Thursday, February 7, 2013

Honey Dijon Salmon with Spinach Parmesan Orzo

I present to you my tried and true "emergency dinner party" menu - and we all know how stressful THOSE are!  This is also a great after work dinner - simple ingredients, easy to prep and cook, healthy and of course, delicious!

This is dinner for 2.  To be truthful, the orzo could probably generously serve 3.  But what can I say...
We LOVE this side dish and are portion piggys!

On the plate:
Salmon, tarragon, honey, grainy Dijon mustard.
Spinach, baby carrots, orzo, parmesan cheese.
        Let's get on with the salmon! 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, please.
 I have 2 very nice boneless skinless Atlantic salmon fillets, each a generous almost 8 oz (it was on sale!)  
Normal is 6 oz :-)
For EACH salmon serving, you will need:
                 1 t dried tarragon,
                 1 T grainy Dijon mustard and,
                 1 T honey 
Honey is like wine and can add a distinct flavour.   I used Manuka Honey, a deep amber Australian honey.  Regular Billy Bee will do just fine :-)

Here I have 2 t tarragon,
2 T grainy mustard and 2 T honey.
Mix well

        Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. 
          Place salmon portions in dish.
Cover with the honey mix on top & on the sides.
          A few grindings of fresh pepper, please.
                 In the oven for about 14 minutes 
                            for these large babies!

Now for the side dish...
 4 cups of fairly tightly packed spinach. 
 It's not really a lot because it will wilt.
 3/4 C orzo
 1/2 C parmesan cheese
Boil orzo in about 6 cups of salted water in a large pot - you will add spinach later so you will need the mixing room!

While the orzo cooks, prepare the carrots.             
Here is a close on my designer ones called "maroon".

I've roughly peeled them so as to keep some of the pretty maroon speckling.

Boil for about 7 minutes or,
until tender at thickest part.

   By now your orzo should be done.
Drain well, return to pot.

Add spinach to orzo. 
On medium heat...
keep stirring and mixing spinach and orzo thoroughly until spinach is just wilted.

 Add parmesan and 2 generous T
of butter or margarine.

It should look creamily yummy like this!

Drain carrots and toss with butter. 
There will be a lot of other flavours going on.
so less is more here.

By now, your salmon should be done
and look like this -- yum!

       Place orzo mix in centre of each plate. 
Lay salmon across.  Border with carrots. 
Pour extra juices from fish on top.

Look at that luscious flakiness!

Look at that happy face!