Friday, November 16, 2012

Green Curry Salmon and Seattle Sunshine

As a "stay at home wife" I've decided to take on the majority of cooking, at least when I'm not out apartment hunting until late in the afternoon.  It's fun and I feel like it's the least I can do.  Don't worry, I still let Jon help me (i.e. cut the onions).  

It drives Jon crazy that I don't ever stick to a recipe.  I like to look at recipes, to get ideas, and then do it my own way.  At some point, I'll ask Jon "Does this look right?  Should I let it cook a few more minutes?"  To which Jon will always reply, "What does the recipe say?"  
Umm... I wasn't exactly following a recipe.

We got some local wild salmon at the farmer's market last weekend, and I have been craving green curry, so after glassblowing class on Wednesday, I decided to try making a green curry salmon.  I stopped at Whole Foods and bought a jar of green curry paste, one can of light coconut milk and a little hand of fresh ginger.  I already had the onion and garlic from the previous week's farmers' market. 

I learned a few things while cooking it, so I'm going to write this the way I should have done it, in hindsight.  This way it will be more of a useful recipe to refer to later.

Start by chopping the onion.  We went with a whole onion, because I love onion.  If you don't love onion, maybe you'd want to use half or one small onion.  Crush two cloves of garlic.  Saute them in a larger sauce pot with a little olive oil or butter.  By the way, this is pretty much how I start every recipe. You can't beat it. 

Add in a little bit of peeled and grated ginger.  How much?  If the ginger is a "hand" you could start by adding a "finger" off the hand.  If you love ginger, of course you could add more.  The easiest way to peel ginger, they say, is by scraping it with a spoon, rather than with a vegetable peeler.

Once the onions brown a little bit and the garlic gets all warmed up and fragrant, dump in the can of coconut milk and about two teaspoons of green curry paste. Whisk the curry paste in. Remember that the green curry paste is a strong flavor, it's always easier to add more later than to try to mellow the flavor later.  

Chop up the salmon into about one inch pieces.  This may not be very necessary, as my salmon fell apart quite quickly, but it might help it to cook faster.  Throw the salmon in the pot.

Bring it up to a steamy simmer, and simmer for at least ten minutes.  At this point, I took a taste and decided to add a little more curry paste, because I wanted it to be spicy.  You could also maybe add a little hot sauce or hot peppers for spice.

I decided then that I wanted to add some vegetables, rather than making vegetables or rice on the side.  I think coconut rice would have been perfect, though.  I had half of a large yellow tomato from the farmers' market that we had sliced for B.L.T.s earlier in the week, so I chopped that and threw it in there.  We also had some awesome little potatoes, the size of small stones, so I decided to wash them and throw them in.  The point is, you could probably throw in almost any vegetable, something green like snow peas would be great, and keep it a little more "Thai" in flavor or style.  Just keep in mind that some vegetables like potatoes take longer to cook.  And if you're adding quite a bit of extra stuff, you might need another can of coconut milk.

So, in this case, I simmered another 20 minutes until the potatoes were tender.  If you're skipping the vegetables or using a vegetable that cooks more quickly, you can cut down on time. 

Season with salt and pepper.  You could add other spices, hot sauce, etc. but our temporary quarters doesn't have much of a spice rack!  

It came out delicious.  Very filling and perfectly spicy for a chilly night. And we had a little bit left over for lunch! 

Thursday was gloriously sunny and I spent my day apartment hunting.  I took a few pictures of the sun, like this:

Yes, that is a totem pole.  I took this near Pike Place Market. 
One of the interesting things was how many people were just standing out by the waterfront just watching the sunset or photographing it. Tripods and everything. You would think it was not, literally, an everyday occurrence.

This one is a little harder to see, but please click on it and check it out. Those two white arches are CenturyLink Field (where the Seahawks play).  Between them, and above the second arch, faintly, you can see Mount Rainier! The largest and most dangerous volcano in the United States!  
 I think the correct phrase for being able to see Mt. Rainier is "the mountain is out."  

I don't want to jinx anything and say we found an apartment, so I'll say we may have possibly found a great place.  We already did the background check and we go back to sign the lease tomorrow.  Once it's official, I'll tell you more about it.  But I will give you a hint that it is not one of the places I posted about the other day.  It's a whole new place, and it's even better than the other three! 

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