A recent culinary exercise…

As usual, I made a new year’s resolution to plan my meals in advance, make one exhaustive grocery trip each week, and resort to pizza delivery only on the weekends. Needless to say, I have not been as faithful to the resolution as I would like.

All is not lost, however! I have been much better at attempting recipes outside of the Rachael Ray spectrum. I have mixed feelings about this, as a large part of me feels absolutely no guilt at the fact that virtually my entire repertoire of recipes comes straight from Rachael Ray. I do, however, have an extensive and ever-growing selection of cookbooks, all of which I purchased because I could envision making many of the delicious-sounding recipes that I came across in them.

Mirin-glazed salmon (mentioned in my prior post), courtesy of Nigella Lawson, proved to be an extremely successful recipe, that I will most certainly repeat. There are not enough complimentary statements to be made about this dish; it was utterly fabulous! Large, gorgeous coral hunks of salmon were quickly marinated in a mixture of mirin (Japanese rice wine), tamari, and dark brown sugar, then placed in a very hot pan. I was frightened about this at first, as no I did not use any oil, and I was concerned about the sugar content, but it provided a lovely, brown crust on the salmon, which was cooked to perfection in only a matter of minutes. The glaze was finished off with a touch of rice wine vinegar, which was mixed with the leftover marinade and drizzled onto the salmon. The salmon was served with a side of lovely, fragrant jasmine rice, topped with thinly sliced scallions. I started the rice before I began the marinade (I could honestly write a separate post based completely on my newfound love for rice cookers).

This dish could easily have been served to impress company-it certainly felt luxurious for weeknight fare! Perhaps the best part of it all, beyond the irresistible, unmistakable taste of sweetly glazed salmon, was the time factor. It is literally a 20 minute meal. Certainly one of my very best, non-Rachael dinners.

I shall now get back to my menu planning, which is truly a large part of my weekend relaxation. Yes, I spend hours poring over cookbooks and issues of magazines determining the best possible combination of dinners for a two week period, trying to balance out pasta and fish, beef and chicken, figuring out which meals are better for springtime or possible soups for a potential cold front…one might think I would make a wonderful entertainer with detailed plans such as this! We shall see 🙂

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