Thursday, November 3, 2011

Here Fishy Fishy...

Mr P and I routinely vow to start using the things we stuff in our freezer (we load up on sales), and we routinely buy fresh meat and use that instead.  Well, last weekend, as usual, Mr P's wonderful mother sent us home with even more things we needed to stuff in our new tinier freezer.  That quickly prompted us to actually start using those things... especially since Thanksgiving (aka another trip to Ohio) is right around the corner and we will get loaded up on food again.  It's not that we don't like the food that we get (because trust me, most of the time its either stuff we aren't talented or patient enough to make but we LOVE, or it's stuff that too expensive for our frugal budget but we LOVE).  We are just overwhelmed with food magazines and food blogs that our brains are in overload of what to make next, and we just forget about it.

Tonight we are cooking pho (read: yummmm) for our friends, Monday we ate soup with rice, and the last two nights we ate salmon.  Typically Mr P and I don't cook a lot of fish, even though we both really enjoy it, and even though prices can be reasonable if you buy it frozen istead of $12/lb fresh.  Mr P's mom always seems to send us either salmon and/or shrimp, so we get our little change-up once in a while.

Mr P usually puts smoky, spicy, dry seasonings on the outside of the salmon, sears the salmon skin side down, flips it and tosses the entire pan in a pre-heated oven until done.  This makes the skin crispy so that it's good to eat, and also sears the other side of the fillet while baking it the rest of the way through.  Mr P told me last night that although it's ok to eat raw fish, he would never serve raw fish that came from a frozen package, so we try to cook it all the way through without drying it out.

We paired the salmon with sauteed spinach and white rice.  We found a "new" bodega literally around the corner from our new apartment (you don't even have to cross a street to get there, we can see the back of the shop from our kitchen), that has 1 lb bunches of fresh spinach for $0.79!!  Thank you Korean bodegas for having awesome and awesomely cheap produce :D  So, technically our dinner cost a bit more, but since we already had the rice and the salmon, each night our dinner cost us just $0.79 TOTAL!  That means it was $0.40/serving.  Not bad if you ask me!

Spicy Blackened Salmon (according to Mr P)

Blackened Seasoning 
1 tsp. paprika½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cayenne powder½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cumin

Preheat oven to 350.  Heat pan, very hot (very important).  While pan is heating, pay dry the cleaned filet of fish.  The better you dry the fish, the crispier the outside will be.  Season very well with blackened seasoning.  Pan should be hot, add one tbsp. of vegetable oil to the pan then once oil starts to smoke very slightly add the fish skin side down.  Cook for 2-3 minutes or until skin is crisp and seasoning is getting a good dark color, then flip.  Let sear for one more minute then finish cooking in oven.  4-6 minutes, in the oven and check for doneness.  If you would like a little raw in the middle, then you may take out even sooner.  Serve immediately and Ba Daow!

Serve with spinach (below) and rice. 

Sauteed Spinach
1 bunch (1 lb?) of spinach
One clove garlic sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Clean spinach (if it comes fresh in a bunch and not in a pre-packaged bag, put the spinach in a big bowl and fill it with water and stir the spinach around so that the gritty sandy stuff goes to the bottom and doesn't stay on the spinach, rinsing is definitely not enough!!!) 

Heat oil in large pan (or wok!!) Toss in sliced garlic and sugar and cook until garlic is fragrant (about 1 minute).  Add spinach and keep cooking, folding every 30-seconds or 1 minute until spinach has wilted.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Shamwow!

Note the fact that Mr P has more salmon and rice, and I have more spinach.  Since I am trying to lose weight and Mr P is trying to be stronger, he's getting a 2:1 portion of meat and carbs compared to me, and I'm getting a 2:1 portion of vegetables compared to him.  This is the new plan, we shall see how that goes.... especially when we have dinners like spaghetti and meatballs... which is on the menu for next week... I saw this article for "vegetarian" meatballs and I was dying to try (veggie burgers are good, so veggie meatballs have to be even better, right?)


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