Switching gears again, this was a lovely dinner. It was a very attractive presentation and wonderfully flavorful It was also pretty quick and makes a great weeknight meal.
Well, we knew the heat was going to come eventually and it has. The weather in DFW has been a real scorcher of late with triple digits the norm. We hit 107 F this week. Weather like this just drains you. You hate cooking inside because the house gets hot. So, you’re always looking for quick, easy, refreshing meals to fix. This is one of those recipes. We simply didn’t know what we wanted for dinner. I had been messing with Quickstep’s car and was pretty drained from the heat. Although a nice bright salad would have been nice and refreshing, I wanted something a little more substantial yet without a lot of work. I had some beautiful salmon steaks in the freezer and a couple of small, ripe avocados along with a variety of fresh veggies from the farmers market. Assessing the situation and food inventory, the wheels began to turn. Now things began to crystalize in my mind. Why not a spaghetti pasta dish with a nice, refreshing sauce with an ancho crusted salmon on top? Oh yah, and a little Serrano chile for a touch of kick for the Baby Lady. A little chipotle chile powder for some smokiness. That’s the ticket.
You see, we had not had a pasta dish in over 4 months. So, a pasta dish was perfect. We really like pasta but don’t eat a whole lot of it because of our diet and expanding waistlines. Nevertheless, pasta is quick, easy and always flavorful. When life is hectic, work is busy, you’re not in the mood for something complex and you’re looking for something for a weeknight meal, pasta always fits the bill and I was in the mood for pasta. So, pasta it was. :)
Although this recipe may look complex at first glance, it’s not. You dice a few summer veggies, grill an avocado and puree it, boil some pasta, season and grill the fish. Viola, you’re done. It’s not hard at all. From start to finish, it takes roughly 30 minutes to prepare. Further, we got to use the grill outside so as to minimize heating the inside. Quick, simple, pretty and tasty. How can you beat that? This is what we did.
- 2 small avocado
- 1/4 cup lime infused olive oil, plus some for drizzling at the end (good quality olive oil can be substituted for lime infused olive oil)
- i cup cilantro, rough chop
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp Chipotle chile powder
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup zucchini, small dice
- 1/2 red onion, small dice
- 1 Roma tomato, small dice
- 1 Serrano chile, small dice (2 if you like it spicy :) )
- 3 salmon steaks, 8 oz each
- ancho chile rub (recipe found here)
First things, first. Since this is a pasta dish, fill a large pot with water and a handful of salt. Put on a burner and bring it to a boil.
While the pasta water is heating up, cut an avocado in half, brush with olive oii and place on grill flesh side down.
Grill avocado until soft and you get some nice grill marks,. It’s OK to let it go a little further because you are going to put this in a food processor and no one will see the grill marks.
Scoop out the flesh and put it in a food processor.
the lime juice,
salt and chipotle,
and now the garlic.
Process to make a purée.
With the processor running, stream in the olive oil.
Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed. Set aside.
In a separate bowl mix the red onion
and a drizzle of lime infused olive oil,
Stir gently and let sit to meld the flavors. Do not add the tomatoes at this time because the veggies are going to macerate in the lime/salt mix. Adding the tomatoes at this time will make it too watery.
Liberally season the salmon steaks with the ancho chile rub.
Lightly oil and place on grill and cook 2 – 3 minutes, depending upon how you like your fish.
Turn and cook another 2 – 3 minutes.
While the salmon is cooking, place the spaghetti in boiling water and cook until pasta is al dente. This takes roughly 8 minutes so time this carefully. When done, the salmon should already be done and resting.
Add tomatoes to the other veggies.
Add avocado puree to the vegetables.
Mix until well incorporated.
Drain pasta into a bowl and add the avocado sauce to the spaghetti.
Toss the past to blend the pasta and sauce together. Place a serving of pasta in the middle of the plate.
Place a salmon steak atop the pasta
Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and drizzle with some more lime infused olive oil
Serve & enjoy! If you want a little extra brightness, serve with lime wedges in a bowl on the side.