24 August, 2012

Baked Salmon with Roast Vegetables

If there's one form of protein all of us like unequivocally, it is fish.  To be more specific - salmon :-).  Here's what we had for dinner last week (last Friday, to be specific).  The salmon was served on a bed of white rice with a citrus balsamic reduction.

Here's the recipe :

Baked Salmon
4 Salmon steaks 
1 lemon cut into thin slices
2 pods garlic - chopped as finely as possible
Mixed herbs - thyme, rosemary and oregano
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Olive Oil or Butter (about a tablespoon per salmon steak)

Mix the herbs, oil/butter, garlic in a bowl and let rest for about half an hour.

Wash the salmon steaks and pat them dry with paper towels.  Line the baking dish with foil.  Coat the foil with olive oil / melted butter.  Line the bottom of the pan with two rows of lemon slices.  Place the salmon steaks on the slices of lemon.

Drizzle the herb/oil/garlic mixture onto the salmon steaks and spread well until the top of the steak is coated with the mixture.  A dash of salt or sea salt and freshly ground pepper goes on next.  

Line the top of the steaks with the rest of the lemon slices.  Cover the baking dish with foil.

In a preheated oven (200 degrees celsius), bake the salmon steaks for about 20 minutes.

Once done, let the baking dish rest for a couple of minutes before taking off the top foil.

Roast Vegetables
You could use whichever veggie you like - potatoes, carrots, turnips, radish, yam, broccoli, sweetpeas.

I'd used carrots, baby potatoes and broccoli.

Boil the baby potatoes and carrots until just tender.  Do not overcook.  Once the potatoes and carrots are taken out of the boiling water, use the same pot of water to quickly blanch the broccoli.  Just takes a couple of minutes.  Drain the broccoli and dunk it in cold water to retain the green colour.

Line the baking dish with foil.  Coat the foil with olive oil.  Line the veggies on the baking dish. Drizzle some more olive oil on the top and top that off with a dash of salt and dried herbs.  

Bake in a preheated oven (180 degrees celsius) for 30 minutes and then for a further 10 minutes at 200 degrees celsius.

Voila !!

Citrus Balsamic Reduction 
Juice of 1 big orange
2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 3 tbsps of water

Combine the orange juice and the balsamic vinegar and cook until it reduces to about 3/4 th of the original quantity.  Turn off the heat, add the cornstarch mixture and keep stirring until the mixture thickens to the required consistency.

To serve / plating
On a bed of white rice (Long Thai or Jasmine rice works best for this recipe), drizzle the citrus balsamic reduction.
Place the salmon steak on top of the rice and serve roasted veggies on the side.

Bon Appetit !!! :-)

22 August, 2012

Say What ?? - A pre-teen way of life !!!

(Image Courtesy : danceswithfat.wordpress.com via Google)

Holy Kamoly !!!  Trust me when I say this is not, by any means (however farfetched that may be) a modern day version of the age old guacamole. 

Ever listened to a pre-teen speak, these days ??  If your answer to that question is NO, then you should go plonk yourself in front of one and just listen to them speak.  In about five minutes time (give or take about 3 minutes), that will leave you totally convinced that NASA has successfully managed to not just find life on Mars but that they’ve actually transported a few of those Martians onto this planet that we call Earth. 

When you hear words like BF and GF in conversations, they stand for something very simple – Boyfriends and Girlfriends.  The other day, Macadamia said to me “Oh ! They’re BIFFLS.”  “Biffls ???!!!”  “What in the name of the Good Lord are Biffls ?” was the first conscious thought that crossed my rather debilitated mind.  Debilitated because that’s more or less the effect a “normal” conversation with Macadamia has on me, of late.  It kind of leaves me not just speechless but rather incapacitated, shall we say ?  Robs me of the ability to think straight or rather, if it is one of those long drawn conversations, it simply robs me of the ability to think altogether.  I’m basically too busy trying to keep pace with the slangs that form such an integral part of her speech these days.  Forget figuring them out !  The slangs, I mean !!  That’s like, way out of my reach.  See the effect teen language is having on me – I actually used the word “like” even though like it was really like not needed in the sentence.  Ah Ha !!  Now you’re catching on !!  Going back to Biffls – what are biffls ??  Let’s see how many of you, who are, in all probability laughing at me (because of the sorry figure that I’m cutting right now), figure that one out ??!!

Yesterday, it so happened that I was checking my gmails on the desktop computer in the bedroom and Macadamia was sitting in the living room with her nose stuck and eyes glued to her laptop.  OK – nothing new as far as the second half of that sentence goes.  Quite a normal scene, that !  Suddenly, a little box pops up seemingly out of nowhere on my gmail screen.  Guess what ??  It’s Macadamia saying “ Heyloo – whatcha doin ?”.  Correct me if I’m wrong here  - but were we not in the same house, under the same roof ??  Sitting in the same house, having a conversation on Google Chat was a rather surreal experience for me.  “OMG” she goes.  I waited.  Simply waited for the bomb to drop.  I gathered all my residual wits around me, for I knew I would need them for the translation business, if at all any translation was going to be possible.  What I needed to do was to transliterate – not translate !!

“Holy Cranberries !!!!!” appeared on the screen next.  “Cranberries ?” I wondered, in a stupor of sorts.  “Does she really mean the cranberry cranberries or is this an abbreviation or slang for something else ?” asked a portion of my brain that still happens to be sane.  “Holy Cranberries” she typed “something’s seriously flipped”.  OK – now we were “talking” about someone and I’m not about to mention who – simply because it’s really not important.  Looking back at what happened though, it was really funny – me sitting in the bedroom, Macadamia and Pecan  in the living room and us communicating through (of all the things) Google Chat !!  Plus, given the fact that Macadamia was throwing language at me that I could hardly make any sense of.  Later on, I was given to understand that Holy Cow is really old fashioned, Holy Moly has been used a lot of times and hence is really boring. Holy Cow evoked a “God, that’s like, so Jurassic”. 

If I don’t understand something that the other person has just said, I’d probably say “I didn’t get that” or “Could you please say that again” or some such old-fashioned (apparently !!) thing.  Macadamia simply goes “Say What ??”.  Yet again, the charisma of the whole thing lies in the way it is said.  Those are two simple words – say / what.  Put that together with a mouth that is stretched wide towards the sides, eyes crinkled as though there is sunshine pouring through the windows directly on her eyes and a long drawl to the question “Saaay Whaaat ?”.  Also the fact that the “t” is never pronounced.  What you hear is something like “Saaaay Waaaaa ?”  Enough said, eh ?!

I’ve (for as long as I can consciously remember) hated the SMS lingo.  I can’t bring myself to call it a language, though, judging by popularity, the SMS lingo is more of a language now than is English !!  Now I’ve to deal with all these weird acronyms and what have you.  Tell you what – I’m going to wait till I see Macadamia typing in “TTYL.  MOS or DOS or BOS”  and then I’ll go “Gotcha !!! I happen to know what that means.”  Just you wait !!

“Say Waaaa ??.  You don’t know what those string of letters mean ?  I mean, like, seriously ??!!”  Well then, you’ve just lived one sentence of my daily life J.  Confused ??  Cool !!  It was meant to be confusing ;-) !!

Did I just hear you say “Saaaayyy Waaaaaa ?”