Saturday, April 28, 2012

Jamaican-Indian Salmon with Almond Pilaf

I have a confession to make. I'm a cookbook-aholic. Really. Let me explain.

I currently have 178 cookbooks in my collection. Now, not all of them are books (some are pdfs) but still. 178. I've even considered selling some of them to make room for more, but instead I just buy more of them or get them from friends.

One of the pdf's I have is Betty Crocker Best of Baking. It's a great reference if you want to find your typical American baked goods: chocolate chip cookies, apple crisp, breads, etc. It's also got some hidden gems of savory fare like this almond pilaf.

Normally when I hear almond pilaf, I think of a wild rice mix with almonds and cranberries scattered on top. Is this like that? Not in the slightest.

It has a warm, earthy spice mix consisting mainly of curry powder, turmeric and allspice, three flavors that normally you wouldn't think to put together, but surprisingly complement each other. I decided to also flavor a salmon fillet with the same mix and then serve it with some simple blanched broccoli. The meal as a whole was so good, I couldn't wait to eat it for lunch the next day.

Jamaican Indian Salmon with Almond Pilaf
adapted from Betty Crocker Best of Baking

Serves 4

1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups uncooked regular long grain rice
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups hot chicken broth
1/4 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/2 lb. salmon fillet
olive oil

1. Mix spices together in a small bowl.  Use half of the spice mix to coat the salmon. Let sit while you prepare the rice.
2. In a medium saucepan, cook onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Add rice, remaining spice mix, and the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat 15-20 minutes until cooked. (Additionally, this can be made in a rice cooker, but the curry powder may stain it yellow)
3. While rice is cooking, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Cook salmon skin side down for 2-3 minutes, then flip over. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, then flip and cover and let steam for the remaining 2-3 minutes until the fish flakes.
4. Serve with rice and steamed broccoli.


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