salmon about 3 to 5 minutes per-side-per-inch of thickness, flip and cook until done to your liking, about 3 to 5 more minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Be careful not to overcook! (Note : we did this without flipping – we used skin on salmon and put skin side down, then just put lid down on grill…worked great) . Remove salmon to platter.

Drizzle reserved Charmoula Sauce on salmon fillets. Drizzle a little Raita Sauce atop salmon. Drizzle a little of Charmoula Sauce and Raita on plate. Garnish with additional cilantro, parsley, tomato and lemon.

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