Maple Mustard Grilled Salmon

There are many recipes out there that call for salmon to be basted with a simple maple syrup and mustard glaze. However, I have tested my recipe below many times and have found the perfect balance of sweet and savory in this more complex taste profile for beautifully grilled fish. I hope you enjoy this in the summer on an outdoor grill or in the winter on an indoor grill pan! Either way, you will end up with a delicious meal fit for royalty! πŸ™‚

If you have a little extra time to whip up the perfect accompaniment (as pictured), serve this exact dish on top of a bed of my spiced butternut squash and nut cous cous! The tang and sweetness of the maple mustard glaze pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the butternut squash and crispy nuts and spiced cous cous – it’s a pairing that I love putting together for a fun date night at home or even a dinner party you are hosting! πŸ™‚



Ingredients

Glaze:
3/4 cup maple syrup
4 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves (or dried thyme leaves)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried dill (although fresh, chopped dill is always the best!)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salmon:
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skin on
Vegetable oil, for oiling the grill and fish
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium high (about 350Β°F to 425Β°F).

Meanwhile, place all of the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and whisk until combined. Cook over a medium-high flame, whisking for 3-4 minutes until vinegar evaporates and the consistency becomes more glaze-like.

Meanwhile, pat the salmon dry with paper towels (make sure it has been scaled and cleaned of bones). Brush both sides of the fillets with vegetable oil and season both sides generously with salt and pepper, per your taste.

Rub the grill grates with a towel dipped in oil (or, if you are using an indoor grill pan, brush vegetable oil on the pan).

Place the salmon on the grill skin-side down and cook undisturbed until grill marks appear and the skin is starting to crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, brush the glaze onto the side facing up. Then, using a fish spatula, carefully flip the fillets over and brush the skin-side that is facing up with the remaining glaze, reserving a few spoons to serve with the finished dish. Continue to cook the salmon until it is just opaque in the center, about 2 to 4 minutes more.

Transfer to a serving plate and serve immediately, passing any remaining glaze on the side and drizzling lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil around the fish. Serve on top of my Spiced Butternut Squash and Nut Cous Cous for the perfect pairing of flavors!

Machli Kabab Tikka (Fish Kebabs)

This recipe is in honor of the opening of our newest restaurant, Amber Dhara on Valencia Street in the Mission District of San Francisco TODAY! (www.amber-india.com) πŸ™‚

This recipe is not on our menu nor an ‘Amber’ recipe by any means, but I thought I would post one of my most versatile Indian-style fish kebab recipes for all of you to enjoy on this special day. πŸ™‚

This is the perfect weeknight meal that you can put for marination in the morning, and come evening, you can grill it on a grill pan, on a BBQ, or even roast it off in the oven! Or if you want to impress your friends, grill this up at your next weekend party! It’s healthy, delicious, and unbelievably easy to put together!

This is a spicy recipe, so if you want to tone down the spice factor, cut out one (or both!) of the green chilis from the marinade!

Last but not least, for my lovely vegetarians out there, try this with TOFU instead of fish, and you will have yourself a delicious tofu kebab! πŸ™‚ Use firm tofu, make shallow slits in the tofu pieces to allow the marinade to soak in, and follow the same exact directions!

Enjoy πŸ™‚

Ingredients

1 lb of firm white fish, such as cod, halibut, or sea bass, cubed (make sure the fish is de-boned and fresh!)

Marinade
1/4 cup of yogurt, plain
2 green chilis, ends cut off but whole
1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
Optional: 1 tablespoon melted butter, for basting

Directions

Make the marinade by putting all the marinade ingredients in a blender. Pulse/blend until well-incorporated into a liquid marinade.

Place the marinade in a glass bowl with the fish cubes. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 4-8 hours. [Note: make sure the plastic wrap is on tight so that the fish does not send odors into your other foods in your fridge, or use a tupperware set that has a tight closing lid!]

Thread the ingredients onto oiled skewers (metal or wood), and barbecue or grill for about 5-7 minutes until the fish is cooked through. [If you don’t mind a few extra calories, use the melted butter and brush the cubes with butter frequently to prevent the fish from sticking].

Finish by sprinkling with Kosher salt, to taste.

Serve hot with lime or lemon wedges. I highly recommend serving it with hot naan as well and a cucumber salad! πŸ™‚

Panzanella – An Italian Bread Salad

It’s been a few years since I was first introduced to this delicious, colorful, and healthy salad. I was invited to an outdoor play a little north of Berkeley, California (CalShakes, for you locals!), and they allow you to bring your own picnic dinner. My friend’s contribution was a panzanella salad and it was so good (Thanks E!)!

Flash forward a few years and here I am sitting in a phase of my life where I am pretty obsessed with tomatoes (all kinds: heirloom, cherry, beefsteak, early girl, etc.). And then I ended up with half a baguette of a few-days-old bread and didn’t know what to do with it. That was when my love for this salad was truly reborn.

