Maple-glazed salmon with moroccan-spiced vegetable-something

With the boyfriend working far and away, I have had the apartment to myself for some time, which means free reign for me in all culinary matters. You would think that this would encourage me to experiment with new things, become creative and avant-garde. At first, I splurged over treats that he would turn his nose up at: seafood, indian food, vegetables. Then, I got lazy. Also, I have a secret penchant for those Ristorante frozen pizzas and I could go like, three days without eating anything else. (Oops, the secret is out. Forsooth.)

Anyway, the pizza binge is over. Regardless of my utter amore for carbs, I have turned a new leaf. I need to eat more vegetables, and less *gulp* ENRICHED WHITE FLOUR. So, I’ve tried to stock my fridge with fresh things.

I turned to the fridge this evening in search of supper, only to find a cacophony of leftovers: some chickpeas leftover from making hummus on the weekend. Leftover red pepper slices that were to be dipped in the aforementioned hummus. Half an onion. Three small organic carrots that had begun their journey to the compost bin by becoming slightly…flaccid. Some tomatoes which had gotten a bit past their prime and were no longer salad-worthy.

On the plus side, there was a lovely piece of salmon that I had picked up at my favourite fish-monger’s on the way home, and some broccoli.

“Hmm…” I murmured thoughtfully to Roomba, waiting patiently in the corner for his floor scraps, “What can be done here?” Now, let me mention here that I am not an impulsive, on-the-fly type of cook. I agonize over lists and recipes, and write out timing schedules. I pre-measure. I mise-en-place like a mofo. And I stress when things go wrong. Cheesler can attest to the times he has retreated into the bedroom after I announce that I screwed something up, to avoid the inevitable tantrum.

So to come up with a concoction from these ingredients was a task, but my friends, I did it! I let the ingredients be my guide. And I breezily made this dinner:

The salmon: I made a marinade from maple syrup, ginger and garlic, and let it soak in that for about 30 minutes. Then I baked it in the oven for about 20 minutes until it was flake-tender. Easy!

Meanwhile, the Moroccan vegetable-something was a little more complicated. I chopped up that half red onion, those flaccid carrots (they were going to soften in the dish anyway so I figured they were salvageable), some garlic and the red pepper strips,

and sauteed all of them in olive oil until they were  soft. Then I added the chickpeas and the diced tomatoes, along with my own custom-made Moroccan spice mix that I had just thrown together. Just like that.

A dash of vegetable stock and brought to the boil, then lowered and simmered for about 20 minutes, et voila! Moroccan-spiced vegetable-something.

Note: these photos are my first attempt at action-food-photography. Thanks to my gorillapod, I can just mount my camera while I take timed photos of myself cooking in action. Pretty spiffy. I wish the godforsaken light in my kitchen was better though. Grr.

I steamed the broccoli the scientific way – I rested it over water that had reached and was sustained at 100 degrees centigrade, thereby allowing the resulting steam to change the molecular structure of the vegetable to soften its previously woody cells, rendering it edible and delicious. Fascinating.

May I present to you: Dinner for One. Notice the sad, drooping flowers. They are representative of my loneliness.

Just kidding, I love living by myself! Temporarily, at least…sorry Cheesler. Miss you! ♥

Maple-glazed Salmon

Ingredients:

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tbsp soy sauce

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 salmon fillet

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400F.

Mix the first 4 ingredients together in small bowl. Lightly oil a baking pan with olive oil. Place salmon fillet and pour marinade over top. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until it flakes easily with a fork. Serve with remaining marinade from pan drizzled over top.

Moroccan-Spiced Vegetable-Something

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 1/2 cups chopped carrots

1/2 cup chopped red onion

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 roma tomato, diced

1/4 cup vegetable stock

1 tbsp Sophie’s Moroccan Spice Blend (recipe below)

Instructions:

Sautee onion, carrots, pepper and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat until softened. Add chickpeas and tomato and stir. Add spice blend and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, until liquid is reduced and vegetables are tender. Serve as a side dish or over rice as a sort of main-dish stew!

Sophie’s Moroccan Spice Blend

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dried mint leaves

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Enjoy!

Coming soon: I go head-to-head with a quaint Slovenian Pizza restaurant in creating…A DELICIOUS PIZZA. Whose will prevail?

Wait, I said the pizza binge was over. It’s no joke, it’s….

PIZZA WARS.

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Categories: Food

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