How do ya like THAT title? Making up for lost time, am I? Mayyyyyyybe.....
Hello strangers! I feel like I've been gone forever! This working out thing is taking up a lot more time than I expected and other hobbies are suffering a bit. But I found some time today to share with you something I made about a month ago, maybe longer even... and would be a perfect dinner to prepare on Good Friday (if you're looking for a fish dish on that day).
This recipe is yet another one out of the spectacular Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Cookbook. I'll tell you right now, it was a couple-hour meal to prepare, but the finished product was worth it. Part of the reason it took so long is because I also made a side dish of Whipped Potatoes with Cilantro Pesto out of the same cookbook. In addition, this recipe has a couple different sauces to garnish the plate with; a Bobby Flay signature. So, there are a lot of little things to do to make this recipe as good as it should be, but if you have some time and the love of cooking like I do, you will end up with a very good dish that you will be proud to serve. Let's get started...
Start by getting all the sauces made. We'll start with the Black Bean Sauce. You'll want to have soaked your beans for a while before making this sauce; overnight if possible. However, I only soaked them for about two hours and they were completely fine. Next, drain the beans and combine them with red onion, garlic, chipotle peppers, and cumin.
Add enough cold water to cover the ingredients by an inch, then bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer, adding more water if needed to prevent dry beans, for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Once the beans are done, transfer the mixture with a slotted spoon (so you don't necessarily use all the liquid) to a food processor. Add 1 cup of the cooking liquid (which might be all of it) and process until smooth. The sauce will still have a slight texture to it and that's ok. Season with salt. (Told ya this wasn't a quickee recipe...) Oh, and if you don't have a food processor... walk away. Step AWAY from the Bobby Flay recipe... it will destroy you if you attempt it without a food processor. I mean it.
Ok, so while the beans are cooking, we'll make the Red Chile-Honey Glaze. Oh this is good glaze... YUM!!! To make it, combine honey, ancho powder, and mustard in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Now that was easy...
Ok, ready for sauce number three? Let's make the Jalapeño Crema. Start by roasting 1 large jalapeño, then peel, seed, and finely chop it.
Combine the crema and chopped jalapeño in a food processor and puree. Season with salt and pepper.
Ok, sauce number four. This is actually going to be used in the side dish, but let's get it out of the way now. It's the Cilantro Pesto. To make it, combine cilantro, parsley, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until the mixture emulsifies. If you're not sure what that means, you basically just want to add the oil little by little until the ingredients aren't sticking to the sides anymore and the entire mixture looks more like a sauce and less like paste. Go slow... you can always add more oil but you can't take any away. Taste as you go and I promise you'll know when it's ready. Look at that color! That is a beautiful thing right there.
Next add some Paremesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Pulse the processor a few times to combine.
...and here are the 4 completed sauces. It's like a rainbow of yumminess. Clockwise starting on the left we have the Jalapeño Crema, the Black Bean Sauce, the Red Chile-Honey Glaze, and the Cilantro Pesto.
Ok, let's whip up (haha... I know, sorry, bad joke...) the potatoes! The obvious first step is to boil the potatoes for about 25 to 30 minutes until they're fork tender. Drain.
Next, combine butter, cream, and milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.
Now add the cream mixture to the already-drained potatoes and beat until smooth.
Fold in the cilantro pesto and attempt to combine just enough where the potatoes are streaked with the green color.
I tried this and it just didn't work - you may be more successful. But hey, St. Patrick's Day is coming up in the next couple days, right?? Well here are the perfect potatoes for ya!
Now that all the sauces and side dishes are done, let's get to the main character of this dish: the salmon. Even though the salmon is the star of this show, he's definitely the easiest part. Simply brush the salmon with canola oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Grill the salmon, skin side down first, on a hot grill (or in my case my favorite cast iron griddle). Grill until the skin is golden brown, about 4 minutes.
Right before you flip it, brush the flesh side of the fish with some of the glaze.
Now flip the fish and grill on the flesh side. This side will take less time, about 2 minutes. Just look at those grill marks...
or how Mark and I pronounce it, "greel mocks".
