Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Genesis of a Summer Salmon & Corn Dinner

How do your meals come about?  Are you a planner?  Kudos if you are.  I'm a planner wannabe, but somehow never make it.  I might be able to plan dinner in the morning, but an entire week of meals... not going to happen, unfortunately.  I'm more of a ... how to describe it... spontaneous sounds good, but the truth is, I'm really like a new puppy... attracted to everything for a minute and then excited by the next thing I see.  What inspires me today, might leave me cold tomorrow... or might, as is often the case, percolate over days and become something totally different.  I thought I'd share how my mind worked for this particular meal.

I should mention, that I usually do my weekly shopping at our local farmers markets on Saturday mornings (lucky us, we have two just blocks from each other) to see what's really fresh.  Then I purchase way more than I could possibly use during the week, but... I have no will power.

Sometimes, I'm just totally drawn in to the awesomeness of the food, and only want to make the simplest of dishes...which is why I don't always share the "recipe" for a meal.  I mean, really, what could be better than a simple steam of the latest vegetables and a quick grill of some fish fresh from the water or a marinated chicken breast  or a spice rubbed steak?

Other times.... like last week, while watching the Olympics on TV, I flipped through the latest Jamie Magazine that always inspires me.  This time there was a spicy coleslaw, a salmon dish with Moroccan quinoa and quail eggs, plus a .....hmmmm, after flipping through the magazine again, the chicken dish I'm thinking of definitely didn't come from Jamie, perhaps from my Pinterest board.... thank goodness I bookmark everything interesting!

All this food browsing had me ready for my weekly trip to the Seaport farmers market where I found some gorgeous salmon fillets at The Fish Shop and lots of corn on the cob.
One of my favorite venders at the Old Market is Costas Halavrezos, who sells the wonderful spices from Epices de Cru that I'm always raving about. My counter is graced with a number of their spice blends. Before retiring, Costas was the awesome host of CBC Radio's Maritime Noon, and now he shares a terrific newsletter every week prior to market day....   This time, in addition to a great article on back to basic cooking and comparison to the Olympics, which I loved, he also shared a Mexican-style Grilled Corn on the cob, courtesy of Guy Boulanger and Cook's Illustrated.

It's been brutally hot here and the thought of boiling my very favorite vegetable in my kitchen has me wilting at the mere thought.   This recipe, cooks the corn, in the husk, in the microwave, which, I must say, since I had to do two batches and then leave the hot corn on the counter, still left my kitchen hot... but well worth the effort.

Much as I love the notion of lots of melted butter dripping down my chin... it's been years since I've done that, finding a healthier option.    So I merged the two healthy options and came up with my own...
On to the salmon...given that its 1000 degrees here, Latin/South/Central America easily comes to mind, especially since I'm using a Mexican rub for the corn.  So from all my flipping (magazines, Pinterest, and some of my favorite sites and blogs), I came up with this simple dish made with yoghurt and even more wonderful spices from Epices de Cru - smokey Pasilla Oaxaca chili flakes
And because Jamie's spicy coleslaw had too many ingredients and steps (not really, but in my mind it seemed like a lot of work) and a stop at the grocery store... even markets have their limits... for lemons, limes, etc., I noticed a bag of broccoli slaw... julienned and chopped broccoli, carrots and more.  So I made this family favorite as a side, perhaps the dressing is from the wrong continent, but it worked well with the corn and salmon anyway.
I almost felt like Jamie Oliver.  Everything ready - three dishes made all ready to serve at the same time, in about 20 minutes.
Of course it's a good thing that cherries are in season.  That's enough food prep on a hot summer day.

What's your inspiration and are you a planner or more spontaneous?

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