Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A tisket, a tasket, salmon in a packet

Mustard greens are distinct. As a fan of all mustard with all things, especially potatoes in their many fried, boiled, mashed, and baked forms, their flavor especially appeals to me. Nevertheless, it has been a challenge to find different ways of preparing these pungent leaves. Cooked, they mellow considerably, while imparting a little bite to the entire dish. The OPO mustard greens have been magnificent!

Turning to the Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen we find a way of cooking mustard greens that forces them to submit to a higher flavor: salmon.  (Here, I used two fillets of wild Coho.)

The Method
  1. Cook brown rice [meanwhile...take some time to...]
  2. Preheat oven to 450
  3. Roughly chop 1# (or so) of mustard greens
  4. Mince 3 cloves of garlic
  5. Mince 1 TB of fresh ginger
  6. Combine garlic and ginger with a few TBs of canola oil, 2 TBs of soy sauce, 2 TBs of sesame oil (I used dark), a good squeeze of lime juice, and a few shakes of Tabasco (in the absence of asian-style chili sauce)
  7. Grease a large, doubled square of aluminum foil 
  8. Place a layer of cooked rice in the center of the foil
  9. Next distribute a thick layer of chopped, raw greens
  10. Dip the salmon in the sauce and place skin side up on the greens
  11. Sprinkle a good helping of chopped scallions on top of the salmon and drizzle with the remaining sauce
  12. Find a brightly colored root veggie in the fridge (I used carrots) and tuck along side the fish
  13. Tightly seal the packets
  14. Bake at 450 for 20ish minutes
The Results

(This picture is for all my readers who like shiny things.)

The salmon was done beautifully. I would have preferred a few minutes less, but play to the audience, who generally request their fish to be fully cooked. (For the record, Junior Chef #2 does not like salmon or other strong flavored fish, and so opted for leftover beer can chicken...although the greens and rice - dripping with salmony-goodness - were quickly gobbled up.)

The mustard greens blend into the overall dish. It's the sesame oil and ginger that are most pronounced. The rice stays chewy, but absorbs the many different flavors from the sauce, fish, and greens. 

Next time, I would increase the garlic and lime juice (probably double) to bring a little sharper  taste into play. Still, everything came together well. If you're a fan of salmon, this is a simple, clean method of cooking - no pots to clean apart from the rice cooker and cutting board.

Notice the ever-present "real" tomato. Eat 'em while you have 'em!

(I'm open to novel mustard green recipes!)

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Kudya Bwino Bwino (Eating Well) © 2009