Plan Cs can be delicious.
A craving for fish that never left the house for fear that the murky waters surrounding seafood health and sustainability would send me home from the market empty-handed, was addressed, instead, by some wild Alaskan salmon fillets from our freezer.
I was stuck with one hard-nosed lime and some OJ. Fine.
The precious potatoes I was envisioning--crackly brown and flecked with chives--rolled out of the pantry looking irreparably green. And the sprouts I was going to shred and sauté with some pistachios were understandably weary a good season and a half past their peak.
While I appreciated the can of coconut milk and brown jasmine rice that volunteered as plan B, there was no such time.
Whole wheat Israeli couscous--you're up!
The languishing sprouts were roasted with some carrots that, being pulled in so late, didn't really have their heart in the game.
Still, sometimes you've just gotta punt.
Citrus honey-glazed salmon with coconut-lime Israeli couscous
- 4 6-oz. wild, skin-on salmon fillets, pin bones removed
- 1/2 cup orange juice (from the carton or squeezed from an orange or two)
- zest and juice of 1 lime, divided
- 1/4 cup honey
- salt and freshly-ground pepper, divided
- 2-1/2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1-1/3 cup (about 8 oz.) whole wheat Israeli couscous
- 1 can coconut milk, well-shaken
- 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted
- chives, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring your (defrosted) salmon fillets out from the fridge to take the chill off.
In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the orange juice, lime juice (reserving the zest in a small bowl to be used in the couscous), honey, and a good dash of salt and pepper. Cook at a lively simmer until the sauce is reduced by half.
Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil in another larger saucepan until shimmery. Add the Israeli couscous and a pinch of salt, stirring until fragrant and toasty, 3 to 4 minutes.
In a third saucepan set over medium-low heat, bring the coconut milk to a low boil. Pour the bubbling coconut milk into the pot with the toasted couscous taking great care not to burn your face beyond recognition. It will spew like hot lava, so pour slowly and off the heat. Return the pot to a low flame and simmer, covered, for 6 to 7 minutes, or until the liquid has absorbed. Pull the pot from the heat and allow the couscous to rest for several minutes. That was intense.
Add the remaining olive oil to a large sauté pan set over medium heat and bring to a shimmer. Pat the salmon fillets dry and season amply with salt and pepper. Place them in the hot pan, skin side down. Leave them untouched for 2 minutes, flip them, and cook another 2 minutes before transfering them to a glass baking dish, flesh side up. Spoon the glaze over each fillet and place the dish in the oven to cook the salmon through--anywhere from 6 to 10 minutes, depending on your preference.
While the fish cooks, fluff the couscous, sprinkling in the lime zest, toasted coconut, and any salt and pepper it may need.
Serve the salmon over the couscous, garnished with long cuts of chives.
A green vegetable, like bok choy or snap peas, would be well-conceived and warmly received.