Thursday, April 9, 2009

Craving Ellie- Salmon with Sweet and Spicy Rub and Herbed Lentils with Spinach and Tomatoes, plus Barefoot Bloggers- Chinese Chicken Salad

Today's Craving Ellie in my Belly recipe, Salmon with Sweet and Spicy Rub, was chosen by Lobster and Fishsticks. The recipe that you can print from the Food Network showed the salmon served over Herbed Lentils with Spinach and Tomatoes, also by Ellie. The combination looked so delicious, that I decided to make the lentil dish alongside the salmon.
My kids absolutely love fish. I wasn't sure if this rub was going to be a little too spicy for them since it had 1 whole Tbls of chili powder. I decided to broil 2 extra salmon fillets and leave them unseasoned, just in case. Good thing I did. They all tried it with the rub and wanted to eat the plain fillets. Except my 2- year old. She ate more salmon than anyone else at the table.
Overall, everyone really liked the salmon, especially paired with the lentils. I thought the rub was a little on the sweet side. Just a bit too sweet for me. No one else seemed to mind. To see what the other Ellies' thought, check out the Craving Ellie blogroll!

This weeks Barefoot Bloggers recipe, Chinese Chicken Salad, was chosen by McKenzie, over at Kenzie's Kitchen. It was very yummy.
Shredded chicken, blanched asparagus, and red pepper strips with a peanut dressing. Very spring-y.
I changed the dressing just a little bit. I don't use vegetable oil and I usually cut back the oil in dressing recipes, so I used canola and cut it by half. I also reduced the salt and peanut butter based on things that other Barefoot Bloggers had mentioned who made it ahead of time.
I also didn't toss the chicken and veggies with the dressing. I let everyone dress their own salad. I like less dressing than more and can't stand it when salads have more sauce than salad.
For the kids, I put a little bit of the dressing in a small bowl by their asparagus, bell peppers, and chicken, and let them dip away. It was a silverware-less night for the kiddos.
This was a really tasty salad. To see what the other Barefoot Bloggers thought, check out the Barefoot Blogroll!

Salmon with Sweet & Spicy Rub 2007 Ellie Krieger
Serves: 6 servings, serving size: 1 salmon fillet
Cooking Spray
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skin and any pin bones removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Coat your grill or a grill pan with cooking spray and preheat over medium heat. While the grill is heating, combine the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Brush each salmon fillet with 1/2 teaspoon of the oil, then rub each fillet with about 1/2 tablespoon of the spice mixture.
Grill the salmon, flesh side down, until charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the salmon and cook another 5 to 6 minutes for medium doneness. For well done fish, cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to a platter and serve immediately.
Herbed Lentils with Spinach and Tomatoes 2007 Ellie Krieger
Serves: 4 servings, serving size 3/4 cup
1 cup French lentils
2 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons diced shallots
3 cups baby spinach leaves (about 3 ounces)
1 cup halved grape tomatoes (about 1/2 pint)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place the lentils in a pot with the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes, until the lentils are tender but still retain their shape. Drain any excess water from the lentils and set them aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook until they are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, lentils, basil, parsley, and mint to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until warmed through, about 1 minute. Stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper and serve.
Chinese Chicken Salad 2001, Barefoot Contessa Parties! Serves: 12 servings
4 split chicken breasts (bone-in, skin-on)
Good olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound asparagus, ends removed, and cut in thirds diagonally
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
2 scallions (white and green parts), sliced diagonally
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted
For the dressing:
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/4 cup canola oil)
1/4 cup good apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons dark sesame oil (I used 1 Tbls)
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter (I used 3 Tbls)
2 teaspoons kosher salt (I used 1 tsp)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub with the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and shred the chicken in large bite-sized pieces.
Blanch the asparagus in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes until crisp-tender. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain. Cut the peppers in strips about the size of the asparagus pieces.

Combine the cut chicken, asparagus, and peppers in a large bowl.
Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Add the scallions and sesame seeds and season to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Up Next- 2 more Rice Puddings!


Deb in Hawaii said...

Both dishes look delicious! Like you, I cut back on the oil and salt and I also swapped out the PB and went really light on the dressing and it was great.

Marthe said...

Those lentils look amazing with the salmon, now I wish I would have tried it!

The salad is gorgeous!!

Meghan said...

Everything looks so pretty! I have some lentils I need to use up, and I've been waiting for a good recipe :)

Jessica said...

Beautiful dish! I served mine with a rice, lentil, and past blend that I heard about recently, kusherie - nice pairing.

Joanne said...

Everything looks great!

Eliana said...

Your interpretation of these recipes look awesome. Great job.

Cathy said...

Yay! I knew you'd lighten up that salad for us, Mare. Your changes look perfect, and next time I'm going to serve the dressing on the side as well. This called for A LOT of dressing. The salmon looks great as well, and wow, that lentil dish has really got my attention!

Netts Nook said...

Oh everything looks so good. Where do I begin. I also crave Ellie all the time. Looks fab.

Aggie said...

Oh look at all this delicious food!! I want to try those lentils...yum...

I am looking forward to the salmon for dinner tonight, I'm a little late this week!

chocolatechic said...

They both look fabulous.

I really like the look of the sesame seeds in the chicken salad.

Jamie said...

Everything looks delicious!!! I may try that salmon soon!

Mumsy said...

Mary Ann, I want to eat dinner at your house every single night. That looks so good! All of it.

The Blonde Duck said...

We have salmon at least once a week! I can't wait to try this rub!

Anonymous said...

both dishes look very colorful and delicious. The lentils sound yummy too.

Sara said...

Everything looks fabulous. Great pictures! I love how your kids are such good eaters, you have trained them well :)

Steph said...

That looks like an amazing meal. I can't wait to see the rice puddings. I'm so addicted to them too. If only I can get my family to get them b/c they think it's gross.

Laura Dawn said...

This looks so yummy, I should have come out to Tooele on Tuesday night so that I could have eaten some of this!!!

Audrey said...

Oh finally! Someone who likes the CCS! That is probably my favorite Barefoot Contessa recipe of all time. I love the dressing, and this reminds me that I need to stock up on the stuff that goes into it.

EmmyJMommy said...

I think keeping the dressing separate for everyone to do their own is a good idea...and using it as a "dipping" sauce is a good idea too!!! I may have to make it the next time we have chicken fingers!

Peggy said...

Hey girl - I'm running late this week with my commenting. Yours all looks delicious. I love the lentil mix you have with the salmon. I really liked the salmon and didn't think I would. I thought the BB chicken salad was better the next day really cold from the refrigerator. Hope you have a nice Easter!

Jaime and Jen DISH said...

Holy cow, these dishes look devine! I love salmon and serving it with Lentil would be fabulous.

Gonna follow you along!



Charms said...

"This what I love, Salmon with Sweet & Spicy Rub. I want it with 2 tablespoon chili powder, and it will surely hot that makes it more exciting to eat. I will cook it with my new le creuset discount and try how tasteful and grill it is.

Anonymous said...