When the salmon is ready, it should be pink in the center. Don't worry about the salmon being undercooked; if it's a little darker pink in the center, just keep in mind that some of the best sushi is salmon, so if it's a little on the rare side, it's completely safe. It's better to be a bit undercooked when it comes to salmon, than overcooked. It will immediately become dry if you cook it too long and if that's the case, you might as well just crack open a can of Chicken of the Sea and call it a day. Nah...
To plate this dish, start by spooning a generous portion of the black bean sauce onto the plate. Add a couple dollops of the jalapeño crema and set the salmon filet down onto the black bean sauce. Brush more of the glaze onto the fish and garnish the plate with thinly sliced green onions. If you also made the cilantro pesto potatoes, spoon out a portion of those off to the side and of course garnish with a sprig of cilantro!
This dish was both pretty and delicious. If nothing else, please at least try making the salmon with the glaze - it's VERY good.
I would make this dish again and next time I'm sure it would go much faster. It always does when you've made it before and you know what you're doing. Oh and hey... I had a bunch of black bean sauce left over, so what did I do?
Why, I made it into a lovely appetizer portion of black bean soup!
All I did was add a bit of chicken stock to thin out the sauce into more of a soup consistency, fried up some thinly sliced chorizo until it was crispy like bacon, sliced up some green onion and got out some leftover Jalapeño Crema from the fridge. I threw that all together and served this soup the next day as an appetizer to our dinner that night. It was very good and spicy just like we like.
"So can I have the recipes?", you ask... Well, like I said before, if I can find the recipe online, since I prepared these from a cookbook that I think you should DEFINITELY BUY, then I'll post it here for you. And you're in luck! I was able to find a very similar recipe at FoodandWine.com, so here it is (it's not exactly the same, but it's very close):
Ancho-and-Honey-Glazed Salmon with Black Bean Sauce and Jalapeño Crema
ACTIVE TIME: 50 MIN
TOTAL TIME: 50 MIN plus overnight soaking
A recipe from Bobby Flay, from the 2007 Classic in Aspen.
1 1/2 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight in cold water and drained
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 large chipotle chile in adobo, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large jalapeño
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Four 8-ounce salmon fillets, with skin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
In a large saucepan, combine the beans with the red onion, garlic, chipotle and cumin. Add enough water to cover the beans by 1 inch and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderately low heat until the beans are tender, about 30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a food processor. Add 1 cup of the bean cooking liquid and pulse until the beans are almost smooth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and transfer to a small saucepan.
Roast the jalapeño directly over a gas flame until charred all over. Transfer the jalapeño to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool. Peel, seed and coarsely chop the jalapeño. In a food processor, puree the sour cream with the jalapeño until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the crema to a small bowl and refrigerate.
In another small bowl, whisk the honey with the ancho chile powder and mustard and season with salt and pepper. Rub the salmon fillets with the vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet. Add the salmon, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat until the skin is browned, about 4 minutes. Turn the fillets and brush with some of the ancho-honey glaze. Cook until browned on the bottom and light pink throughout, about 3 minutes longer.
Meanwhile, reheat the black bean sauce and spoon it onto plates. Top with some of the jalapeño crema and the salmon fillets, skin side up. Brush the salmon with the ancho-honey glaze and serve.
Oh, and look at this... I was also able to find the cilantro pesto potatoes recipe on a Jackson, Mississippi news channel website, WLBT Channel 3:
Whipped Potatoes with Cilantro Pesto
A Bobby Flay recipe.
1 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup tightly packed parsley leaves
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine cilantro, parsley, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until emulsified. Add the cheese and salt and pepper and pulse a few times until combined.
3 pounds baking potatoes, such as Idaho or Russet, peeled and cut into quarters
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water by 2-inches. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat and cook until soft, 25-30 minutes. Drain well and return them to the pot on the stove over low heat. Combine the butter and milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Add the butter and hot milk/cream mixture to the potatoes and mash until smooth. Fold the cilantro pesto into the mashed potatoes and season with salt and pepper.