Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cumin-Spiced Quinoa and Millet with Flaked Wild Sockeye Salmon

A friend of mine hosts a class every month and because we all love every aspect of sharing, we all get together for a potluck an half-hour before the class. It's always a good time and most of the time, we don't bother coordinating who brings what. We just bring whatever. Sometimes, this turns out comical - as in the time everybody brought bread - but mostly, there is a nice variety of foods to go around.

Being gluten-free presents a challenge at potlucks when the rest of the potluckers aren't gluten-free. They can all eat what I bring, if they want to, but I cannot always eat their delicious offerings. That's really okay, because I don't expect them to cater to my preferential needs. But it's always nice when they do! And often times, they work really hard to make sure I have plenty to choose from. It's very sweet and a wonderful way to share.

Well, our monthly get-together coalesced last night and I didn't have time to go to the store, so around 3 p.m., I started digging through my cabinets. I pulled out a can of wild sockeye salmon and of course, my favorite staples, quinoa and millet. I threw together this rustic herbed dish and it came out pleasingly good!

It's a great homestyle dish with lots of potential for variation. The salmon could be substituted with chicken, turkey, beef or tuna, or completely left out all-together for vegetarian fare. The grains could be any combination of rice, millet, or quinoa. And the warmth of the cumin and paprika leads to a nice, hearty side dish or main course. Experimentation and necessity really do lead to grand things in the kitchen!

Happy eating, everybody!

Cumin-Spiced Quinoa and Millet with Flaked Wild Sockeye Salmon

Serves 2 - 4

¼ cup millet

¼ cup quinoa

2 tbsp butter or oil

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp paprika

¼ tsp dried cilantro

1 ¼ cup water

½ cup fresh or frozen peas

1 - 7 ounce can of Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, pre-cooked (or one pre-cooked filet)

Sea salt, to taste

Using a fine-mesh sieve, wash quinoa and millet in cold water until water runs clear. Place grains in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add butter or oil. Add cumin and paprika and a generous pinch of sea salt. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until spices are fragrant and grains are toasted. Add cilantro, water and peas.

Let the grain mixture simmer over medium heat, uncovered, for 18 – 20 minutes, until water is fully absorbed, stirring only occasionally. When water is fully absorbed, remove from heat and cover with a lid for 5 minutes.

Remove lid and using a fork, fluff grains gently. Set aside.

Drain canned salmon and rinse gently with water, if desired, to remove any excess oils that may add a fishy flavor. Fresh salmon should not have this. Flake using a fork and add to grain mixture. If using fresh salmon, once fully cooked, flake salmon using a fork, making sure to remove any bones. Add to grain mixture.

Using the fork, fluff the quinoa, millet, peas and salmon together. Serve warm with a salad, on a bed of greens, or cold as a side salad.

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