Thursday, February 14, 2008

Salmon Filet over Bulgar Wheat Pilaf

Anyone who knows me can tell you for years my motto was "if I can't do it in the M.O. it ain't gonna happen". M.O. is short for microwave oven. I got in the habit of using it when I was living in "The Valley" where it would be feaking 2oo bajillion degrees in the summer and my apartments either had no A/C or no A/C that would reach the kitchen. Regardless, it was to hot to consider traditional cooking so armed with a heavy duty JC Penney 1,200 watt unit, a couple of those new fangled corning "browning pans" and I was set to dine divine without heating up the entire apartment.

In time we got A/C and things got better. There are some things I still like done in the M.O. as it is just fast and fool proof. Tonights salmon was a classic done in the "Em-mo". Fish with sauces you don't want getting all gunked onto a pan in the oven is one example. Nicely heat then slow bake it to perfection minutes. So here we go, two recipes one in the M.O. and the other on the stove top.

Salmon Filet with Honey Mustard and Dill
  • 2 6-8 oz salmon filet not more than 3/4" thick
  • 1/2 t dill weed
  • 4 T prepared whole grain honey mustard
  • salt

Pat filet's dry with a paper towel. Lightly salt each side. Sprinkle dill over both sides of filet's. Spread 1 T mustard on one side of each filet. Put into 8" square glass pan mustard side down. Spread remainging mustard evenly over each filet. Tightly cover dish with saran wrap. Let sit to marinade for 15-30 minutes.

Put covered dish into the M.O. (I have a 1,200 watt unit, if yours is lower adjust your times accordingly to your power output). Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Turn dish 180 if not on a turntable. Microwave 4 minutes at 30% power. At end of cooking cycle leave film on and let stand for 2 minutes of carry over cooking. Serve over rice or pilaf, spooning some of the pan sauce over the filet. Do not remove plastic wrap until ready to serve as that will help steam the fish during the carry over time so it remains moist.

Tonight was the first time I used Bulgar Wheat. I have seen the Ina Garten use it a few times on her Food TV show and figured it would be a nice change from rice. I'm glad I tried it as it is quite tasty with a nice soft earthy taste with just a bit of an al dente bite. Tonights pilaf is my own invention so bear with me.

Bulgar Wheat Pilaf

  • 1 C Bulgar Wheat
  • 1 14 oz can low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 medium zucchini sliced 3/4 inch thick.
  • 1 C sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 t onion powder
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t montreal steak seasoning

In small sauce pan bring broth to simmer. Toast Bulgar wheat in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring often until just starting to brown approx 5 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in wheat a couple of tablespoons at a time. Cover. Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes.

Heat sautee pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Toss zucchini with onion powder. Add to hot oil. Cook 2-3 minutes and then turn over browning other side 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms stirring often, cook until starting to brown. Add steak seasoning and cook another couple of minutes until mushrooms cooked through and edges starting to brown. Remove from heat. Fluff wheat with a fork and then fold into the sautee'd vegies. Use as a side dish or as base for seafood or chicken.

Note to do not add the Montreal Seasoning until the end. As it has so much salt in it it will draw out moisture from the vegies too fast and they will turn to mush before they brown.

There you go two simple dishes on the table in minutes with little fuss. My idea of cooking, especially on a hot day or I am pressed for time.

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