When Grace-Marie told me she was cooking something with salmon and avocado today, I immediately volunteered to photograph whatever she came up with. Two of my favorite ingredients that are also photogenic and I’m right there. I arrived when the class was just about over and they all gave me a sitting ovation. They love Grace-Marie and had been reading my blog about her. It was pretty incredible and heart warming. The article I wrote about her in the Easy Reader Beach Magazine is coming out tomorrow. A copy of it was attached to the back of the recipe packet, so they could all see it. I wonder if she told them how we have been jumping up and down so excited for the last month since we found out it was going to be in the magazine.
I had no idea how Grace-Marie had prepared the salmon, so she made me a demo plate. It looked like guacamole and a cooked red salsa sauce. I took my fork and scooped up some of the salmon, avocado and tomato, put it in my mouth, and these A-MAZ-ING flavors exploded. This was no south-of-the-border ordinariness. This was the Pacific Rim exulting with wasabi paste, rice vinegar, freshly grated ginger root, sweet chili sauce, sesame oil and soy sauce. Did I say grated ginger? Grace-Marie told me she really likes it, and she wasn’t kidding. I couldn’t stop eating it. I had to be gently nudged towards my camera.
I was imagining those mashed avocados waiting patiently in the bowl to be joined by their usual companions: onion, diced tomato, lime juice and cilantro, and their astonishment when it was wasabi paste, rice vinegar and soy sauce. Seriously, this avocado mash can easily rival guacamole, plus the jicama makes it crunchy and interesting. I took some home and tried it with corn tortilla chips. It was wonderful.
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Roasted Salmon with Avocado and Sweet Chili Sauce
3 large avocados – halved, seed removed, scooped out and rinsed with water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
1 cup green onions – thinly sliced
1 cup jicama – peeled and diced small
½ cup cilantro leaves – chopped
To season – Kosher or sea salt & ground black pepper
Combine and roughly crush (using a large fork or potato masher) the avocados, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and wasabi Stir in the green onions, jicama and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate if not using immediately.
Sweet Chili Sauce
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
¼ cup shallots – thinly sliced
3 tablespoons ginger root — finely grated or chopped
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1 – 15oz. can diced tomatoes – drained
½ cup Asian Sweet Chili Sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
To season – Kosher or sea salt & crushed red chili flakes
Warm the oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add the shallot and ginger and sauté just until tender (1 minute). Stir in the sherry and cook for another minute. Stir in the tomatoes, chili sauce, soy sauce and chili flakes. Cook, stirring, long enough to warm through. Reheat just before serving if necessary.
¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange zest – minced or grated finely
1 tablespoon smoky paprika (Spanish)
1 tablespoon thyme leaves – minced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
To season – Kosher or sea salt& ground black pepper
8 – 6oz Salmon filets – boneless & skinless
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine and mix the oil, brown sugar, zest, paprika, thyme, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Arrange the salmon onto the baking sheet. Coat the top of each portion with the glaze. Roast until the salmon flakes easily with a fork (10 minutes).
8 slices artisan bread (any favorite) – thinly sliced and toasted
To garnish – additional cilantro, green onions or flat leaf parsley
Place a bread slice onto each serving plate. Top with a generous spoonful of the avocado mixture. Place a salmon filet onto the avocado. Ladle a small amount of the sauce creatively around the plate. Garnish with your choice of herbs.