Have you ever faced such an insurmountable multitude of messes, chaos and disorder that you simply didn't know where to start? Welcome to the current state of my apartment. Projects to tackle include, but certainly aren't limited to post dinner dishes (a constant), rifling through ever mounting piles of mail and documents to file, a suitcase partially unpacked in a prior half-hearted attempt, and various stages of present wrapping, sorting, and organizing. So what strategy would an otherwise sane individual employ in the face of such a monumental disaster zone? Create additional disorder out of an otherwise orderly slice of my world. Logic is a tricky muse.
Apparently this environment is conducive to meticulously, painstakingly perusing the monstrous stack of cooking magazines that's taken over my end table. Clearly there is no better time that when there is nary an uncovered couch cushion to place one's disheveled backside upon to tear through a year and half's worth of magazines. The end product, although a check in the otherwise unnecessary task completion column, simply contributed to the whole calamity. The inevitable piles of stay, toss, and roughly torn out recipes to be put somewhere, in another pile, to be tested, some other day.
At least something good came out of this whole episode. The October 2009 issue of Food and Wine magazine had an article about the 15 rules for great wine and food pairings, which can be seen here. The irony of this should not be overlooked, as I am the last person who knows anything about wine. Those who know me both chastise and loathe my shameless adoration of pink wine. Apparently, real wines aren't pink. And who knew that this dish was a spot on pairing with a lemon creamy California Chardonnay? Certainly, not this girl.
Crisp Salmon with Citrus Avocado Salad
Food & Wine, October 2009
2 Tbsp pine nuts
2 1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp fresh squeezed orange juice
Fresh ground black pepper
Eight 6-ounce, skin-on salmon fillets
3 heads Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
2 Hass avocados, thinly sliced
In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat. Toss frequently, until golden (3-4 minutes).
In a large bowl, whisk 1 1/2 Tbsp of the olive oil with the mayonnaise, lemon juice and orange juice and season with salt and pepper.
Pat the salmon dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil over moderately high heat until shimmering. Add the salmon skin side down and cook until crisp and golden, about 6 minutes. Turn and cook the fillets until just pink in the center, about 4 minutes longer.
Add the Bibb lettuce, avocados and pine nuts to the dressing and gently toss to coat. Mound the salad next to the salmon and serve.
My only modifications to the recipe are as follows; I used plain old out of the carton orange juice, it was just fine. I prepared one 6 oz salmon fillet and halved the dressing recipe, using a half a head of Bibb. This allowed for plenty of leafy green leftovers. The avocados and pine nuts were tossed with the dressing and spooned on the salad, as soggy salad is not a personal favorite. This was fast, simple, healthy and completely worth the utter state of disaster that my apartment continues to be.