Thursday, June 11, 2009

Coconut-Chili Salmon Kebabs & Beet Salad

This week I've been featuring working mum, Amy Menell.

Amy and her husband, Roger, have 3 children under 13, and two, young-adult surrogate daughters.

That's Amy, rubber-gloved hands in water, with Roger and their middle son in their kitchen. I took the photo at one of their many wonderful, informal dinner parties.

Amy loves to entertain at home; she's incredibly at ease creating in the kitchen while kids, friends, and friends' kids are gathered around.

If you're wondering how a working mum with three children (plus two surrogates) manages to grocery shop several times a week, cook most of the family's meals, plus entertain, Amy has lots of help from Roger and she doesn't stress in the kitchen, rather, she plans ahead and is very organized.

When I met her last Sunday, we went over tips for staying within budget grocery shopping, then Amy showed me her list and informed me of several of the family meals she planned to make over the next few days.

In other words, she had:
  1. thought ahead,
  2. planned a menu, and
  3. created a grocery list accordingly.
One of the meals she planned to make (and did make) is coconut-chili salmon kebabs with beet salad. She made this on Tuesday evening, and took leftovers to work the next day for lunch. The pic below is her lunch of leftovers.

Amy bought previously frozen Sockeye salmon at WFs fish counter for this meal, it was on sale last Sunday. A cheaper option still, is the Whole Catch Sockeye which is $8.99 for a pack of two 6 oz fillets.

Unfrozen it lends itself well to a flavorful marinade, and made into kebabs, 12 ozs would feed 4 and maybe stretch to feed 6 if served with sides of veggies or salad and or rice.

Coconut-Chili Salmon with Beet Salad
1) For marinade: pour 1 can unsweetened coconut milk into a bowl, add juice of 2-3 limes, two chopped Thai chili, and stir well.
2) Optional: Add chopped raw ginger and garlic, Thai basil, a few shakes of Thai fish sauce (I say optional because these additional ingredients add complex flavor which children might find too sophisticated, so leave them out if you have kids).
3) Slice fillets of salmon into cubes and toss into marinade. Marinade for a couple hours or more, if you have time.
4) Meanwhile, wash and scrub a couple of beet bulbs (remember, buys beets with healthy green tops, that way you can eat both the red bulb and the washed and sauteed green tops--two veggies in one!)
5) Grate raw beet bulbs into a bowl. Add a few glugs of olive oil, juice of one lemon, a handful of fresh chopped mint and a tablespoon of caraway seeds. Taste-test for flavor, adding more oil, lemon or mint if desired. Again, if you have children, consider leaving out caraway seeds if their flavor is too unusual for their palates.
6) Once salmon has marinated, put cubes onto kebab skewers, brush with leftover marinade then either grill or bake in the oven for maybe 10 mins. Salmon won't take long to cook when it's cubed.
7) Consider boiling rice to go with this meal. Once cooked, stir through a few dollops of butter.

Serve family style:
Place kebabs on a large platter and decorate with springs of basic. Put beet salad into a pretty serving bowl and top with springs of mint. Spoon boiled, buttered rice onto another platter or into a serving bowl.

Note: I've suggested optional ingredients to add to the marinade with children in mind. Obviously, if you do have small kids, modify the above family meal to suit their palates since there is no point pushing children to eat sophisticated flavors and textures when they're not ready.

However, it's also good to encourage children to try new flavors and textures--to eat the food you're eating.


Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog said...

Thanks a lot for your visit and comment on my blog Louise!

Love the combination of coconut, chili and salmon in the same dish, must taste fantastic! :)

Cheers for you!


Anonymous said...

wow...this blog is like a gem to me. I am a really cheap Asian girl who loves to cook and eat good food and is WF's most loyal customer, but struggle with the rising prices of food. I loved all the new information I learned here in this post. Thank you!