1Chop a one pound salmon fillet (wild Alaskan has the best flavor, if you want to splurge) into bite-sized chunks.
1In a large bowl, combine a couple rounded tablespoons of miso paste (I used South River chickpea), a tablespoon of soy sauce (I used “Mother’s Best” Filipino calamansi soy sauce, available at large Asian grocers), a garlic clove or two chopped fine, black pepper, a generous handful of chopped scallion or chives, and two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (I use Goya for cooking), plus an optional few shakes of ground marjoram. Dilute with a half cup of water and marinate the salmon, stirring infrequently to ensure even coating.
1Chop a medium onion, sautee in olive oil at medium heat. Remove half when it begins to brown, and caramelize the rest. Remove the caramelized onion, set it aside, and reintroduce the lightly browned onion.
1Add to the pan 2 cups of chicken stock and a cup of short or medium grained rice (I used Carnaroli – a bit firmer than arborio – from Lotus Foods). Bring to a boil, then stir in a few ground saffron threads and the salmon plus half the marinade – or all of it if you want a really zingy flavor (I prefer not to crowd the subtle rice and salmon flavors). Cover and reduce to simmer.
1Cook for 20 minutes, adding chopped carrots after 10, coarsely-cut asparagus after 15, and a generous handful of baby spinach plus the caremlized onion after 19 (also check for salt; note that this recipe tastes great with none additional). If you have leftover veggies, chop them and throw them in at the end, too. Turn off heat and allow to sit a few minutes before serving. Finish with a drizzle of your best extra virgin olive oil.
2Firmly scrape the pan with a metal spatula, and top off your guest’s plate with the crunch.
A simple and supremely satisfying dessert, rice pudding is pure comfort in a bowl. It's easy to get there too! Just simmer white rice with whole milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt until the grains are tender, plump, and creamy, then stir in a little vanilla or almond extract while the pudding's still warm. Top however you like (fresh berries in season, dried fruit, toasted nuts for a crunchy contrast, a sprinkle of cinnamon)—you really can't go wrong. Read more.
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