Grilled Salmon with Tangy Cucumber Dill Salad

I don’t want to write this without knocking on wood or throwing salt over my shoulder, but guess what? I’m actually growing plants! Basil, mint, chives, oregano, thyme, dill, rosemary, and even a little jalapeño plant! Oh, and fresh catnip, that is constantly and lovingly guarded by a certain little someone.

Guarding her catnip

I’m super excited about my little container garden. It just seems so magical to have ingredients that are (practically) free sitting right on my balcony. But when I noticed that my dill was growing rapidly and threatening to take over its neighbors, it was time to trim it back a bit and do some cooking. Take that, dill.

Chopped Dill

And so I made this tasty grilled salmon with a tangy cucumber dill salad. The salad comes together quickly and can sit in the fridge for awhile, so this fast and easy weeknight meal is ready to go in no time at all. Which is good, because the cat is not the only salmon lover in this household.

Grilled Salmon with Tangy Cucumber Dill Salad

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 Grilled Salmon with Tangy Cucumber Dill Salad

  • 1 hothouse cucumber
  • 1/3 cup finely sliced red onion
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbs. good mayo
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 4 skin-on salmon fillets, about 6 oz. each and 1 inch thick
  • olive oil, for greasing the grill

Slice cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Slice cucumber very thin and toss with sliced red onion and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Place vegetables into a fine mesh sieve and let drain over a bowl for about 1 hour to draw out some of the water.

To make the dressing, whisk together sour cream, mayo, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and dill. Stir in the cucumbers and red onions and toss until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill salad until ready to use.

Heat grill over high heat and brush with olive oil. Rub salmon fillets with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Grill the salmon, skin side down, for about 4 minutes, or until it gets nice grill lines. Flip and grill for another 2-3 minutes, or until desired doneness.

Remove salmon from grill and carefully peel off the skin, if desired. Serve topped with cucumber salad.

Source: Slightly adapted from Once Upon a Chef.

Lighter Crab Rangoon

I love Chinese food. Especially the midwestern Chinese buffets that also feature soft serve ice cream and Texas toast. (I’m looking at you, Hunan Spring.) But as much as I love Chinese takeout, I recognize that it’s not the healthiest of cuisines. So except for the occasional splurge, most of the Asian food we eat is homemade, letting me control the ingredients and amount of oil used.

I recently found this recipe online and just had to give it a try. It’s good. It’s really good. So good that I’ll probably be making it again for various social events this weekend. Baking the crab rangoon results in perfectly crispy shells, and the oil is not missed one bit. Try ’em! You won’t be disappointed!

(P.S. In case you need more motivation: each crab rangoon is only one Weight Watchers point. Seriously.)

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See Food, Eat Food

Mariah, Grant, and I had dinner on Friday night with Mariah’s college friend, Tom.  He took us to a restaurant where he used to work and we enjoyed a delicious meal of fresh seafood.

The thing about seafood is that I generally find it tasty, but I’m a bit intimidated by its natural packaging.  I hate peeling and de-veining raw shrimp, and getting mussels out of their shells totally freaks me out.  Give me a skinned, boned fish fillet, and I can make a decent meal.  But there’s no way I’d ever crack open a crab leg or lobster claw.  Gross.

Despite my prejudices, on Friday night I experienced a first in a lifetime of eating seafood: raw oysters.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I picked up half an oyster shell, slurped the meat up, and swallowed it whole.  It tasted pretty salty and sort of like a pickle.  While it’s not a new favorite, I was definitely glad I had done it.

Plus, I felt super brave, even as I sat across the table from Mariah and Grant and watched the Minnesotans gleefully break apart and chow down a whole lobster.  I wasn’t gonna get near that thing.

"I'll get you, my pretty!"

P.S. There’s a short video of me eating the oyster, but I’d have to pay a lot of money to be able to post videos on my blog.  Just imagine me freaking out a lot and then exclaiming: “Oh, I survived!”