Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Espresso Balsamic Salmon

A few weeks ago, my friend Janet and I stumbled upon a little shop in Scottsdale called Outrageous Olive Oils. They sell a unique variety of flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars. I had to have the Espresso Balsamic Vinegar because I'm a coffee addict. It's sweet and flavorful.

Salmon is a very flavorful fish so I sometimes like to go with something a little stronger than the simple lemon and garlic standby that I would use on something delicate like sole. I thought about what seasonings pair well with coffee: cinnamon, nutmeg, and anise. Since both espresso and balsamic vinegar come from Italy, I went with seasoning used in traditional Italian cuisine:  garlic, oregano, basil and thyme.

Rub:

1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp anise
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp basil

If you don't have espresso flavored vinegar, try some finely ground coffee for the rub, or marinate the salmon in coffee liqueur and balsamic vinegar.

Pour about 1/2 tbsp (mas o menos) of Espresso balsamic vinegar on salmon and spread evenly. Add rub, and spread evenly. Let sit in fridge for a couple of hours.

I slow cooked it because I was also roasting a turkey breast and a boneless lamb shank. I cook everything I need for the week in one day so I don't have to worry about it on work days. I also like to cook outdoors to cut down on my electric bill. When my electric stove goes against the air conditioner in a Battle Royale, the only loser is me. You could grill it, bake it, whatever you want.

I have this awesome grill:


I also have a desert wasteland for a back yard. Awesome features of my grill include a gas grill, a charcoal grill, a gas burner, and la piece de resistance: a smoker box (sold separately). I usually do veggies on the gas burner while the meat and fish are cooking on the other side.

Balsamic Reduction:
1 tsp olive oil (I used blood orange flavored, because I can)
1/2 tsp fennel
1/4 tsp anise
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 cup espresso balsamic
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup strong coffee (pronounced Strowng CAWfee)

If you don't have Espresso balsamic, just double up on the coffee (or use some coffee liqueur) and balsamic.

Heat oil in sauce pan. Add fennel, then add the other herbs. When fragrant, add liquid ingredients. Heat at low temp until it thickens.

Of course, this will be served with Spaghetti Squash. I use frozen spinach because it's cheap and expedient. I also grilled a red onion, eggplant and roasted some cherry tomatoes for this. Mixed the veggies together with a 1/2 tbsp of the balsamic reduction and topped with salmon.

Get your 5 a day the color way!

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