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Monday, May 13, 2013

International Week - First Up: Asia: Recipe

Recently, I was in California for business and came to the realization that the food there is so vibrant and diverse.  Just to give you an example of what I mean...for lunch one day I had a three-color beet salad;  it's tough to find that here without going on a wild goose chase and paying a fortune at the local "Whole Foods" market, for example. Needless to say, I left the Left Coast..inspired!

So as I gathered my thoughts for this week's menu, fresh fish called to me. This week the kids and I have planned an International Week of food - tonight we had Asian inspired items, tomorrow is Taco Tuesday, of course. Wednesday will be Brazilian or Argentinean Steak followed by Indian-inspired Thursday. Friday, naturally, will be pizza night (a.k.a. Italian Night!). The kids were thrilled for the variety and dinner sounded like fun to them.

We ate Salmon Teriyaki (shrimp for my oldest who doesn't like Salmon) with Mango-Strawberry Salsa, Lime-Infused Jasmine Rice and Pan-Steamed Baby Bok Choy. The plate was colorful and it felt exotic, which made it exciting for the kids and relaxing for my husband and I while the kids ate peacefully. Nothing was difficult or tricky - I just spent a few minutes chopping all the items.  I rounded this out with a salad made of lettuce, cucumber, orange bell pepper, radish and macadamia nuts dressed lightly with olive oil and rice wine vinegar. Even the baby screamed out for more (and I have a picture to prove it!).

Salmon Teriyaki With Mango-Strawberry Salsa
serves 5

1 1/2 lb. Organic Salmon fillet
1/2 cup barbeque sauce
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground coriander

Mango-Strawberry Salsa
2/3 large, ripe, mango - peeled and diced 1/3 large cucumber, peeled and diced
4 large ripe strawberries, hulled and diced
1 tablespoon fresh mint chiffonade
1/4 scallion, minced
juice of 1/2 lime

In a medium bowl, combine barbeque and soy sauces with sesame oil and two spices - whisk well.  Place salmon, skin side down, in a large glass dish. Pour the well-mixed sauce over the fish and allow to stand at room temperature for about an hour. Prepare the barbeque with coals on one side and spray the grill grate with non-stick spray (do this away from the fire!). Cook the salmon on the side without the coal underneath it - skin side down - for about 10 minutes (place cover on the grill). Carefully flip the fish and cook again another 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish (again, cover the grill).

For the Salsa - combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and gently mix together.

Pan-Steamed Baby Bok Choy
3 large bunches, baby bok choy - root end snipped, leaves separated and washed well
1 large garlic clove, smashed but not separated
1 teaspoon, fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
2 oz. water

In a large pan, heat oil well over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and swirl around in the hot oil so the flavor releases - do not allow it to burn (about 1 minute or so). Next, add the ginger and shake the pan lightly so the flavor and the pieces of ginger are all over the pan. Add the bok choy - as long as it's still slightly wet, you'll hear a hiss when the leaves hit the oil. Cover quickly and allow the leaves to wilt - stirring once or twice - about 5 minutes. Remove the cover and add the water. Raise the heat and cook another 7 minutes or so, until the bok choy is truly wilted and limp. Serve hot.

Lime-Infused Jasmine Rice
Serves 4-5
* I used "Success Rice" in a bag for this (I know...) so once the rice was finished cooking and had been drained well, I squeezed a half a lime over the rice and mixed well.

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