About The Saturday Chef

Midwest, United States
I am NOT a professional chef. I am what I affectionately dub a Saturday Chef—a weekend warrior of the culinary variety, fortified by the education I have gleaned from two high school cooking classes, the Food Network and my own gastronomical experiments. While I’m not ashamed to spend all day making bagels by hand, and proudly call myself a foodie, I’m not a food snob. I enjoy an Extra Value Meal as much as the next girl. My culinary escapades are still relegated to the weekends, but my love for cooking is stronger than ever, galvanized by more successes than failures, and the beautiful fact that the more I cook, the more people there are to feed. So please stay tuned for fun recipes, inevitable disasters and hopefully, a lot of good food.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Baked Salmon with Sautéed Corn and Black Bean Salad

I must confess that when I first started cooking I was extremely nervous to work with seafood.  It’s expensive; it cooks quickly and if you ruin it, you’ve wasted the ingredients as well as the money used them buy them. When I fry shrimp, I cook them on high alert with a little knot in my stomach.  
I've also learned that with seafood, especially something as luxuriously rich as salmon, less is more.  When I splurge on salmon fillets, I simply bake it and pair it with a baked potato or a light vegetable salad.  I had inspiration for this dish, Baked Salmon with Sauteed Corn and Black Bean Salad, for months and I finally cobbled it together with different recipes and my own baked salmon.  It’s light, refreshing, impressive and deceptively simple.  In other words, it’s perfect for summer!  Especially if you’re in the middle of this brutal heatwave!  

Baked Salmon
1 ½ pound fresh salmon fillet
Seasoning Salt such as Lawry’s
Garlic Salt
Olive Oil

Corn and Black Bean Salad
adapted from recipe at epicurious.com
2 cups sweet corn, removed from the cob or thawed if frozen
1 15 ounce can black beans, thoroughly rinsed
¼ cup green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
Salt, Pepper
Olive Oil
1 tablespoon of lime juice (from about 1 lime)
2  tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Pinch ground cumin

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. 
Line baking sheet with aluminum foil, drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and spread evenly.  Place fish on baking sheet. 
Season fish moderately with seasoning salt and pepper and conservatively with garlic salt.  Cut 2 pats of butter and cut or break it into pieces with your fingers.  Dot fish with butter. 
Place fish in oven and bake for 13 to 17 minutes or until fish is an opaque pink. 

Corn and Black Bean Salad
Heat skillet over medium heat and add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  When oil is hot, add corn.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Toss or stir frequently until corn is begins to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. 
Remove from heat and set aside to prepare vegetables and herbs. 
Add corn, black beans, green onions, cilantro and basil to medium bowl and mix to combine.  Season with salt and pepper. 
Mix lime juice, orange juice, pinch of cumin and olive oil in a smaller bowl. Add most of dressing to corn salad and stir to combine.  Taste.  Salad should be moist, but not wet.  Add the rest if needed.  Set aside for 10 minutes. 
Place a portion of salmon on place about spoon on corn salad.  Drizzle with remaining dressing if you wish.  Enjoy! 

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