Salmon, rice and beans

Balsamic glazed salmon bites, salmon chicharron, seared salmon loin, mint basil rice, cilantro bud beans, lime mint yogurt, basil and cilantro flowers

The mystery box for Master Chef at Home challenge arrived when I was running from the test kitchen to class. Let’s at least get the wheels turning, I thought. Constrains are the greatest fuel for creativity — this is why I always get excited about mystery boxes. 

I saw the salmon cuts, and I concluded immediately ”well, the belly is on, I’ll probably want more even cooking than that will allow but it’s a beautiful piece of fish, I don’t want to use it all up in a meat ball.” My box had rice, canned beans, yogurt, mint, basil, salmon, balsamic vinegar. I was thrilled. 

I wanted to get more flavor into the rice and beans but keep them separate; use the yogurt as a sauce and a bright element and the balsamic vinegar as a glaze. 

This season since the advent of spring, I made a conscious effort to taste herbs at every stage of their development . Magic happens when cilantro goes to seed for instance. You can add it to hot preparations but still retain that bright cilantro flavor. So, that’s what I did with the beans to bring the season onto the plate. I also garnished with basil, cilantro and borage flowers. 

The hardest part of this challenge was finding a can opener! 

Beans: 

Ingredients

15 oz can of beans, washed, drained

1 slice of bacon, minced

1 jalapeno, deseeded, pithed, and minced

2 oz onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 red bell pepper, medium dice

2 T cilantro buds

1/4 C vegetable stock (optional)

salt to taste

  1. Render the bacon until the minced bacon bits are golden brown and delicious on medium to high heat, stirring as necessary. Discard half the rendered fat if desired. 
  2. Lower the heat to medium. Add the minced onions and sweat until translucent. Add the garlic, the jalapeno, and the red bell peppers to the mix. Let it sweat until garlic is fragrant. 
  3. Add the cilantro seeds and incorporate by stirring. Add the vegetable stock and reduce by half. Add the beans and warm in the pan. Pay attention not to overcook the beans. Keep them whole. Season with salt. 

Rice: 

1 pint converted long-grain rice

1 quart vegetable stock

1 slice of bacon, minced

2 oz onion, minced, 

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 C basil, minced

1/4 C mint, minced

salt to taste

  1. Render minced bacon in a large sauce pot until the bacon bits are  brown and crispy. Set aside the bacon for another use. Sweat the onions and garlic and parch the rice in the bacon fat until a nutty aroma emanates. 
  2. Add your stock to the rice, season the liquid with salt, and let simmer on low to medium heat until the rice has cooked. Add the herbs, let the rice rest. 
  3. Fluff the rice using a fork and incorporate the herbs gently into the rice. Adjust seasoning as necessary. 

Yogurt sauce

7 oz Greek yogurt, drain any whey as necessary

Zest of 1 lime

1 T extra virgin olive oil

1/2 t sea salt

1- Combine all the ingredients and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Salmon bites

3 oz salmon paste (skin fish, mince on cutting board)

1 T basil, minced

1 T mint, minced

1/4 t salt

Bacon bits from one slice of bacon (from the rice recipe above)

1 T, balsamic reduction (reduce vinegar to 1/4 its original volume on gentle heat)

2 T corn oil

1- In a small mixing bowl, incorporate the ingredients into a homogeneous mixture. Form into 6 1/2 oz balls. 

2- In a small skillet, on medium to high heat, get your corn oil hot and gently saute the salmon bites until golden brown and delicious on all sides. 

3- Remove from pan into a small mixing bowl and toss in the balsamic reduction to coat

Salmon chicharron

Salmon skin

Salt

1- Get your oven to 200F. Lay salmon skin flat on a non stick pan on a single layer and dehydrate in the oven for 20-30 minutes. 

2- Raise oven temperature to 275F and let the skin fluff up for 10 minutes. 

3- Remove from oven and season while still hot. Some pieces may dehydrate faster than others. Remove those that are crispy and keep the rest in the oven as necessary.

Seared salmon

Salmon loin

1 T Corn oil 

Salt

1- Get your cast iron skillet sizzling hot. Add the corn oil and go into the pan skin side up. Sear for one minute and flip gently using a fish spatula. 

2- Gentle hold down the salmon on the panto prevent bubbling on the skin. Cook skin side down until skin is crisp no more than 2-3 minutes. 

3- Serve immediately. 

