I love simplicity, not just for its beauty, but because its the key to survival. I like to watch TV cooking shows but in the end, the food seems way too complicated for real people. Alice Waters, known for using seasonal and local food in her famed Chez Panisse restaurant, based two recent books on the “art of simple food.” It’s in the titles.
When the Beautiful Wife and I sit down to a meal that’s simple, appealing, and healthful, we feel like we’re finally starting to get it. I had promised to share a recipe for blackened salmon, so here it is.
Skip’s Blackened Salmon
It’s terrible that I call this “Skip’s” because I didn’t invent any part of it. I guess it’s just a way of saying I endorse it. I prefer “wild” salmon, but we mostly buy the farmed salmon at Costco. The package is 2 to 2-½ lbs. and I divide it into five or six portions, wrap them in freezer paper and a plastic zip-loc bag and slip them into the freezer. Our goal is to eat fish twice/week so we’ll have salmon for one meal and perhaps a shrimp or crab salad the other meal.
We’ve tried several ways of cooking salmon—boiling, baking, and frying—and frying is our current favorite. Thaw the salmon, coat it with a blackened seasoning (we use Cajun’s choice), and put it in a frying pan with a little olive oil and butter over medium heat. You want to hear a little sizzle. The exposed edge of the fillet is the sign of “doneness.” Depending on thickness, it may take 10 minutes for the first side and 6 minutes for the second side. Any man can do this.
For a salad the Beautiful Wife is using Costco’s Sweet Kale Mix, which claims “7 super foods." We like the convenience and think it a good example of minimal food processing.
The oven-roasted potato wedges are simply cut with the peel on, tossed in a little olive oil with black and red pepper and salt, and then placed in a 400 degree oven. It takes about 20 minutes for the first side and 15 min. more after turning over. You can set the table and organize the rest of the meal while the first side is roasting.
This is one of our favorite meals—it’s simple, healthful, can be prepared in 40 minutes (the potatoes take longest), and a good value—two can eat for under $6 total. Oh, the lemons come from our tree so they're free.
Please comment: Do you have a favorite meal that’s simply healthful? Please share. We ought to collect these in a book of menus complete with recipes. It could be called "Simply Healthfyl Word of Wisdom Meals." A good project for 2014.