The acidity of the balsamic, against the buttery quality of the olive oil, paired with the freshness of the tomatoes and basil, with a soft earthiness of the red onion, finished off with the crunch of the roasted bread can best be described in one word: heavenly. πŸ™‚

To be honest, I never asked my friend for her recipe and don’t know if my recipe is truly ‘authentic’ the ways Italians do in Italy. But my goodness, is this EASY and SCRUMPTIOUS! I made this two times already in the past one week (once for a family style dinner and once for a July 4th potluck) and it has always proven to be a beautiful vegetarian dish that is easy on the eyes and the stomach. So here we go, ladies and gentlemen – and I don’t doubt you will be surprised just HOW easy this recipe is. πŸ˜‰

Sometimes the best things are life are the simplest ones.

For you foodies who are history buffs too, here’s a bit on the history of panzanella – who know that it started out as an ONION recipe?!? πŸ™‚

A note on this recipe: try to use high-quality extra virgin olive oil & balsamic vinegar – it really makes a huge difference since olive oil can have odd bitter after tastes and balsamics can have a strong acidity that can overpower this entire dish!

Enjoy!

Yields: 6 generous servings, family style

Ingredients

For the ‘bread’ part of the recipe
4 cups of cubed baguette bread (can be sourdough, batard, anything you enjoy eating really!) – best when it is 2-3 days old
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

For the ‘dressing’
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To finish off the recipe
4 cups of ripe tomato wedges (cut each tomato into 4 pieces)
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 cups cubed mozzarella cheese (Optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, add the cubed bread, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Using your hands, mix the ingredients well so that the bread is well-coated evenly. Pour bread cubes onto a parchment paper or aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and bake on the center rack of the oven for approximately 15 minutes (or until cubes are browned). Take the sheet out halfway during this period, and using tongs, carefully toss the bread cubes once for even roasting. Once roasting is complete, cool the bread cubes.

[Note: you can grill the baguette on a hot grill or indoor grill pan and cube it after if you wish to bypass the oven step!]

Meanwhile, on a separate bowl, whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to your taste. (Remember to always taste test your marinade before adding to the serving bowl with bread!). This step can be made ahead and be stored at room temperature for 2 days.

In the bowl you will serve this dish in, add the cooled bread cubes, quartered tomatoes, cubed mozzarella, red onion, and basil. Add the marinade 20 minutes before you want to serve it, and toss to combine.

Serve immediately and Enjoy! (Although, I have enjoyed this recipe 24 hours after making it, and thoroughly enjoyed the juicy bread cubes that had soaked up all the wonderful flavors overnight!). So don’t throw away your leftovers thinking they will be awful and soggy! πŸ™‚

Nobu’s Miso Black Cod

This is probably my all-time favorite preparation of fish. And many of you know how MUCH I love my baked/grilled fish, so this really means a lot!!! This recipe is definitely not my own, BUT it is one of those rare recipes that actually tastes EXACTLY like the dish I had in the restaurant.

The love affair between me and Miso Black Cod started many years ago (circa 2006) in Manhattan at the infamous Nobu restaurant. I ordered it as a fluke, and from that moment onward decided that any time I hit the Big Apple, I simply HAD to go to Nobu and order the miso cod! It was love at first bite.

Famous chef Nobu Matsuhisa has so generously shared his secret recipe online with Food & Wine, and who would have KNOWN that it was SO SO simple (yet so luscious and tasty!?) πŸ™‚ I believe this recipe can also be found in his cookbook (I already ordered mine and it’s on it’s way! :)).

If you follow the recipe to the T, you are guaranteed to have a party in your mouth of amazing miso flavors with the most tender, delicious black cod fish you will ever have. (Yes, I am a bit biased, but I mean it!!).

Enjoy one of my favorite recipes of ALL TIME. πŸ™‚ Woohoo! And Happy Friday πŸ™‚


Yields: 2 servings (Note: I doubled this recipe when I made it for my family – just double all the ingredients!)

Ingredients

3 tablespoons mirin
3 tablespoons sake (I used good quality sake that I enjoy and get from Whole Foods, however you can also use ‘cooking sake’ that is available at your local Asian store – either way is fine!)
1/2 cup white miso paste (available fresh in the refrigerated section of most Asian and Japanese markets – make sure you get WHITE miso paste, not red! It will change the taste profile completely otherwise!)
1/3 cup sugar
2 (two) 6 or 7-ounce skinless black cod fillets, about 1 1/2 inches thick (you can substitute with other firm white fish varieties!)
Vegetable oil, for grilling

Optional Garnish: Chopped green onions, pickled ginger

Directions

In a small saucepan, bring the mirin and sake to a boil. Whisk in the miso paste until dissolved completely. Lower the heat to moderate heat, and add in the sugar until incorporated. (Feel free to taste the marinade at this point and decide whether you prefer more sugar, more miso, etc. Although, if you measure the ingredients per the above, it should be a stellar outcome!)

Transfer the marinade to a glass baking dish and let cool (you don’t want to put fresh fish in a HOT marinade – it will cook on the spot!)

