19 August 2010

A Meal in Thirty

Hi Folks! It's been a while since I've checked in here...been busy. I thought I'd drop in tonight do a little show and tell about what I had for dinner because it was, in a word, delectable.

Here it is: Seared Steelhead Trout with Fresh Herbs, Tomatoes and Olives; Sauteed Zucchini; Quinoa.

Ain't she purty? (The food that is, not the photo stylings. What can I say? It was dark. I was hungry.) You wanna know something great? The whole thing, from opening the fridge to sitting down to eat, took all of 30 minutes. Yes, I timed it.

The one sneaky trick I had up my sleeve was a tupperware full of pre-cooked quinoa, but since it takes only 20 minutes or so to cook quinoa, even without that advantage I still could have pulled off the meal in much less than an hour. And so can you! Here's how...

Ingredients (makes 2 robust servings):

1 cup quinoa (you'll have leftovers)
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1/2 large onion or one medium onion, roughly chopped
Bragg's or soy sauce to taste (maybe 1-2 T?)
about 3 T. olive oil
1 lb. steelhead salmon filet
6ish cherry tomatoes, chopped
8 ish kalamata olives, chopped
1 clove of garlic, diced
1/2 a lemon
about 1 T. or so dry Vermouth or white wine
small handfull of fresh parsley, chopped
about 1 tsp. of your fave dried spices for fish (I use a blend that features fennel seed which I love)
pinch dried red pepper flakes
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Bring two cups of water to boil. Rinse quinoa in a fine strainer and add to boiling water. Stir, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Begin to heat up a medium cast iron skillet on medium heat. Meanwhile, chop your onions and zuke. Film the bottom of the pan with about a T. or so of olive oil and when hot, add the onions, stirring frequently until they begin to turn transparent. Add zucchini and about a T. or so of Braggs/soy sauce and stir. Cook, stirring frequently and adding more sauce to taste, until zucchini reach your desired level of softness (I like mine pretty soft--probably about 8 mins).

Meanwhile, begin heating the saute pan for searing your fish over medium high heat. While pan heats, sprinkle dried herbs, red pepper, kosher salt and pepper over the fish. Chop tomatoes, olives, garlic, and fresh herbs. When pan is hot, add about 2 T. oil to the pan and quickly add the fish, skin side up. One you place the fish in the pan, don't mess with it for about 2 minutes or so. After a couple of minutes it will be have a nice golden browned crust and you will be able to easily flip it without it sticking. Flip it over and sear the other side for another couple of minutes. Depending on how rare you like your fish, you will only need to cook it for about 4-6 minutes total, so after about 4 minutes check it--if it's cooked enough in the thickest spots go ahead and remove to plate (it will continue to cook a bit so best to err on the rare side).

Keep heat on under the fish skillet and toss in tomatoes and olives, stirring for a minute or two until they begin to soften. Add garlic, half the fresh parsley, lemon juice, and vermouth/wine. Cook for another couple of minutes, toss in the rest of the fresh herbs, and pour over the plated fish. Serve zucchini and quinoa (with butter if you like) alongside.

Bon appetit!

P.S.: Since you'll have leftover quinoa, you might want some ideas for how to use it. In addition to this meal, here's what I've done with one cup of quinoa I cooked earlier this week:
--1 meal of quinoa 'fried rice'--stir fry whatever veggies you have laying around with sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and whatever sauces you like to use. Stir in an egg at the last minute
-2 meals of quinoa 'taco salad'--heat quinoa with cooked/canned black beans and stir in cooked veggies (broccoli, squash, carrots, peppers, etc.). Top with grated cheese, chopped tomatoes, avocado, and salsa.
-quinoa salad: mix quinoa with chopped jalapeno/serrano, red onion, feta cheese, toasted pine nuts, chopped cilanto, dired cranberries. Dress with olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper

This isn't gourmet stuff here folks, but it's good, healthy, cheap, and quick eating.

I'd love to know your favorite ways to use quinoa too!

1 comment:

diane said...

Can't wait to try this fish! Looks amazing! I like leftover quinoa served cold with just a splash of olive oil and lots of fresh lemon juice. Quinoa's also good for breakfast with a bit of honey and some currants and crushed toasted pecans or walnuts. Such a nice, light summer grain/seed.