This past weekend I hit up Portland's largest farmers' market with some friends, and I came home with a leek. Never bought one before... wasn't sure what to do with it... but I knew it looked like a giant green onion and I love me some green onions.
After browsing the web for the perfect leek recipe, I came to a conclusion: I was really just craving salmon and mashed potatoes. So the leek (lonely little guy) would have to be their sidekick.
I slightly modified a recipe for Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon that I found here, and the rest I kind of made up as I went along. (Not trying to be impressive, you probably made the majority of this meal last night as a part of your normal weekday dinner.) I thought it turned out tasty enough to share the recipe, despite its simplicity.
I give you.... Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon and Spinach Mashed Potatoes, with Caramelized Leeks.
The recipes below are meant to be served together. It will serve 1-2 people, depending on how starving you are. Props to me for not eating the usual dinner-for-two tonight! That means leftovers for tomorrow. Yum.
The stars of the evening: Red Fingerling Potatoes (lots of 'em), Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon Filet, Brown Sugar, and The Leek.
Brown Sugar Salmon
1 lb wild-caught salmon filet
3 tbsp brown sugar
4 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Sprinkling of salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Make sure that one oven rack is in the center and the other rack is 6 inches from the broiler.
2. Once the oven has preheated, salt and pepper the salmon, place it on the baking sheet and then set it on the middle oven rack to bake for 10 minutes.
3. In the meantime, mix together the brown sugar, mustard, tamari and vinegar in a small saucepan. While stirring constantly, bring to a boil and then remove from heat.
4. After the salmon has baked for 10 minutes, remove it from the oven and brush with the brown sugar glaze.
5. Set the oven to "broil" and place the salmon back into the oven, but on the top rack closer to the broiler. Broil for 2 minutes and then remove from the oven.
Spinach Mashed Potatoes
3/4 lb of red fingerling potatoes
1 large handful of fresh baby spinach
3/4 cup of almond milk (or your preferred milk)
2-3 tbsp of Earth Balance (or butter)
1 clove of minced garlic / garlic salt
2 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Chop potatoes in half and remove any scary eyes (but do not peel) while bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Saute the minced garlic with 2 tsp of olive oil on medium heat until it starts to smell really good, then remove from heat. Add the potatoes to the large pot after the water reaches a full boil.
2. Boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes, using a fork to see if they are ready after about 10 minutes. (If the fork pierces the potato easily - they are done!) Before removing from heat, throw in the spinach for just a few seconds.
3. Immediately strain the potatoes and spinach and return to the pot. Make sure to not set the pot back onto a hot burner.
4. Add minced garlic, almond milk and Earth Balance to the pot and then mash with a potato masher until they look like mashed potatoes. ;) Add garlic salt (if needed) and salt and pepper to taste.
2 small spoons of Earth Balance (or butter)
1. Wash and very thinly slice the stalk part of the leek into skinny rings. Combine with the Earth Balance in a skillet and set on medium heat. Stir for 5 minutes and then turn the heat to medium-high and stir until the leeks start to turn brown. Remove from heat.
Serve the salmon with a side of mashed potatoes, and top both with the caramelized leeks. Word to the wise: this is one of those meals (my favorite kind) where it's best to get a little bit of everything in each bite. Enjoy!