This post originally appeared on USA Today Happy Ever After Blog on May 12th. Click here to see the original post.
Raine: Hey there. Welcome back to Raine’s Roost. As always, thanks for all the tweets and e-mails and for hanging with me in the kitchen. For the newbies to my column, stop by Twitter (@Raines_Roost) if you have any questions or just want to connect. If you’ve missed any of my prior monthly posts, you can cruise through them allhere.
This month, I have a guest sous chef … Nope, it’s not Jillian. She’s in her office on a book deadline but promised to join us for dinner when we’re done. Any other guesses? No? It’s Jillian’s niece, Jenny. She asked (um, actually she begged) me to hook her up with an easy recipe that she can make for her first dinner party. Tonight’s the test run. Now, if I can just get her to understand the difference between a teaspoon and a tablespoon, we’ll be golden. That and how to cook without the assistance of a fire extinguisher … For the record, she just gave me a dirty look, which would be warranted if I wasn’t telling the God’s honest truth. But, hey, I wasn’t the one who almost blew her boyfriend’s blood pressure off the charts by dropping a full tablespoon of salt into the last meal she cooked — after she set off the fire alarm. Twice. Just sayin’. So, in an effort to save her from having to call Domino’s pizza (or the fire department) to rescue her night, I’m taking her under my wing.
To make this easy, I’m going to teach her a “one-pan” dish, kind of. This is served over greens, which are wilted in a separate pan while the salmon is cooking — but the same glaze is used on the whole meal. So, it’s not really all in one pan, but I think you get it.
All that said, I usually make this meal for four (I’m a two-portion kind of guy, and cooking for three screws with my head), but since Jenny asked how to scale it back to two in the future for just her and her boyfriend, I’ll explain how to slide this recipe from two to six servings. That should cover everyone. Cool? Cool …
Glazed salmon: Meal-in-a-pan (serves two to four)
¼ cup Dijon mustard (for six servings, increase to 3/8 cup)
¼ cup vegetable oil (for six servings, increase to 3/8 cup)
¼ cup chopped fresh dill (for six servings, increase to 3/8 cup)
3 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar (for six servings, increase to ¼ cup)
½ pound baby new potatoes, cut into quarters (I use little net bags of multicolored potatoes — which make it look nice. If you are serving four, increase to ¾ pound, for six, make it a full 1 pound.)
Two 8-ounce salmon fillets (If you make it for four people, just double the fish — nothing else. For six, follow the instructions above.)
¾ bag of spinach (You can also use collard greens. For six servings, use the full bag.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix Dijon mustard, oil, dill and brown sugar together in a small bowl (can be made two hours ahead). Cover and let stand at room temperature.
Place potatoes in a small bowl and toss with 1 Tablespoon (for four servings, use 1.5 Tablespoons; for six servings, use 2 Tablespoons) of sauce until potatoes are coated.
Arrange potatoes flat on a baking pan.
Bake 30 minutes.
Remove pan from oven; push potatoes to the sides of the pan.
Add the salmon fillets to the center of the baking pan and spread 1 teaspoon of sauce over each fillet.
Bake until salmon is cooked through, about 23 minutes.
While the salmon is cooking, place spinach in a large skillet and toss with 2 Tablespoons of the sauce.
Stir over medium-high heat until wilted — about four minutes.
Divide salmon, greens and potatoes between the plates.
Serve, and pass the remaining sauce. If you are serving six, you might not have much left over, but you don’t really need it.
Jenny and I made the dish for six.
That’s it. Notice anything odd about the photo? Yup. No greens. Turns out, Jenny picked up a bag of baby romaine instead of spinach. The perils of yakking on your cell while food shopping. Anyway, a nice alternative to the cooked spinach is a salad with goat cheese crumbles, dried cranberries and candied pecans (it’s what I could scrape together between the fridge and the pantry.) Add a little balsamic dressing, and you’re good to go. Turns out her boyfriend doesn’t really love cooked greens, so I guess she’ll do fine.
Despite the spinach snafu, she didn’t need a fire extinguisher. I guess you could say that’s progress.
Cook on, and see you next month.
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