Thursday, February 11, 2010

Inspired by Italy: Mediterranean Salmon and Herbed Polenta

My friend Nathan came over for dinner tonight and since D.C. looks more like the north pole than the mid-atlantic right now I thought that a mediterranean meal would be a nice escape from the cold. The salmon recipe was given to me by my mom and polenta has been something I have wanted to try. I had never made polenta before, in fact I had never even eaten it, but I saw this recipe from Giada and thought I'd give it a try. I have now decided that Polenta may be one of my new favorite foods. It reminds me of a mix between mashed potatoes and grits- two of the most comforting foods. Both recipes are pretty quick and easy as well, and cooking the salmon in foil means easy clean-up after!

Mediterranean Salmon
4 salmon fillets
3/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
3/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
2 oz reduced-fat basil and tomato feta cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place each fillet on a greased piece of aluminum foil. Sprinkle each with lemon pepper, dill, and salt. Top with the remaining ingredients. Fold the aluminum foil into packets and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes. For a more rustic dinner you can serve straight from the foil or you can remove onto a plate.

Parmesan and Herb Polenta
6 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
3/4 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Bring water to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons salt. Gradually whisk in cornmeal, then reduce to low and cook until thick and tender (about 15 min). Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan, milk, butter, herbs, and pepper.

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