So, yesterday morning, I was flipping through the television channels and landed on Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network. Now, it’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I want to be Ina Garten when I grow up. I think she is amazing and I love not only her recipes but also her entertaining style. I have it Liz Lemon-bad for Ina Garten. Yesterday on her show, she featured some lovely salmon sandwiches with guacamole and I was inspired to make them for dinner yesterday afternoon. Here is Ina’s Recipe. Now, because I can never follow a recipe exactly, I decided to add a little more Mexican flair to the dish. I also omitted the bacon and for the life of me, I can’t think of why! Probably because I’m out of the habit of buying bacon! Believe me, bacon would have been a fabulous addition to this sandwich. What was I thinking?? I had to substitute mâche for the arugula, but use your favorite salad greens. That primal scream you heard yesterday was me realizing that we’re coming to the end of arugula season. This was a sad, sad realization.
The guacamole we made is different from Ina’s version and I also cooked the salmon on the grill using a cedar plank, because I really like the smokiness that the cedar plank gives the salmon. Again, I used wild-caught Coho salmon. I wasn’t able to find ciabatta rolls when I went to Whole Foods Market, but that led me to discover some fabulous panini bread from locally owned and operated Granello Bakery (sold at Whole Foods).
Now, the guacamole recipe was one we fell in love with that was created by Rick Bayless. The sauce for the guacamole was also used to marinate the fish and to dress the salad greens.
Here’s how you make it:
2 ripe avocados
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
1 Serrano chili, stem removed and cut into quarters (you can use 2, but Serranos are quite hot)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
one large onion, cut into thick slices
salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a skillet or sauce pan–a sauce pan helps to keep the oil from splashing so much. Add the garlic and chilis and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the garlic softens and browns.
In a blender or food processor, purée the lime juice, cilantro, one teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Add the garlic, chilis and the oil from the pan into the mixture. Pour about 1/3 of this mixture over the fish and allow it to marinate for about 15 minutes.
Next, oil the slices of onion with a basting brush and place them on a preheated grill. If you have a grill pan that is used on the stovetop, that’s also a great way to cook them. Grill the onion slices until they become tender and have a little char on them. Then chop the onion into small pieces.
|Chop the grilled onion into small pieces|
Pit and halve the avocados and scoop the flesh into a mixing bowl along with the chopped onion. Add another 1/3 of the dressing mixture to the avocado and mash with a fork, potato masher or spoon.
|Marinated salmon on cedar plank ready for grilling|
We ate these outside on the patio with a glass of chilled white wine. Life is good!