Reserve about 1/2 cup of the marinade to serve with the final product. Add the fish into the remaining marinade and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 24-48 hours in an airtight container (trust me, you don’t want the fish smell to seep into your other food goodies in the fridge!).

Note: If you don’t have that much time, even a few hours will do wonders, although for the true depth of flavor, go the whole way and do the 1-2 day marination!

After your fish is done marinating…

Preheat the oven to 400Β°.

Meanwhile, heat a grill pan and oil it with the vegetable oil using a brush. Carefully scrape the marinade off the fish using a butter knife. Make sure the grill pan is very hot before adding the fish. Grill over high heat until browned/blackened a bit, about 2 minutes each side.

Move the fish onto a parchment-paper lined baking sheet and roast for 8-10 minutes in your pre-heated oven on the middle rack, until flaky.

Transfer to plates and serve hot with reserved marinade! Enjoy! πŸ™‚

Note: The marinade can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Grilled Shrimp Skewers

BBQ is season is here! And there is some beautiful shrimp hitting the grocery markets right now. Hope you all get to enjoy this tasty, simple grilled shrimp recipe with your friends and family!

Note: You can make this versatile dry spice rub ahead of time (without the olive oil, of course!) and keep it ready for whenever you want to BBQ anything – can be used on steak, chicken, and even pork and lamb!



Ingredients

1/4 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon garlic pepper powder
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon chopped onion powder (optional)

2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
Cooking spray
1/2 wedge lime

Directions

Prepare grill (or grill pan on stove) to medium-high heat.

Combine first 7 ingredients and extra-virgin olive oil in a large bowl. Add shrimp into the bowl; toss well to coat evenly.

Thread shrimp evenly onto 8 (8-12-inch long) skewers (TIP: soak these in water for a few minutes before threading the shrimp so that they do not burn/char on the grill).

Place skewers on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 6 minutes or until done, turning once.

Priyanka’s Signature Chimichurri-Marinated Grilled Steak

Disclaimer: I have tagged this as ‘vegetarian’ because the chimichurri (the star of this dish) is in fact vegetarian and can be used on vegetables to make a delicious dish!

We are currently vacationing in Sonoma for the weekend and decided to light up the grill at the home we’re staying at for dinner last night. This recipe came together impromptu, and just comes to show how easy this is to put together on the fly as long as you have some of the crucial ingredients! We were originally going to just salt and pepper the steaks and grill them, but this chimichurri transformed our evening into a truly gourmet one! πŸ™‚ We paired it with a beautiful bottle of Nebbiolo (red) wine that we picked up earlier in the day while visiting Siduri Wines, one of my favorite wineries in the area, and it was a hit!

Chimichurri is a critical part of Argentinian cuisine, especially when we’re talking about grilled steak and meats! You can come across various versions of chimichurri at your local farmers markets, and the reason they are so incredibly popular is because of its versatility. This chimichurri does not need to be used on steak – it is fabulous with chicken, fish, and even lamb! Chimichurri is delicious as a marinade like in this recipe, but can also be wonderful drizzled over fresh vegetables (oven roasted or even raw!).

There is really no right or wrong way to do a chimichurri. You can omit cilantro if you don’t like it and make a parsley-only chimichurri or vice-versa. You can come up with your own proportions, omit certain ingredients I used, or even add fresh tomatoes to the blender for a twist! Feel free to use my signature chimichurri as a base to finding your own lovely signature chimichurri, or feel free to start with mine to find your groove with this amazing sauce. In my personal opinion, I think the garlic is so delicious with meat, and I always add lemon juice because it tenderizes the meat wonderfully.

The herbaciousness of this chimichurri is just SO out of this world that I know you will all enjoy my signature chimichurri recipe. And apologies in advance for this picture of the steak – I couldn’t grab it fast enough for a picture, and before I knew it, a few bites were already taken πŸ˜‰ THAT TASTY!!!!

Ingredients

Chimichurri
1 cup fresh parsley firmly packed, stems removed
1 cup fresh cilantro firmly packed, stems removed
5-6 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons chopped onion (or 1/4 onion) – can be red, white, or yellow
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1.5 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
Red pepper flakes to taste

3-4 steaks, approximately 8 ounces each, whichever cut you like

Directions

Put all ingredients for chimichurri in a blender or food processor until well-incorporated.

Transfer the mixture to a separate bowl and taste. Adjust salt and red pepper flake seasoning to your taste (note: since this recipe does not call for salting the steak, this chimichurri should be on the saltier side as steaks should be well salted!)

**This chimichurri can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days**

Reserve some of the chimichurri in a bowl for when you serve the steaks. Pour the rest onto the steaks and marinate for 10-15 minutes while you heat up your grill (either grill pan on the stove or bbq outside!)

Grill the steaks on each side until it is cooked the way you like it – I always prefer it medium rare!

Serve and garnish with the reserved chimichurri.

Variations: Use this chimichurri on vegetables, chicken or fish! If you have some steak leftover, slice it and add it to a salad for a wonderful weekday lunch!

Wine Pairing: Drink a big bold red wine with this dish!