Alright guys, we have received several demands for our dinner we posted on Instagram last week, so we are here to deliver. Please enjoy this recipe for salmon with artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach, which looks like this (if you have Neal as your personal food photographer):
In the interest of full disclosure, this is a recipe we got from People magazine. Meghan shamelessly subscribes to this magazine mostly for the celebrity gossip, but it often has stellar recipes too.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 oregano sprigs + 1 tbsp chopped oregano
9-oz artichoke hearts
3/4 cups chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
1/2 cup white cooking wine
2 cups spinach, packed
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Season salmon filets with salt, and place skin-side-up in the skillet.
Cook filets until browned (~3 minutes). Turn filets on sides and cook for 1 minute. Turn to opposite side and cook for 1 minute more. Finally, flip filets to skin-side-down and cook for ~2 more minutes.
Add 1 tbsp of the butter and the oregano to skillet.
Reduce heat to medium and baste salmon with oregano-infused butter for 1 minute. Remove salmon and oregano to a plate.
Add artichoke hearts to skillet. Cook over medium, stirring often, until artichokes begin to brown (~4 minutes).
Add chopped oregano and tomatoes (with oil) and stir.
Deglaze skillet with the white wine and cook ~2 minutes.
Add spinach and 1 tbsp butter. Cook until the spinach is done, then put on plate and serve with salmon.
For number nerds like Meghan: you want to cook the fish to 145 degrees or more and can adjust cooking times as needed.
Meghan absolutely could not get the salmon to stand up on its side as the recipe suggests. Please let us know if you manage to do this. Anyways, it worked fine adding an extra minute to each side of the fish.
We like this served over rice. We also made extra of the artichoke-spinach-tomato part and made a couscous salad with it the next day. We are brilliant and highly recommend you do the same.
Friends, it’s time for us to talk about bibimbap. Neal discovered this delicious dish while living in Korea, and Meghan discovered it while dating Neal in Boston 😉
Here’s how it all went down (for Meghan at least). While Meal was in grad school, they would typically do homework at Meghan’s school library in Harvard Square. Inevitably, they would decide they “deserved a treat” merely for doing homework, and would go sample a Harvard Square restaurant for dinner. One fine night in February 2017, we traipsed off to a restaurant that VERY SADLY HAS SINCE CLOSED DOWN, Kaju Tofu House. We’re still sad about it, but thankfully they do have another location in MA, it’s just much less convenient to where we live. Anyways, here’s what we ate on that night in 2017:
Allegedly, “bibim” means mixing various ingredients, and “bap” means rice. So bibimbap is a mixture of meat, and/or vegetables, and/or an egg over rice, topped with sesame seeds and gochujang sauce and served in a hot bowl. (At least that’s what Neal tells me, so if it’s way off please direct all complaints straight to him). To reuse my own joke, it was love at first bite.
After that night, Meal realized they could probably recreate this magic, minus the hot clay bowl part. We have had various attempts over the years since then, and have ultimately figured out a recipe that meets our personal preferences. It looks like this:
And it tastes like this (4 servings):
1 cup jasmine rice
5-6 oz spinach
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 lb ground beef
4 tbsp chili garlic sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 large carrot (or 2 small), grated
1 cucumber, sliced
Sesame seeds for topping
Gochujang sauce for topping
Cook the rice.
Grate the carrot and slice the cucumber. Put aside.
Sauté spinach. Drizzle sesame oil over it and season with salt. Put cooked spinach aside in a bowl.
Add ground beef to the same skilled. Cook until meat is done, then drain fat if necessary.
Add chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar to the skillet with the cooked beef. Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Fry eggs for however many bowls you’re making.
Make bowls by adding 1/4 of the cooked rice, beef, spinach, carrots, and cucumber, and top with 1 egg per bowl. Sprinkle sesame seeds over top and serve with gochujang.
If you don’t like it too spicy, use about half of the garlic chili paste. We are spicy people 😉
Same idea with gochujang sauce – a little goes a long way if you’re not as spicy as us.
This recipe is very customizable based on meat, vegetable, etc. preferences. Choose your own adventure.
Anyways, moving right along, we have recently been experimenting with making paella, thanks to getting a paella pan as a Christmas gift from Meghan’s parents.
Behold our first attempt from a few months ago:
We refined our strategy a bit before our next attempt, which is as follows:
4 tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small eggplant, cut into bite-sized pieces
~1/4 pound green beans
14-oz can of artichoke hearts, drained
~1/4 pound asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 small/medium tomatoes, coarsley grated
4 cups vegetable stock (water is a fine substitute)
1/2 tsp sweet pimenton
2 pinches safron threads, lightly toasted and ground
1/4 cup peas
1 1/2 cups short- or medium- grain rice
Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in the paella pan over medium heat.
Add bell pepper and eggplant and cook until they begin to brown, ~5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil, then add the green beans, artichoke hearts, and asparagus, and cook for 5 minutes.
Lower heat to medium-low, add garlic, tomatoes, and 2 pinches of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato has darkened to a deeper shade of red, ~10-15 minutes.
Add 1 cup of the stock and simmer until the liquid has evaporated and the vegetables are tender, ~10 minutes.
Return the bell pepper and eggplant to the pan. Sprinkle in the pimenton and saffron while stirring.
Add the remaining 3 cups of stock and the peas. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Adjust seasonings as needed.
Sprinkle in the rice. With a wooden spoon, probe the pan to make sure rice is evenly distributed. Do not stir again.
Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook for an additional 8 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked but with a slight bite.
Remove the paella pan from the heat, cover with paper towels, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Now, friends, the reason that cooking paella reminded us of the blog we forgot about for a cool 3.5 years is because it involved a lot of techniques we’d never done before. What essentially went through Meghan’s mind was, “Wow, I have so many thoughts on this, I wish I had some way to write out all my feelings other than an instagram post, maybe I should write a blog or somethi- OMG.” So congrats to paella for reminding us that we had a food blog. Anyways, we learned:
You can grate tomatoes. Use a normal cheese grater and grate it over the bowl. It’s shockingly easy; the skin will just come off in your hand.
Pimenton is basically sweet paprika. Feel like we should have know that, but we surely did not.
If the rice doesn’t seem done, you can add small bits of WARM water and keep cooking until the texture is better.
This recipe is very customizable based on your preferences.
You’re supposed to lightly toast saffron in a skillet and then crumble it, for flavor and dramatics.
In fact, we CAN both be working in our small galley kitchen at the same time without one or both of us getting ourselves kicked out (at least this time)!
Alright, enough suspense already. HERE ARE OUR STUNNING RESULTS: