While I generally avoid the kitchen as the week wanes, it was not so long ago that Friday nights were set aside as regular at-home dinner dates. When the boys were young, my husband and I would retreat to the kitchen after their bedtime. At-home dinner dates were a way for us to catch up, without interruption, and to enjoy meals designed for adult palates at the end of a busy work week.
Last Friday was a good time to revive the habit. The boys were away and I was yearning for a decent meal vs. the quickies thrown together all week. Long hours at work meant my husband and I had shared maybe one meal in the past week. It was a good time to catch up over an at-home dinner date.
We kept it simple: Sockeye salmon fillets with a Tom Douglas Rub With Love spice rub. Israeli couscous made with a recipe on the Trader Joe’s box. A green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette offered by a friend and reader of this blog (see her version below). Simple. Tasty. Plenty of time to reconnect with the Main Man.
Sockeye Salmon "rubbed with love" thanks to Tom Douglas
Friday Night Date Dinner:
Grilled Sockeye Salmon “rubbed with love”
Israeli Couscous with pine nuts & parsley
Green salad with Lisa’s Vinaigrette
Lisa’s Vinaigrette. “We use it on cold raw or cooked vegetables of every sort, as well as salad.”
1/2 cup olive oil (best you can find)
1/3 cup Elsa (brand) balsamic vinegar (this is the “secret” ingredient. Seattle Olive Oil “18 yr. traditional balsamic” also works, but cut the added sugar)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence, crushed
2 teaspoons granulated sugar (+/- according to taste)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon dry ground mustard
2 to 3 cloves garlic, smashed
fresh ground pepper
As a native Easterner, I love the fact that Seattle is passionate about salmon.
Watching spawning salmon in wild streams is a special weekend outing in autumn. On a hot day in summer you can see these magnificent fish leap at the Ballard locks. Native tribal lore and conservationists’ efforts keep salmon top of mind year-round in the Pacific Northwest.
I particularly love the fact we have five species to appreciate. Soon after moving to Seattle I put King, or Chinook, right at the top of my list. So I was happy to see that Mark Bittman finally got with the program, as my husband would say, and recently declared troll-caught Alaskan king salmon as the king of fish. He offers a simple recipe with few flavors to compete with the richness of the King fillet.
Mark Bittman's Salmon c/o NY Times
I’ll save Mark’s recipe “Gently Cooked Salmon with Mashed Potatoes” for another day. I perused scores of fish recipes last Friday before settling on a selection from Whole Foods recipes: Saffron-roasted salmon with tomato fennel compote. The salmon in this case was Sockeye salmon, flash frozen at sea. Sockeye is a bit drier and not as rich as King, thus my interest in the compote. Anything with fennel and leeks and capers had to be good. And it was doubly good.
- Saffron-roasted salmon with tomato fennel compote; quinoa pilaf and asparagus
In the future I might dissect this recipe and use the marinade for fish or chicken and prep the compote to accompany risotto, polenta or other fish. This time, the recipe was intact. And with toasted quinoa pilaf and steamed asparagus, the salmon made our meal worthy of a date night at home.
Fish on Friday, I like it.
Linguine with zucchini and chickpeas
… I smile. Weekends are perfect for a shift in the kitchen. I was particularly happy to see my husband take over this weekend after a rough week at work and an annoying head cold.
“Dinner’s ready” was music to my ears Saturday night. I was cranking away on a presentation while he rustled up the recipes I provided. I dismissed his “one day I might be able to cook at your level” comment. Sure, the pasta was a bit overcooked and not as good as I recalled the last time around. But I’m always delighted to be served dinner, rather than making it. One never wants to discourage a husband in the kitchen. Besides, isn’t cooking for someone an act of love? I like to see it that way.
Saturday night: Salmon with herbed yogurt; linguine with chickpeas and zucchini.
Survived the week, but no energy left for anything fancy for the weekend:
Friday – Tilapia with olives and peppers, over angel hair pasta
Saturday – Take out Thai
Salmon with lemon-cilantro vinaigrette
Baked fingerling potatos with garlic lemon sauce (instead of couscous featured in the salmon recipe)
Filed under Quick, Weekend
Mondays are always hectic around our house. Tonight’s menu was a quickie:
- Salmon burgers (frozen patties from Trident Seafoods work just great in a stovetop grill pan) with Orowheat whole wheat sandwich thins (“geez, these are flat” but they’re delish and only 100 cal.)
- Salad of baby lettuces, persian cukes, red bell pepper, a few chunks of blue cheese and lemon vinaigrette
- A few leftover brussels sprouts