August 7, 2008

Diving In

Last night, feeling a little bit more like my old self, I decided to whip up something new and impressive for the hubby-to-be to make up for my couch potato status the last few days. Now don't get too excited. Remember that I am in fact a culinary wannabe, and therefore, new and impressive is probably old and standard to most. So, what did I decide to make with my new found motivation and courage? Fish. Yes, fish. Fish is freakin' hard to cook people! I mean, you are dealing with a scaly ewwey looking piece of meat, that gives you no indication of when it's done cooking ("what do you mean salmon is supposed to be pink in the center, it doesn't turn white like chicken?"), and then you go to bed with nightmares of the mercury and other kinds of toxins you might have just willingly put in your body and the bodies of your loved ones. SCARY!

These reasons are why I generally avoid having any kind of fish in this house unless it came from Yama. The sad part is that I even took a seafood cooking class once. We learned that you must blot scallops on paper towels before searing, fish must not actually smell like fish when you buy it, and that mussels need to have their little shells closed to qualify for my pot. Nowhere did we cover things like how to get the crazy fish smell out of your apartment or how to make sure you are feeding people cooked fish instead of something closer to shashimi.

By now you probably get the point that I'm a tad nervous to dive into the deep blue sea for my dinner. So, I decided to turn to none other than the Food Network's very own resident mom (because who else could make everything sunny and perfect but mom?), Robin Miller. Robin plays the role of the busy mom very well. Her show intro even shows her answering phone calls, bringing home groceries, playing with her kids, and signing cookbooks for fans. What, book signing isn't in the cards for your typical mom? Anyways, her dishes are generally pretty straight forward in nature with few bells and whistles, which is exactly what I was looking for.

This honey mustard glazed salmon sounded delicious, but what appealed to me most about it was that it is baked in the oven. No game of cooking time roulette. I just popped it in the oven for the specified length of time and presto, changeo - we have perfectly cooked fish! Sorry frying pan, the baking sheet is my new best friend. Really though, the flavor of the mustard topping was very good (not nearly as strong as in the previous mustard chicken) and was well liked all around. Even Suki liked it. Who knew that dogs were on the fish train? The only problem we ran into was that both pieces had quite a number of little bones in them. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that was more Whole Foods fault than my own, so I'm not going to let that deter me from my next seafood adventure.

Fish that tasted so good I might actually make it again...I might just be progressing!

P.S. - why did no one ever tell me couscous is God's gift to people who can't cook? I love this stuff!

Please visit the link below for the recipe:

Robin's Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon Fillets
Adapted from Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller - Robin Miller


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Ari (Baking and Books) said...

Fish is a challenge indeed, there's such a fine line between undercooked and overdone with it! I haven't made fish in a while (my husband can't stand it) but I used to love making salmon with a soy/honey glaze, right on the stove top. Yum. Now you've made me want fish. :)

Culinarywannabe said...

Thanks Ari- I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who has a little difficulty here!

Maria said...

I like fish a lot but sometime the smell can be overwhelming! That is why I prefer to grill it outside!

Aimée said...

Hilarious! Yes, fish is tricky, but it just takes practice. I'm on a cous cous kick now, too. Have you tired whole wheat? Amazing!

Culinarywannabe said...

Maria - I totally agree! You are so lucky to have the outside option. Right now I'm stuck with a Glade Candle. :)

Aimée - Whole wheat is actually what I used with this and it was amazing! Someone suggested cooking it in chicken broth instead of water and it came out delicious!

Bren Herrera said...

salmon salmon, how i do love thee!
A honey glaze is always nice!

Culinarywannabe said...

Hi Bren - Salmon is totally my go-to fish, and I loved the sweet sauce.