I’ve always been taken with the idea of cooking my way through an entire cookbook, long before Julie and Julia. Reading Jamie Oliver’s newsletter I saw that this woman Amy had cooked her way through his Revolution cookbook, which I love. I have talked about having some sort of cooking party to do his “teach someone” bit, but have yet to organize it. (Although hopefully I do my part through this blog!) But she inspired me to pull out his book again. I had just bought some frozen salmon filets at Costco and am trying to eat fish once a week. (We’ll be lucky if I make it once a month based on past tries! I don’t actually really like fish, although my girls both love it.)
So I saw her mention the salmon tikka in the Revolution book and decided to make that tonight, so set the plastic wrapped frozen filets to thawing in a bowl of cold water while I started some rice in the rice cooker.
I had no cilantro. I’ve been trying and trying to grow some and finally have some started but it’s just wisps. Rather than make a special trip to the store I just left it out. But we all love cilantro and I’m sure this would be even better WITH some–but it gets a top rating even without. Most people would probably have cilantro in their fridge and not have a jar of Patak’s tandoori paste in the pantry, but I did have the tandoori paste at least!
After I started the rice and while I was prepping everything, I decided to go ahead and try one of his rice variations too. I had everything I needed for the garlic and nutmeg rice so went with that one. I did actually have a fresh nutmeg that I grated some of for this. When I ordered some spices from Penzeys, they used nutmegs and cinnamon sticks as part of the packing material. Love that!
So first the rice…
Jamie Oliver’s Garlic and Nutmeg Rice
So the first difficulty. I do all my rice in the rice cooker at this point and had already started it before I decided to do this. So I just used a rice cooker cup of rice. His recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of rice. Since I like things flavorful I halved his other ingredients, even though 1 rice cooker cup is less than 3/4 cup of rice I think. It came out great anyway!
- 1 rice cooker cup of rice cooked in a rice cooker
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs butter
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp of grated nutmeg. I used fresh. Maybe more if you’re using dried?
- salt and pepper to taste (1/4 tsp of each?)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice (1-2 Tbs?)
Cook the rice. When it’s almost done, heat the oil and butter in a skillet over low heat, then add the garlic and cook a few minutes until softened, stirring. Stir in the nutmeg, salt, pepper and cinnamon.
When the rice is done, add it to the pan and stir everything together. Squeeze the lemon juice over it all and mix it in.
Note: I wasn’t sure my teenage daughter would like this, although I suspected I would. I didn’t say anything about it but she took one bite and said “What is in this rice? This is delicious!”
Salmon Tikka with Cucumber Yogurt
So my kids love fish and my youngest loves Indian food so I figured this was an easy win for dinner and I was right! Plus, it was totally easy. I did not have cilantro on hand but it would be even better with some I am sure. The cucumber was from my garden, as was the red chile! The salmon was from Costco, wild frozen. We have several Indian grocery stores nearby now (yay!) and I had picked up a variety of Patak’s pastes at some point and used the Tandoori paste here.
A little nitpick. I hate it when a recipe calls for “half” a something. What is “half a cucumber”? I grow cucumbers and they come in all sizes! I used half an Armenian slicing cucumber for this and had a smallish one so used that.
- 1 fresh red chile
- 1/2 cup of cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 a lemon (use the other half in the rice above!)
- 1/4 cup (or more…) plain yogurt
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- 2 salmon filets, about 7 oz each
- 1 heaping Tbs of tandoori paste (I use Patak’s as Jamie recommends)
- fresh cilantro for garnish, which I was lacking this time around
Half the chile lengthwise and use a spoon or knife to scrape out the seeds, then slice the chili into thin slices. (If you like more heat, you can leave some of the seeds in!) Take the half a cucumber and peel it (if needed), slice it lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. (If you happen to have chickens, they LOVE the innards of a cucumber!) Chop it and put most of the chopped cucumber in a bowl, reserving some for garnish. Add half the chile, the yogurt, most of the juice from half a lemon (save some to put on the salmon just as you serve it), salt and pepper. Stir it up and put it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Slice each piece of salmon into 1/2″ strips. Put a big spoonful of the tandoori paste on a plate, then rub each side of the salmon with the tandoori paste using the back of the spoon. (The key being do NOT dip the spoon that has touched fish back into the jar!) . Set aside until the rice is about done…then….
Heat a skillet over high heat. Add a Tbs or so of olive oil and heat. Put the salmon strips into the pan and cook about 1 1/2 minutes per side, depending on how thick your pieces are. Some of mine were thicker so I pulled the thinner ones out and cooked the thicker pieces more.
Put some rice on each plate, then top with the salmon and some of the reserved cucumber. Add a spoonful of the yogurt mix and serve the rest at the table. Sprinkle with a few cilantro leaves (if you have any!) and serve! Oh, wait, squirt a bit more lemon juice on top of the fish and THEN serve!
This says it serves 2 but true to form I would call it 3 servings for us, which was perfect as my daughter wants to take some for lunch tomorrow. We packed it in a bento for old times’ sake. (Did bento lunches a large part of her sophomore year).
I liked this and I am trying to eat more fish. My daughter LOVED this. We both loved the rice.