Flashback Friday – Miso Hungry

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 12/29/08 at Exit 51.

Miso Hungry

Many years ago I used to subscribe to Cooking Light.  I wanted to cook light, really. Each month I would sit down and tag pages to remind myself to try this or that.  Sometimes I would follow through.  More often than not, the recipes went untried.  There were just too many to sort through and I ultimately began to drown in a sea of Cooking Light.  So I canceled my subscription.  But I held on to those magazines for ages with the hope that one day I would make good on my intentions.

Good intentions will only get you so far, and ultimately you need to cut your losses and move on.  It was in this manner that I broke up with Miso Glazed Salmon.  I think, no I know, that I made this dish and liked it.  But for reasons that I can’t recall, I never moved the recipe from the test pile to the keep pile.  And when the day came to cull the towering stack of pending recipes, Miso Salmon got the boot.

But memory is a fickle thing.  So after a trip to the store that resulted in 2 pounds of salmon and a tub of miso paste coming home with me, I went to dig out that recipe.  It was nowhere to be found.  How could I have let the Mister Right of recipes get away from me?  Clearly, I must not have been thinking rationally.  Why else would I have parted ways with one of the easiest, tastiest, guaranteed not to fail recipes I’ve ever had?

Fortunately, Miso Salmon did not hold a grudge because after one quick Google search, we were reunited.  Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but I’m not going to let this one get away again.  Try it yourself and you’ll see why.

Miso Glazed Salmon

Cooking Light

Notes:  The recipe calls for this to be broiled.  My irrational fear of the broiler will not allow this.  Instead, I cook it at 425 degrees.  Two pounds of salmon needed about twenty minutes in the oven.  Also, I think 2 tablespoons of soy sauce is too much.  So I mix everything else together and then add the soy sauce to taste.  I probably use more like 2 teaspoons, but you add as much as you like.  To make this a truly South Beach Friendly recipe, substitute Splenda Brown Sugar blend for the brown sugar.

  • 1/4  cup  packed brown sugar
  • up to 2  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2  tablespoons  hot water
  • 2  tablespoons  miso (soybean paste)
  • 4  (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh chives

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 4 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Arrange fish in a shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon miso mixture evenly over fish.

Broil 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, basting twice with miso mixture. Sprinkle with chives.

Flashback Friday – Battle Barefoot Contessa

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 12/8/08 at Exit 51.

Battle Barefoot Contessa

Are you tired of hearing me talk about the new Barefoot Contessa cookbook yet?  I hope not.

Before I was lucky enough to snag it from The Washington Post Food Chat, I had downloaded the recipe for Mustard Roasted Fish.  It screamed Easy Weeknight Meal that must be tried as soon as possible.  So once the Thanksgiving madness was behind me, I put it on the menu.  And you know what, my instincts were spot on.

Let me say it again, this is an Easy Weeknight Meal.  It’s the kind of dish that tastes like it took hours but really only needs about five minutes of your time.  As the Barefoot Contessa herself would say, how easy is that?

battle-barefoot-contessa1

In the time it took for the fish to cook in the oven, I had my grill pan going on the stovetop, pan roasting some asparagus.  If I had really been thinking, I would have put on a pan of water and made some quinoa.  That didn’t occur to me until the timer had gone off so the best I could do was some microwave brown rice.  Still, in less than thirty minutes, dinner was on the table.  Yes, you read that correctly.  From prep to table, a complete meal in less than thirty minutes.

Mine might not look as pretty as the picture in the cookbook, but if the empty plates were any indication, Battle Barefoot Contessa was a success.

Mustard Roasted Fish

From Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics

  • 4 skin-on mild white-fleshed fish fillets, such as black rockfish or Alaskan red snapper (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • Kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon for the sauce
  • 2 to 3 medium shallots
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons capers
  • 8 ounces creme fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, or have a baking dish ready that is large enough to hold the fish in a single layer (the fillets can overlap slightly).

Season the fillets lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Place them skin side down on the sheet (or in the dish).

Mince the shallots (to yield 2 tablespoons) and drain the capers (to taste); place both in a medium bowl, then add the creme fraiche, the water, both of the mustards, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, stirring to combine. Spoon the sauce over the fillets, making sure the fish is completely covered. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until it is just barely cooked through.

Serve hot or at room temperature, with sauce from the pan (or dish) spooned over the top.