Saturday, September 14, 2013

it's just room service

Remember me? I used to cook and talk about it.

If you're looking for more posts from me in the next long while, I'm going to need to switch the topic of this blog to a review of room service menus. That seems to be all I'm eating these days. I'm not complaining (well, I am a little - you'd be surprised how often great hotels have painfully mediocre room service), but there's just not time to do anything more than wait for that mediocre food to get to your room and spend the next 30 minutes trying not to spill (too much) on your laptop.

But today was a lovely exception. Three weeks since I posted/cooked last, I got an amazing meal in the same 30 minutes room service takes to get to you.

The walnut filling in this salmon is such a winner. It's very chimichurri-like - heady herbs, a little spice, a little acidity, a lot of flavor - but the walnuts make everything just a little richer. It would be great with steak, swirled into pasta, and maybe even in one of my favorite avocado/guacamole dishes.

Walnut- and Herb-Stuffed Salmon
slightly adapted from Epicurious
serves 2

two 1/2-lb. salmon fillets
1/4 c. raw walnuts
2 cloves garlic
0.75 oz. fresh cilantro
1 T. lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 jalapeño, seeded
1/2 t. paprika
1/2 t. cumin
3 T. coconut oil, divided
1/2 t. cinnamon
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Place the walnuts, garlic, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice and zest, jalapeño, paprika, cumin and coconut oil in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple of times until all the ingredients are chopped. Don't over-process - keep a slightly coarse texture.

3. Lightly oil a baking dish just small enough to fit one of the fillets. Sprinkle 1/4 t. cinnamon on the fillet, then evenly distribute the walnut filling over top. Cover with the other fillet skin side up, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 t. cinnamon. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake for about 20–25 minutes until done.