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Friday night dinner guests

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We have a couple coming for dinner Friday night -- tomorrow, and we both work. I was thinking salmon, salad, sauteed greens and brown rice. Kinda boring, but we need quick and easy. I can shop tonight and maybe do some prep. Any ideas how to jazz up this menu? Is there a sauce I can make for the salmon. A more interesting, yet easy (not flour-based) starch? Something different altogether? No pasta. Thanks

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  1. my favorite quick salmon is this

    basil butter: 1 stick butter
    4-6 garlic cloves(minced) or to taste
    7 leaves fresh basil, chopped
    salt and pepper to taste

    -skin salmon and cut into portions
    -blanch romaine leaves in salted water until wilted
    -place salmon portion in middle of romaine, place dollop of basil butter on salmon and wrap with the romaine
    -finish the portions and place in a baking dish
    -pour white wine into baking dish until about half way up the salmon portions
    -bake at 400 for about 20 minutes

    you can make the basil butter and wilt the romaine the night before, make sure to wrap the romaine in a damp paper towel so they don't dry out

    good luck

    1. You could do cous cous instead of brown rice, super fast and easy. Or a potato salad, I make mind with a lemon / olive oil dressing, no mayo. that would be good with the salmon. Either dish could be made the night before.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ddelicious

        I like couscous too, but new favorite is quinoa (very healthy too) you can jazz it up like a pilaf (it's fast too). I'm into stacking food, you could present it easy and pretty by making a tower of couscous or quinoa (if you don't have a tube mold, you can use a small bowl too). Here's a few pics:
        http://twomcatering.com/images/APP/se...
        http://www.hangrypants.com/wp-content...
        http://www.penandfork.com/images/Quin...

      2. This can be a really nice menu! And super quick, so it's perfect for a weeknight. I would wash the greens ahead, but if possible I'd pick up the salmon the day of so it's as fresh as possible.

        This is my absolute favorite salmon recipe: broiled with two sauces. The Soy-honey sauce is sweet and savory, and the wasabi gives it just a touch of spice. You can add a little hoisin to your cooked greens to make them a bit jazzier, and saute a few shitake mushrooms to add?

        The recipe is here: http://www.pithyandcleaver.com/?p=164

        1 Reply
        1. re: maggiej

          I usually add some rice vinegar, soy and sesame oil to make the grens "asiany" -- I like the idea of adding shitakes. Thanks

        2. after perusing the ch recipe board, I'm thinking corn and black bean salad as the starch...

          1. i like a citrus aioli or a wasabi dressing on salmon. lately i've been big on combining barley or coarse bulgur with fine diced veggies, like carrots, scallions, minced fresh herbs (love mint and parsley combo), chopped almonds, maybe some olives. toss with olive oil and maybe some feta. this could replace your salad and your rice.

            instead of sauteed greens, maybe roasted asparagus. if you do the wasabi, do steamed edamame.

            1. Your menu sounds good. My suggestions would be only to make it a brown/wild rice pilaf and to serve a sauce on the side that would blend with all of the items. A Sauce Gribiche would add some interesting flavors and can be made in advance.

              4 egg yolks
              1/4t dry mustard
              1/2t salt
              1t lemon juice
              1C vegetable oil/neutral
              1T chopped cornichons
              1T chopped cpaers
              1T fines herbs (chervi/parsely, thyme, tarragon)
              S&P

              Beat the yolks, mustard, and lemon juice until blended. SLOWLY add the oil until about 1/3 have been incorporated then you can add the remaining oil in a slow, steady stream. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, season, and chill.