Friday, July 2, 2010
Last night's easy dinner
Sometimes my concoctions turn out better than recipes. I've been in a Middle-Eastern flavor mode lately, so I spiced up the wild sockeye salmon with salt, pepper, and sumac (not the poisonous kind) and grilled it in a grill pan on top of the stove. The quinoa was nothing special—literally quinoa, salt and water in my revered Rival rice cooker. The veggies, on the other hand, were something special. I sauteed up an organic onion, 4 cloves of organic garlic, 3 large organic plum tomatoes, and about 2 cups of just-picked homegrown okra. Then I added oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and sumac to taste (I'd say a teaspoon of each, maybe 2 teaspoons of the sumac), along with a cup or so of Pomi strained tomatoes, and let the mixture simmer on low for 30 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, I threw in 1-1/2 cups of frozen organic corn and, let me tell you, both Mickey and I went back for seconds.
For those of you who haven't heard of sumac before, it's a woody shrub growing best in subtropical climates, the dried fruits of which are ground to make a reddish-purple spice often used in Middle-Eastern cuisines. It has a definitive lemon flavor and is great in all sorts of things—sprinkled on salads, poultry, fish, meat, and vegetable dishes. You might have seen it sprinkled on hummus in a Middle-Eastern restaurant. I make a stuffed cabbage with a spicy-lemony tomato sauce that I often add sumac to in order to amp up the lemon flavor. It can be purchased at Middle-Eastern and kosher markets.