Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Take That, Rachael Ray!

Yesterday was sunny and somewhat clear (the mountains were out, as they say) so I tried to run a few errands while the weather was decent. I went a different way leaving our house in Capitol Hill (up the hill, instead of down the hill) and found another street full of shops and restaurants. And I caught this view of the space needle and the mountains (it looked more impressive in person.)  I keep finding cool little pockets and blocks in this city.


I decided to try taking a page out of my mother's playbook. My mother is an expert couponer, and I figure now that I'm not working I've got plenty of time to put in the required effort. So I went to Safeway and stocked up on things we needed - mostly soda (when we get unpacked in our apartment we'll make our own using the SodaStream) and snacks for lunches. Combining sales and coupons, I saved 36% and got a coupon for $10 off my next purchase! My mom would be proud!

I didn't need to buy anything to make dinner, I already had everything I needed at home. 
But, first, the inspiration:

Over five years ago, when we went to Alaska, we had the most amazing salmon while on an excursion to a native village. The best part was the delicious brown sugar glaze they served on the salmon. It was so good that people were asking for the glaze over their dessert. Ever since then, we have tried to replicate the recipe. For example, we tried a mix of brown sugar and butter but it caramelized and got hard. We tried brown sugar and olive oil, but it was too oily.

We've been getting great wild salmon at the farmers market in Seattle, so I decided to take another stab at making the glaze. I started by searching for "brown sugar salmon" on allrecipes.com, one of my favorite sites. I found this easy and delicious Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze recipe. Basically, you mix up two parts brown sugar to one part mustard. I used four tablespoons of brown sugar and two tablespoons of mustard for four fillets. I only had a cheap store-brand yellow mustard that I bought last week for the meatloaf, but it worked fine. I poured it over the top of the salmon before broiling it for 10-15 minutes. So easy! I made four salmon filets so we can have leftovers later in the week. 

Was it the same as the salmon at the Alaskan native village? I guess I would need to go back to refresh my memory, but it was definitely as delicious! It will be part of my regular dinner rotation.

Even after a great meal, I always ask myself what I might do differently the next time to try to improve it. This recipe was great, I don't think it really needs any change, but I think I could improve upon the dish by using a nicer dijon mustard. My other idea is that I might try adding a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the mix next time to add more depth of the flavor.

I also braised some "braising greens" in a little bacon grease, with garlic and green onion, all from the farmers market. Those are some healthy & tasty greens! Just to have a little starch, I reheated some potato hash browns from our breakfast over the weekend.  It was a really yummy and quick meal in under 30 minutes. Take that, Rachael Ray! 



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