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I am officially over my denial about summer coming to an end and have decided that it's time to embrace everything that is Autumn. Starting with the DIY pinecone wreath I made last weekend, and of course, the pumpkin lattes.
I ate my last local peach a few weeks ago and foolishly bought a few from the grocers this week, thinking they would taste the same. I think I'm ok with peach season being over because my gosh, apples are really good this time of year, I mean really good. And all those squashes, gah, they are so pretty.
I am particularly enamored with heirloom pumpkins at the moment and have done a pretty good job showing the world my obsession, case in point the flowing cascade of pumpkins down our front steps. Every time I step foot in the grocery store, I think oh those pumpkins are so pretty, just another won't hurt? At least when the time comes we can compost them, unlike that year I decided to build a harvest display on our front porch with three square bails of hay, 10 pumpkins, a few corn stalks, and 1/2 a dozen mums, which turned out to be rather tricky to get rid of.
Autumn wouldn't be Autumn without some sort of discussion around or about food. You've got Thanksgiving, and Fall Fairs, and candy apples, and pies. I mean, it's really a season about food. I like to think of Fall as the opening act for Winter. A little taste of root vegetables before we dive deep into stews and pot roasts. I don't like to dive too deep into winter cooking, until at least mid-November, still trying to hold onto the last bits of summer while I can. This salmon curry definitely feels like a comforting Autumn meal but could easily pass as s summer dish, without being too hearty or what I like to refer to as meals that support hibernation.
I am a big fan of curry, and salmon, so naturally... We are so blessed here in the PNW with the variety of seafood and freshness. We love to eat salmon as much as possible, and we usually try to aim for twice a week as per the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans. I love cooking with salmon because it's so easy. Just a few quick minutes on the grill or in the frying pan and you're done. Not too mention that it's super delicious, rich in Omega 3's, and a great source of protein!
I love the flavors of a red curry. The creaminess from the coconut milk with a touch of heat from the spices. I like to use the Thai Kitchen red curry paste because I find it not too spicy and I like the convenience of opening the jar and adding it to the pan. I spent 6 months in South East Asia, and by far my favorite meal was sweet and sour tofu with pineapple, tomatoes, onions, and peppers. I have adapted this combination to most of my curries, and it works particularly well in this dish. The sweetness from the pineapple pairs so well with the salmon and the addition of basil at the ends adds a freshness. We order Thai food at least once a week (that's how much I love it), so it's nice to have a dish that's easy to make when I don't feel like ordering take-out!
THAI RED CURRY WITH SALMON
prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 20 minutes
1 cup dry jasmine rice
1 tbsp oil
1 lb fresh salmon
1 tbsp butter
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 green pepper, chopped
4 oz jar of red curry paste
3 tbsp canola oil
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chopped canned pineapple + 2 tbsp juice
1 can full-fat coconut milk
While you are preparing the curry, cook the rice in 2 cups of water.
Heat 1 tbsp canola or light tasting oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
Debone the salmon. Wash and cut into 3 - 4 inch pieces. Sprinkle with salt and then place into the frying pan skin side down, and cook for 2 -3 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional minute on the other side. You want the salmon to be slightly cooked, but not fully.
Remove from the pan and place onto a cutting board. Remove the skin and discard. Chop the salmon into bite-size pieces and set to the side.
In a large frying pan, heat the butter on medium. Add the onions and fry until translucent.
Add the garlic and peppers and fry for an additional minute or two.
Add the curry paste and 3 tbsp canola oil, and fry for a minute or two until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, pineapple + 2 tbsp juice, coconut milk, and salmon. Let the curry simmer for 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the salmon is cooked through. Season with salt to taste.
Serve with rice and basil to garnish.