Thursday 6 September 2007

Bucking the trend

Several nights ago, I decided to buck the trend of serving a simple midweek dinner and surprise M with something more special since he's been working so hard lately. Since M is a big fan of fish, I thought I'd make him some salmon. Given that time is still a constraint on weeknights, I found this recipe which features a Parmesan crusted salmon that is not difficult to make but which is paired with multiple elements that help make for a restaurant-style presentation. In fact, all the elements of this dish - basil pesto, mashed potatoes, sauteed asparagus and Parmesan crisps - can be whipped up in a jiffy.

I have to say it was really fun decorating each plate. What really completed the look though, was definitely the Parmesan crisps. Although incredibly simple to make, that crisp, delicate wafer standing proudly in each plate transformed an ordinary home-cooked meal into something a little more special.

When I served M the dish that night, he was surprised alright. Mission accomplished :)

Parmesan Crusted Salmon
From this site

2 salmon fillets, skinless
1/4 cup Parmesan, finely grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Basil pesto
Parmesan crisps
Sauteed asparagus
Mashed potatoes

Lightly season the salmon with salt and pepper. Generously coat one side of the salmon with the finely grated Parmesan. In a non-stick saute pan, add approximately 3 tablespoons vegetable oil and place over high heat. When the oil is hot, carefully place the salmon in the pan cheese side down. Turn temperature down to medium heat and allow the salmon to cook about 4 minutes before flipping over. The idea is to form a nice, crispy, lightly brown crust. Turn salmon and allow to cook another 3 or 4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside in a warm place until plating.

To plate, place a small mound of mash potatoes in the center of the plate. Place the asparagus on top of the mashed potatoes at an angle. Then put the salmon nicely on the plate, overlapping the asparagus. Drizzle the plate with the basil pesto and garnish the plate with the Parmesan crisp by securing it in the bed of mashed potatoes.

Serves 2


Deborah said...

It looks like a beautiful meal!!

Elle said...

That is a beautifully plated and delicious sounding meal. Lucky hubby!

Caroline said...

Thanks Deborah and Elle! I'm still very much a novice at this but this blog is definitely challenging me to push my limits in cooking, baking and presentation.