Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lunch Week 25: Roasted Salmon with Creamed Kale

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it, unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided. So my lunch for the week: Roasted Salmon with Creamed Kale I'm trying to be a little healthier this week. So I thought fish was a good choice. But I need some vegetables to complement the fish too. I had an overabundance of kale from my CSA share. I wanted to use it before it dried out or became rotten. I didn't feel like having it sauteed again. I wanted something different. Creamed spinach came to mind. So instead of spinach, I used kale. I started with some salmon fillets. I seasoned them simply with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Next, I placed lemon slices on top. This adds a nice depth of flavor and helps get rid of any fishiness. A lot of times I like to cook with lemon instead of squeezing it on top at the end. It does the job without adding a (too) strong lemon flavor. I put it in the oven for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. I've noticed at for my convection oven that it automatically sets the temperature at 350 degrees and just circulates the air. The salmon came out just perfectly cooked and flaky. They fillets remained juicy. I'm glad. This has been my first successful roasting meal with the new oven. Next the kale. I had three different types: Curly, Red Russian, and Dinosaur. I washed and chopped them into small pieces for easy cooking. Saute in a little oil, salt, and pepper. Kale has a lot of water so it shrinks about 50% when cooked. Always account for more kale when buying bunches. Afterward, I place them in the food processor to chop them up finely. Be careful when using the food processor with hot food or liquids. The heat produces steam and the top can fly off and hurt you. And food can fly out and burn you. Always put less hot food in a processor than you would cold food. Next, I warmed up some heavy cream. Do not boil or it may curdle. A stick of butter gets melted. Yeah that seems like a lot but I'm aiming for more than 10 servings! Add equal parts flour to the mix and create a roux (a thickening agent used for cream sauces and soups). Continuously stir the rue until the raw flour taste is gone (about 5-10 minutes). Add your cream and it will thicken quickly. Let it return to a simmer so that it has reached it's thickest point. Add thickened cream mixture to the chopped kale. Mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to your like. And there you go. Creamed kale on the bottom and a piece of roasted salmon on top. The salmon is simple. The taste of the fish stands out. I wanted it that way so I didn't season it with other flavors besides salt and pepper. The creamed kale is really rich. But it has a sweet flavor from the cream, a nutty flavor from the rue, and a bitter flavor from the kale itself. But somehow, it works. Those flavors work really well with the savory taste of the fish. Upper Meadows Farm 12 Pollara Lane Montague, NJ 07827 (973) 293-8171 uppermeadowsfarm.com

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.