Sunday, April 18, 2010

Miso salmon lettuce wraps and udon noodles

Ok, soon I will start taking better quality photos, but you don't know how hard it is to STOP long enough to take a photo before eating. These were delish!

The noodle dish was the first thing cooked in the new Cuisinart pan. It works beautifully for stir-fries!

My idea for the miso salmon lettuce wraps came from a restaurant called Twist in Atlanta. I love that place! It's a mix of tapas and sushi, and it has a most excellent bar! It was also across the street from where I worked for a year and a half, so I ate there two or three times a week. It's an addictive place!

So, last time I was there, the Miso Salmon Lettuce Wraps (tapas, not entrée) was $8 for some lettuce, some house-made pickle slices, and a piece of salmon about the size of one of these in the photo above. It's possible the prices have gone up in the past four years. 

This version I made broke down to:
$5.50 for the wild-caught Alaskan coho salmon at Trader Joe's
$.50 for a bit of the organic miso paste at Follow Your Heart (local health food store)
$1.38 for the half-package of organic udon noodles also at Follow Your Heart
$.15 worth of soy sauce
$1.00 worth of Thai kaffir lime chili sauce from Whole Foods
$.50 worth of organic CSA leeks
$.50 worth of organic CSA stir-fry mix
$5.00 for the bag of wild/foraged baby shiitake mushrooms 
$1.00 for the head of organic butter lettuce
This was cooked in the last of the duck fat that I rendered from my organic pastured duck some 5 weeks ago, and I also used a spot of white pepper on the salmon.

All told, that was $15.53 for dinner for two, mostly organic, wild, and super-delicious. Also, I cooked WAY too much in terms of noodles: there's another meal for two from the leftovers. Plus, Gabriel didn't finish his salmon, so he added it to his other leftover fish to become his lunch salad tomorrow.  

That rounds out to $7.76/person for two plus meals for each person, or about $3.89 a meal. And people say that you can't eat well or organically for fast food prices! Here's PROOF of the opposite! And no, it wasn't hard or time-consuming. Total prep/cook time was 23 minutes. I had the salmon in cold water to defrost it for about a half hour, but while the salmon was defrosting, I did the 10 or so minutes of noodle time: boil water, cook noodles for 5 minutes, drain, rinse, and set aside. Since this is a Sunday night, I would not expect to be able to get in a restaurant and be served in less than 20 minutes. Hell, I wouldn't even expect to have my drink by then.

As much as I love Twist, two orders of these wraps would have been $16, plus drink, plus tax, plus tip, and that doesn't even account for noodles and veggies, nor does it account for a possible price increase. We'll leave the two round-trip plane tickets to Atlanta out of the equation. ;) 

The salmon was very simple:
-pat salmon dry and cut into serving portions
-lightly oil pan and heat to medium
-mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of water into 1 tablespoon of miso paste to thin it: you want it thinly spreadable, but not runny, so start with less water and add more as needed
-sprinkle salmon with white pepper
-coat top of salmon with miso/water mixture
-place salmon in hot pan on oil, and wait 30 seconds. Then, nudge salmon to dislodge it from the pan so it doesn't stick
-cover pan and let the salmon cook for 5-7 minutes for thinner cuts. If the salmon is a thicker cut, reduce heat slightly and add 2 tablespoons of water to the pan before adding the lid. Let cook for 7-9  minutes, or to your desired doneness.
-plate and serve with washed, chilled lettuce leaves
-to eat, place a chunk of salmon in a piece of lettuce and eat it like a taco. 
-sigh with contentment

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

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