Chef Juje

A messy adventure in learning to cook

Glazed Salmon with Cucumber Avocado Salad (…and Chef Juje is back!)

Chef Juje is back!

Phew, those were a crazy couple of months!  And now, I’m excited to announce, that Chef Juje is now Mrs. Chef Juje.

The last few months were just a whirlwind of wedding planning, traveling, wedding planning, visitors, finally wedding and eventually more traveling.  It was all so much fun but I’m secretly excited to get back to the normalcy of every day life.  Believe it or not, there is only so much champagne you can drink and hors d’oeuvres you can nibble before you start craving a home cooked meal.  That threshold is quite high, mind you, but it exists and I’m excited to be back.

Today I present our first meal as an official family of two.   I found this recipe in the Food Network Magazine that was waiting for me post-honeymoon.  I normally gravitate toward the fancy “weekend night” recipes because I like to make things as complicated as possible (you know this already), but this fell into the everyday cooking category and it’s just as delicious.

Glazed Salmon with Cucumber-Avocado Salad

Ingredients

2 8-oz salmon filets (I used skin-on to save some cash)
1 Tbsp honey
2 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp olive oil (original recipe called for sesame oil; I did not have and was unwilling to buy. Nothing seemed to be lost)
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 cucumber cut into chunks
3 scallions sliced
1 avocado, chopped
pickled ginger in a jar (delicious addition if you have it; not a deal-breaker)

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cut your avocado, scallions and cucumbers if you haven’t already. This makes life much easier for everyone.
  • Mix honey, 2 teaspoons soy sauce and corn starch in microwave bowl. Microwave for 10-20 seconds until hot (note: I originally did as recipe said and cooked for 40 seconds. No. You want sauce, not honey crust.)
  • Rub fillets with with a dab of oil and salt. If you use skinless, rub both sides. Place in clear baking dish and bake five minutes. I put nonstick spray on the bottom of my glass dish because my filets had skin and were not oiled on the other side. I have no idea if this was necessary.
  • After 5 minutes, remove fish and brush with the honey mixture. Return to oven and bake 7 to 9 minutes or until layers flake easily. It’s most delicious when center is slightly translucent.
  • While fish is cooking, make the salad.  Whisk rice vinegar, mayo and 1/2 tsp soy sauce and oil in large bowl.  I whisked the heck out of it to make sure that the mayo was fully integrated into the oil mixture.  At first it looked like there were tiny blobs of mayo and I don’t think that’s what you want.
  • Add cucumber, scallions, salt and toss.
  • Gently add avocado.  I added mine piece by piece to avoid the salad becoming a guacamole.
  • Serve salmon with the avocado and cucumber salad and pickled ginger (again, not deal-breaker)

Chef Juje Thoughts

It’s been so long since I’ve blogged that I have a lot to say!

First, I purchased the cucumbers and scallions at Worthington Farmer’s Market.  Maybe it’s effort justification on my part, but foods from farmer’s markets just taste so much better and are so much more fun.  It makes me feel like I’m one of those people who really savors life, you know?

Second, I recently realized I have spent many years spelling avocado as advocado.  Ha.  I have to remind myself that the avocado is not advocating anything.

Finally, cucumber, fish and avocado work really well together. This makes sense given what’s in a lot of sushi but it’s nice to figure this out first hand.

Source: Food Network Magazine, July/Aug 2012

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