Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Indian-Spiced Roast Salmon, Mashed Winter Squash with Indian Spices

The gloom of January is upon us here in the northwestern United States. Long cold days, even longer dark and frigid nights. The shortest day of the year was 3 weeks ago, but I haven’t noticed a lengthening in daylight hours yet.

We still have the Christmas tree up, and it may stay that way for a while. I enjoy its bright colored lights in the evening, and once the ornaments are removed and packed away, I see no reason to disassemble the rest. We need something bright and sparkling, now!

And under the heading of “bright” comes last night’s dinner. Not bright as in a bright idea I had of what to prepare, but bright as in orange. Salmon and winter squash, both spiced with Indian flavors, gleamed on our plate.

The salmon recipe comes from an old Cooking Light issue. Extremely simple to prepare, you rub spices into salmon fillets, pan-brown on one side, flip, and finish cooking in the oven. I have made this entirely on the stovetop, but since I needed to turn on the oven to roast the squash for the side dish, I prepared it entirely as directed (yes, no substitutions at all! Surprised???). It is quite good, the top is crusty with spices, the inside moist and rich. Salmon is such a good fish to roast, and it’s substantial flavor stands up nicely to the spices.

Indian-Spiced Roast Salmon

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 425°

Place salmon, skin sides down, in a roasting pan or jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray. Brush evenly with juice. Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt and next 5 ingredients (salt through red pepper), and sprinkle evenly over fish.

Bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Combine yogurt and cilantro, and serve with fish.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 salmon fillet and about 3 tablespoons yogurt mixture)

CALORIES 300 (40% from fat); FAT 13.2g (sat 3.1g,mono 5.7g,poly 3.2g); IRON 0.8mg; CHOLESTEROL 88mg; CALCIUM 107mg; CARBOHYDRATE 4.3g; SODIUM 403mg; PROTEIN 38.7g; FIBER 0.3g

Cooking Light, JUNE 2004

The squash recipe comes from Food & Wine, November 2006. I harvested a lot of butternut and buttercup squash this past fall and I think that while it is stored in the basement, the squash are multiplying while I am not looking. It seems as though the more I use, the more remain! So I decided to use a buttercup squash for dinner. This, also, was very simple to prepare. The squash did not need to be peeled since it is roasted, simply splitting it in half and removing the seeds was called for. I decreased the oil in the recipe a bit and added more water (I think that buttercup is a squash which is dryer in texture than butternut). After roasting, simply scoop the flesh from the squash, add it to a pan of already-sautéed onion, garlic, and spices, and stir a bit to mash it up. This was very delicious, and I will make it again soon (perhaps to serve with chicken).

* Exported from MasterCook *

Mashed Winter Squash with Indian Spices

Recipe Adapted From Food & Wine

Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

2 pounds butternut squash

1 tablespoon canola oil -- divided

1 1/2 teaspoons black mustard seeds

1 large garlic clove -- minced

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/8 Teaspoon crushed hot pepper flakes

2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 400F. Place foil on a large baking sheet. Split squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Spray the cut side liberally with cooking spray and place, cut side down, on foil. Roast for 35-45 minutes, or until tender. Cool slightly while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

In a saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons oil. Add the mustard seeds and cook over moderately high heat, shaking the pan, until they pop (about one minute). Scrape into a small bowl.

Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil to any oil remaining in the pan and then sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat until they soften, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the coriander, turmeric, and crushed red pepper and stir for about one minute, until fragrant. Remove pan from heat.

Using a large spoon, scrape the squash flesh from the skin into the pot. Add the water and cook over medium heat, stirring to mash the squash pieces. Once the squash is heated through, season with salt and pepper as desired. Stir in the toasted mustard seeds and serve.


"Adapted from Food and Wine, November 2006"

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Per serving: 265 Calories (kcal); 7g Total Fat (1g Saturated); (22% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 53g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 19mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 3 Grain (Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

Since the oven was hot, I also warmed a couple of Trader Joe’s naan. Perfect. :)