Sunday, June 29, 2008

Salmon with Saffron Rice

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, I won the husband lottery. Mine (called H) loves to cook and he is a natural in the kitchen. Before I went gluten-free, he actually cooked dinner for our family more than I did... much to our delight!

The restrictions on gluten-free eating pose a real challenge to my husband's extensive culinary repertoire, and since H is passionate about wheat flour, I've done a lot of my own cooking since last December.

Still, being a great and loving guy, he tries to cook gluten-free for me whenever he can. Tonight one of our children was feverish and I needed to tend to him, so the very good man of our house made this exceptional dinner (recipe below). H asked me to call his homemade recipe "Simple Salmon", but I think he's way too modest. It was sensational!

Sensational Salmon with Saffron Rice

What you need:


1 pkg Whole Catch Frozen "Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Fillets" (12 oz)
2 tbsp olive oil
butter (approx 1.5 tbsp)
fresh ground pepper from mill (to taste)

Saffron Rice:

2 cups long grain white rice
1-2 pinches of saffron
1 tbsp butter
4 tsp chicken bouillion
3 cloves garlic
1 small onion

How it works:

H recommends that you use either fresh salmon or the Whole Catch brand of frozen salmon fillets available at Whole Foods markets. If you are using frozen fillets (as we do, thanks to the high cost of fresh wild salmon) you should plan to defrost it in warm water for approximately 10 minutes or so while you begin your preparations for the rice.

Once your salmon fillets are defrosted, remove them from the packaging and take off the skin. Next, coat both sides of the fish completely with fresh ground pepper from a mill. Set fish aside.

Place a (preferably cast iron) 10 inch skillet on the stovetop. Heat approximately 1 tbsp olive oil and 1.5 tbsp butter at medium heat until pan is hot but not smoking. Place fish in pan, sear it on both sides (approximately 1 minute each side) and then turn the heat down to low and allow it to cook 6-10 minutes. You will know it is done when the flesh changes color and becomes slightly blackened on the outside.


Dice one small onion and three cloves of garlic into very fine consistency. Heat a 3-quart pot (cast iron or stainless steel) at medium temperature, with about 1 - 2 tbsp of olive oil. Sautee them well until onions change color (but do not allow to carmelize). Add 2 cups of long grain white rice into the olive oil/onion/garlic mixture and brown it for 1 - 2 minutes. Next, pour in 4 cups of water and add 4 tsp of chicken bouillion (cubes or paste). Add 1 tbsp of butter and 1 - 2 pinches of saffron. Bring all ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat to low (or medium low, depending on your stove) and allow to simmer covered for 20 minutes. You will know the rice is done when all liquid has evaporated and it has a light, fluffy consistency.

This spice is so delicious, it's no wonder Saffron retails from $500 to $5000 USD per pound!

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