If you can read you can cook. That’s my philosophy.
People think I’m a good cook and I think two things – it’s always “two things” with me. One is, it’s relative, really. If all you ever eat is polish sausage and sauerkraut or tuna casserole – manna for my family when I was growing up, oh, and Chef Boyardee Spaghetti and fish sticks or “Bean Medley” (ohmygosh) – and then sit down to my grilled salmon, dirty red roasted garlic potatoes with sauteed leeks and brussel spouts, you might think I’m a good cook.
But the other thing is, I don’t think I’m as much a cook as I am a reader, or direction follower. I went to a Catholic grade school. I know how to follow directions for cry-eye.
Then it’s about what I have a taste for … hmmm, salmon, oh and there are those two mangoes I bought at Whole Foods on Tuesday, plus – what did I see? – a can of black beans, and there’s corn. Thank goodness for the Internet. Go to Google, type in mango black bean corn salsa for salmon and what do you get? Jamaica Jerk Salmon and Mango Pineapple Salsa. The recipe didn’t call for corn but thought I’d add it anyway. Hmmm, someone must have eaten it for lunch. No problem.
The best looking recipe popped up on Epicurious. Credits to Marge Perry in the April 2011 edition of Self.
You can find it at this link Marge Perry’s recipe. I bought a large piece of wild caught salmon at Sam’s. It’s about $22 for a piece that easily serves 8.
First, I made the salsa. Mangoes are easy to cut and dice and the two I bought for a buck each at Whole Foods were perfect. There was a half pineapple at the local grocery, a can of black beans from my sister’s stores, some red o, cilantro and salt. I added lime juice and wished I’d had some jalapeno.
Jerk spices in this recipe were allspice, cumin, thyme, cayenne and cinnamon. It was easiest for me to cook the salmon in the oven. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Olive oil the foil, put the salmon in right side down to oil one side and then flip it over so there’s oil on both sides. Mix the spices in a small bowl, rub them on the fish. Set aside.
Slice and rinse four leeks. Rinse and cut the ends off about a pound of brussel sprouts then slice.
Heat the oven to 385 and when ready, pop in the salmon. Bake for 30 minutes or until done. In the meantime, saute the leeks in olive oil until the color deepens, add the sliced brussel sprouts and cook until soft. The leeks will start to brown a bit. I like this look and they taste yummy. Add a pat of butter and pepper. It’s dinner.
It’s a hit every time. People think I can cook but I just thank Sister St. Dorothy for making me read.