This dinner is delicious, gourmet and EASY PEASY. Dinner started out the way many home dinners do, with the initial “What do I want for dinner?” followed by the realistic question, “What do I have for dinner?” at 5:30 p.m. I wanted seafood and rice. On hand, I had *some* partial bags of rice, a bag of shrimp and salmon. Bland and boring. I wanted a glaze on my seafood and flavor in my rice. This one bedroom apartment provokes some creativity, and so did this rice, shrimp and salmon combo. A wee bit of maple syrup remained in the fridge following pancake morning this past weekend. I googled “maple glazed shrimp” thinking I was going to come up zero. Turns out I’m not inventing a new dish. Some chef at Red Lobster faced my same dinner quandary and craving, and now offers Maple glazed shrimp on the menu. Hello dinner.
Now for that rice I want. Fresh spinach is long gone, there’s a half purple onion in the fridge, and a cupboard full of spices and herbs. And I have frozen peas! Mission: Paella-inspired pilaf on the quick. We moved in two weeks ago, nothing cold or frozen made the trip, so I don’t have any homemade vegetable broth. I’ll have to ad-lib, and create my own stock with spices and water. The bag with a mere half cup of brown jasmine rice left? Winner. The result? Better than our last paella. Try it.
The rice pilaf starts out with a bit of water, some pantry spices, a pat of butter and coating the rice.
½ cup brown jasmine rice
1 cup frozen organic peas
1/4 onion (any), minced
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch of saffron threads
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon trocomare organic seasoning salt
Dash of sea salt
Dash of ground black pepper
Dash of garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 cup water
Warm about a ¼ cup of water in a large sauce pan. Once water’s warm, add a pinch of saffron threads, then turmeric, garlic powder, trocomare, sea salt, ground pepper, and onion powder. A bay leaf will fight the rice dish and no one will win, leave a bay leaf out for your next soup. Mix water and spices. Add two tablespoons of butter and increase heat to medium. Add a quarter of an onion, minced. Stir for about two minutes until onion becomes somewhat transparent. Add half cup of brown jasmine rice and coat. Add cup of water, bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on very low for 40 minutes. Mix in thawed peas, cover again, and rest on burner for five minutes. Fluff rice pilaf with a fork before serving.
When the rice begins to simmer, it’s time to start the seafood stars.
Maple Glazed Shrimp and Salmon
Adapted from food.com
Note: I’ve omitted the dried cherries and sugar from this recipe, and added honey.
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
½ cup water
2 teaspoons fermented soy sauce (I suggest an organic, trusted variety with NO MSG like Ohsawa Organic or gluten-free Tamari)
1 ½ teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
20 medium shrimp
1-2 WILD salmon filets
1 Tablespoon of organic, unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sear non-skin side of salmon filet(s) on medium-high heat, for about 2 minutes. Place seared salmon, skin side down, in covered casserole dish sprayed with olive oil. Skin side down boosts the Omega-3 magic in the salmon. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until cooked all the way through. Check with fork every couple of minutes beyond 15 minutes.
Once salmon’s baking, prepare Maple Glaze:
Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. When mixture begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until sauce thickens.
As sauce simmers, prepare shrimp:
In a Tablespoon of browned butter, sauté thawed shrimp on medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side. I reuse the salmon searing pan for this, to increase the browning flavor.
Brush or drizzle the shrimp and salmon with maple glaze.
Dinner is served.