This is just something that I whipped up for family meal on Friday. They’re Saigon crepes with coconut milk, rice and split pea flour. Served here with quick pickled carrots and shrimp. This is a manifestation of French influence on Vietnam. Reminds me of the Dosa Suzettes in Pondicherry. #pickle #summer #crepe #dosa #coconut #pondicherry #frenchfood #vietnamese #indianfood #proud2bcia High-res

This is just something that I whipped up for family meal on Friday. They’re Saigon crepes with coconut milk, rice and split pea flour. Served here with quick pickled carrots and shrimp. This is a manifestation of French influence on Vietnam. Reminds me of the Dosa Suzettes in Pondicherry. #pickle #summer #crepe #dosa #coconut #pondicherry #frenchfood #vietnamese #indianfood #proud2bcia

I’m very excited, too, tumblr! My secret ingredients are not so secret as of 15 mins ago. Fun plans coming together already! #masterchef #proud2bcia #cook They asked me if I’d participate and I said yes, why not! High-res

I’m very excited, too, tumblr! My secret ingredients are not so secret as of 15 mins ago. Fun plans coming together already! #masterchef #proud2bcia #cook They asked me if I’d participate and I said yes, why not!

Vietnamese fried catfish, noodles, and — the best thing — a ton of fresh greens and herbs. Well, that’s what’s on the menu tomorrow in the Asia’s kitchen! W/ @danweber21 #vietnamese #asian #proud2bcia #catfish #stirfry #herbs  (at The Culinary Institute of America) High-res

Vietnamese fried catfish, noodles, and — the best thing — a ton of fresh greens and herbs. Well, that’s what’s on the menu tomorrow in the Asia’s kitchen! W/ @danweber21 #vietnamese #asian #proud2bcia #catfish #stirfry #herbs (at The Culinary Institute of America)

We do a lot of tastings at the CIA and this is a tea cocktail tasting. Alan’s finishing with a bang: Green gulp (steep 1l absolut w/ 4 oz sencha for 20 mins, use infusion to mix at 2 oz, 1 oz granny smith and cucumber juice and 1.5 oz lime simple syrup) #cocktail #tea #infusion #mixology (at Culinary Institute Of America) High-res

We do a lot of tastings at the CIA and this is a tea cocktail tasting. Alan’s finishing with a bang: Green gulp (steep 1l absolut w/ 4 oz sencha for 20 mins, use infusion to mix at 2 oz, 1 oz granny smith and cucumber juice and 1.5 oz lime simple syrup) #cocktail #tea #infusion #mixology (at Culinary Institute Of America)

Hank Shaw’s Hunt, Gather, Cook was the first book that turned me to cooking. Today I had the great privilege of meeting him. What a fascinating man! I felt like a teenage girl at a Bieber concert! #duck #hunt #gather #wild #forage (at The Bocuse Restaurant) High-res

Hank Shaw’s Hunt, Gather, Cook was the first book that turned me to cooking. Today I had the great privilege of meeting him. What a fascinating man! I felt like a teenage girl at a Bieber concert! #duck #hunt #gather #wild #forage (at The Bocuse Restaurant)

Shakshuka with yellow heirlooms, blue cheese, oregano and mint Shakshuka with yellow heirlooms, blue cheese, oregano and mint Shakshuka with yellow heirlooms, blue cheese, oregano and mint

Sayat Explores FoodReblogged from Sayat Explores Food

This is from two tomato seasons ago! Still remains to be one of the best things you can make with tomatoes!

sayattheexplorer:

Shakshuka with yellow heirlooms, blue cheese, oregano and mint

In a good olive oil (not extra virgin) fry half a diced onion until translucent, add one chopped New Mex Twilight pepper, two cloves of sliced garlic, and three tbsp of diced sweet pepper. Less than a minute later add two chopped tomatoes and grate two more into the now gently frying mixture. Season keeping the salt in check — we’re putting blue cheese in there. Bring to a slow simmer and crack your eggs into the inch and a half deep simmer. Add half of the blue cheese (two tbsp) now and add the rest as garnish at the end. Cover your pan in the last two minutes to make sure the white cook from the top as well. Add chopped fresh oregano and mint. 

This dish is classically prepared with ruby red tomatoes with parsley and feta cheese. My substitutes worked great. 

Ok, this was an incredible plate! Photo credit: @atartici! Lamb two ways, rotisserie neck and lamb sausage; chickpea purée, panelle di ceci (chickpea fries) with lemon zest, and roasted chickpeas. #momofuku #ssambar #mediterraneanfood Those were the best chickpea fries I’ve ever had! High-res

Ok, this was an incredible plate! Photo credit: @atartici! Lamb two ways, rotisserie neck and lamb sausage; chickpea purée, panelle di ceci (chickpea fries) with lemon zest, and roasted chickpeas. #momofuku #ssambar #mediterraneanfood Those were the best chickpea fries I’ve ever had!