Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sudden Death III: Sesame-Crusted Salmon with Ginger Glaze

(Ok, so as promised, I *did* do a jam next, but I forgot to take pictures!  So that writeup will come later...)

Salmon?  Sesame?  Ginger?  Sign me up!  I was pretty excited to try this recipe out, and was glad when it came up in the random selection.  

This recipe manages to avoid a common pet peeve I have with my (lack of) meal planning -- I pick a recipe and work so hard at it, and when it's finally done, it dawns on me that I have no side dishes!  Ack!  So, for me, any recipe which includes its own sides is automatically cast in a favourable light.  

But, can the recipe live up to expectations?  And surely all those sesame seeds will fall off while I'm cooking, right?  We shall see! 

The instructions were very straightforward, right down to counting out the number of snow peas I should include.  I couldn't find fried rice noodles, so I opted for always-yummy soba noodles instead.  I was also surprised to see balsamic vinegar play such a strong role in this otherwise-Asian dish... would it play nicely with the other ingredients?

The short answer is, yes.  The sauce was a delicious, ginger-infused reduction of soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, and packed a huge punch of flavour to the otherwise-demure sides.  In fact, I liked the taste so much, I found myself munching on the saturated, crystallized ginger chunks I'd simmered in the sauce, which were supposed to be thrown away.   

The dish was a hit with all family members.  D, who can be a bit of a salmon snob, loved that it was cooked perfectly -- for which I credit the recipe's precise cooking instructions.  I enjoyed the complex texture that the sesame crust added, and was surprised that it did, in fact, stay put on the salmon.  Our toddler happily cleaned his plate, and fought me for the last bit of crystallized ginger.  (He won.)

The Verdict: This no-guesswork recipe, which yields a tasty meal complete with its own sides, PASSES!

The Score for Healthy Winter Warmers:  This recent success breaks the tie of wins and losses, and now puts HWW at 2 successes, 1 failure.  A better showing than last time, but there's still a lot for HWW to prove.

Three recipes remain before the final verdict on Healthy Winter Warmers.  The book needs two more successes to pass the test... stay tuned to see how it does!