07.23.11: tapas (Copper River salmon with mojo sauce, lemon-garlic chicken wings, and mango-pluot gazpacho)

Copper River Sockeye Salmon with Mojo Sauce

Heat waves are awesome, aren’t they? They sap your energy completely, make venturing outside after 8AM and before 8PM a dangerous proposition, and–if you’re anything like me–a big ol’ sweaty mess. I literally walked across the river from my office to go to the farmers market on Thursday at lunch (at most six-tenths of a mile) and came back drenched. And very flushed (from exertion, not from sun thankfully). The trains didn’t fare much better–Friday afternoon three (!) trains coming from New Haven got tangled up in wires because of the heat, so I had to drive myself home because they suspended service around 5:00.

At least I wasn’t one of the poor people who were trapped on those trains.

Mango-Pluot Gazpacho

So the weekend left us both a little sapped of energy. Like we had just enough to squeeze in trips to Fairway and workouts and that was it. It felt like the hardest thing in the world to decide what to make for dinner since nothing looked particularly good because my cravings ran away and hid from the heat. But Michael found a recipe in a tapas cookbook I bought at an A.C. Moore years ago (yeah, that makes no sense to me either), and then I had five books on the couch next to me, determined to figure out the rest of the menu. Finding a simple chicken wing recipe in The Book of Tapas and an even simpler mango gazpacho in Viva la Vida provided enough food to eat, but not so much to feel overly stuffed.

What was really great about this menu was how little we had to actually get for it; in fact, the mango gazpacho (originally with peach, but changed to pluot when the peaches I got were inedible, mealy messes) required the most shopping. It also took the least time to assemble: slice and dice a mango (with no skin), and then slice and dice a pluot and add to a bowl with mango nectar, a chiffonade of mint leaves, a hint of rice vinegar, and a solid cup of dry white wine.

Mango-Pluot Gazpacho

Why yes, it was as delicious as it sounds. And hopefully looks.

Lemon-Garlic Chicken Wings

The fish and chicken too a little more effort, but only moderately so–the chicken wings were a simple  combination of lemon, garlic, white wine, olive oil, and parsley. The mojo for the salmon was garlic, olive oil, cumin and pimenton de la vera, and the salmon was simply gently browned on all sides and doused in the stuff.

Lemon-Garlic Chicken Wings

For a meal in the midst of a heatwave, it worked out rather well. Even clean-up required minimal effort by yours truly.

Mango-Pluot Gazpacho

adapted from Viva la Vida

Serves 4, if you can exert portion control

  • 1 mango, sliced and diced with skin removed
  • 1 pluot, skin left on and diced well
  • 2 cups mango nectar
  • 1 cup white wine–I like a nice Spanish dry white
  • 10 mint leaves, chiffonade
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
Add in mango and mango nectar to a bowl. Add pluot, white wine, mint leaves and rice vinegar and stir to combined; chill for at least two hours before serving. Garnish with additional mint leaves.
Salmon with Mojo Sauce
adapted from Tapas
  • 1 lb fresh salmon (we used some of the Copper River Sockeye that was sent to us)
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • fresh flat leaf parsley to garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp pimenton de la vera
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 5 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP white balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
For the Mojo sauce: grind the garlic, paprika and cumin in the bowl of a food processor or stick blender. Slowly add the olive oil and then the vinegar in steady streams until sauce is thickened. Season with a little salt if needed.
For the salmon: remove the skin and any pinbones and cut fillet in half and then for 3/4-inch-thick pieces, aiming for nugget-sizes. Season fish with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom skillet, and when hot add the salmon and cook for about 10 minutes until all sides are browned. Remove to serving dish and add some Mojo sauce and serve immediately with additional sauce served on the side for dipping. Garnish with parsley.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s