Salmon with avocado salsa and asparagus

I am a fussy eater. I’ve improved from my younger years but yes, even now at 31 there are some things that I will not eat because I don’t like the idea of them. Fish often falls into this category. There are some fish I will eat with abandon, Flathead for example, and as of recently Barramundi. Salmon is something I have always avoided. I’m sure I’ve had a teeny bit in the past (smoken salmon probably) and it was so fishy I had trouble not screwing up my nose on the spot.

Not anymore! After the Barramundi experiment I was inspired to try more fish that I had diligently avoided. The BF was very keen to support this and suggested salmon. Feeling confident I agreed. IMG_2371We started with two very good looking salmon fillets. All rosy and pink. Skin side down for maximum crispness.IMG_2370Flipped. IMG_2372And again. Oooh… they’re looking good. IMG_2369While all that was going on I was in charge of sides. Tomato, avocado, cucumber and red onion salsa with coriander. Blanched asparagus. I love colourful food. IMG_2368Not to toot my own horn or anything… but I am pretty good at plating up, right? I can probably thank hours of MasterChef for that. IMG_2373And the taste? Ridiculously good.

I was so pleased with myself for actually trying it, and even more excited because it was incredible. Bring on the salmon!

Salmon with avocado salsa and asparagus (this served 2)

Ingredients:
2 salmon fillets
1 medium tomato
1 avocado
1 lebanese cucumber
1/2 a red onion
a handful of chopped coriander (cilantro)
a bunch of asparagus
olive oil for cooking
salt and pepper to season
lemon (for juice and garnish)

Method:
I think this whole thing came together in about 30 minutes (eat your heart out Jamie Oliver!)
1. Get your pan nice are hot ready for your salmon fillets, add some olive oil, start skin side down, apparently this maximises the crisp factor. Let them get good and crispy then flip. Once the second side is looking golden flip again. It’s done when the inside is still looking moist and ever so slightly pink.
2. Get a pot of water boiling for your asparagus. Dose it with a good amount of salt and toss in the asparagus. Let it boil for 2 minutes then pull it out and put it directly into a bowl of ice water (choose a bowl that will fit the whole asparagus… unlike me).
3. It’s salsa time. Dice all your veggies to about the same size. I also take the seeds out of my tomato and cucumber so I don’t end up with soggy salsa. No one wants a soggy salsa. Add them all to a bowl, squeeze a good amount of lemon over and season with salt and pepper. Throw in your coriander (cilantro) and mix it all up.
4. Plate that sucker up. I started with asparagus, then salsa, then fish. There is some serious time taken with plating in our house because I get told by the BF (nearly) every night…. I eat with my eyes first. It’s gotta look pretty.
5. Devour and be rather pleased with yourself for creating such a delicious and healthy meal.

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Thai(ish) beef salad

I love it when you throw together a meal not quite knowing how it’s going to turn out and BOOM you find yourself with something that you add to the rotation without a second thought.

This is one of those meals. It’s super easy, quick, healthy and bonkers delicious (I may have just channeled Joy the Baker).

IMG_1712

Step one: Prepare salad. This one has red and green peppers, a tomato, half an avocado, half a red onion, snow peas, red and green chilli (seeds removed because I am a chilli wuss), coriander (cilantro), mint, 1.5tsp fish sauce, the juice of one lime, and salt and pepper. I chop everything so it’s long and skinny, no particular reason, I just like the look of it.

IMG_1713Step two: Prepare beef. This was a job for the BF. Boy can cook a steak like no one’s business. Season it with a little salt and pepper then throw it on the bbq. Once cooked rest said steak. Once rested slice it up and add it to you salad.

IMG_1711Step three: Serve and eat.

Recipe wise this served 2. What you put in the salad is 100% up to you, I had carrots out on my bench too but they were neglected this time. The steak is eye fillet, but if you have a cut you prefer use that! If there is just one of you make a smaller salad and cook up just one piece of steak- and remember to half the amount of fish sauce, nothing stuffs up your salad quicker than too much fish sauce. It you’re cooking for a crowd load the bowl and bbq up.

The Banff

I should start by clarifying I am not talking about the popular Canadian skiing destination. As much as I would love to wax lyrical about the place the fact that I have never actually visited it makes that a little difficult.

What I am talking about is The Banff, a little St Kilda restaurant with a relaxed vibe and tasty food. The staff aren’t always the friendliest but it can be overlooked due to the speed at which your food arrives. And if you head there on a Tuesday (as I did with a couple of friends) you’ll get all the In House pizzas for $6 a pop.

IMG_1613This was my pizza, the mushroom ragu, it was not quite as ragu-ish as I remembered but still delicious. I could quite easily have eaten two.

IMG_1612There’s mine again along with the Italian sausage and olive that one of my companions enjoyed. I had a little taste, it was pretty darn good.

IMG_1616The bolognese pizza is up the back there, it, and like the two before it was also very tasty. Oh yes, and to create a little balance with all of our carbs and cheese, we got some salads too.

IMG_1614Pumpkin, goats cheese and red onion; pear and parmesan; apple, walnut and blue cheese. They were all demolished.

A perfectly relaxed Tuesday dinner.

The Banff
145 Fitzroy St, St Kilda
9525 3899

Mexi dinner feast

A lot of Mexican food gets cooked in our house. It’s a go to cuisine whenever we’re struggling for ideas. Burrito bowls. Fajitas. Tacos. Tonight it was quesadillas, chicken quesadillas to be precise, at least for the BF anyway.

I was intent to fill my plate with vegetables, so rather than a quesadilla I ended up with stuffed mexi-mushrooms.

IMG_1597Stuffed with red and green peppers, red onion, coriander (cilantro) and shredded cheese. Ready for the oven. While these babies were baking away the BF was grinding up a spice mix and BBQ-ing the chicken, which would be stuffed into his quesadilla and popped on top of my mushrooms.

IMG_1598Voila! Stuffed mexi-mushrooms with BBQed chicken thighs and guacamole. Considering this creation was something I thought up while writing out the grocery list, I am pretty pleased.

IMG_1601And for those after a more traditional quesadilla… check out what the BF created. Filled with salsa, mdxi-beans, chicken and cheese. Topped with sour cream, guacamole, jalapeños and taco sauce. It was a monster of a thing and every last mouth full was eaten.

Perfect Sunday night feast.