I once was asked to be a guest judge on Iron Chef and it was SO FUN, but OMG did I learn the meaning of “too much of a good thing” that day. The secret ingredient for that day was mascarpone cheese, meaning that it had to be in every dish served to us (the judges). With 3 chefs and 3 courses (plus an amuse bouche, I believe), that was 12 dishes with mascarpone cheese. By the end of the day I felt like my blood had turned into cheese, my skin even smelled like cheese, and my hair felt like cheese. Maybe I should not have devoured entire dishes served to us, but what can I say? Live and learn. I walked home in a foggy haze and dropped on to the bed belly side down and fell into a coma like sleep. I was not able to eat mascarpone for 2 full years.
But mascarpone came back into my life because of a dark, damp, cold day. I really craved a risotto, but obviously I am way to impatient (and lazy) to cook it. So, as an experiment, I grabbed some mascarpone, some spinach, orzo, and lemons to see if I could make a thick, yummy rice dish that took less than 5 minutes to make. I also grabbed salmon to get in some protein. When I got home to test this recipe for the first time I was seriously AMAZED how quickly this all came together. In about 15 minutes, I had a meal that looked and tasted divine. My hubby loved it so much, he asked for seconds, which meant I had to cook up a whole new batch, but the recipe is so fast it was no big deal and I happily obliged. This really is the ultimate Impatient Foodie dinner – YES!
As a small side note, this is not “my” method to cook salmon. I read about it somewhere, but I can’t remember where… It’s amazing and fast and it really works!
8 MINUTE SALMON WITH LAZY MAN’S “RISOTTO”
1 FILET OF SALMON
1 TEASPOON OF COCONUT OIL
½ CUP OF ORZO
BIG HANDFUL OF SPINACH
¼ OF PARMESAN + MORE TO TASTE
1 TABLESPOON MARSCAPONE
½ – 1 TABLESPOON OF OLIVE OIL
½ JUICE FROM A LEMON + LEMON ZEST
SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
HAZELNUTS, CRUSHED AND TOASTED
- Before you start cooking, take your salmon out of the fridge to bring to room temperature. Pat it with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
- Put water to boil.
- Crush up some hazelnuts for your garnish and set aside.
- Put spinach at the bottom of a colander and leave in the sink.
- Place the coconut oil in skillet over high heat and let it melt. When skillet is hot, add the salmon skin side down and turn down heat to medium. Leave cooking for 3-4 minutes then flip over the salmon. Turn off heat and allow the salmon to cook, about 2-3 more minutes (more if you like filet is very thick or if the salmon well cooked).
NOTE: If your salmon filet is very thick, once you flip it over, leave the heat on for about 1 minute and then turn it off and allow it to rest in the hot pan for another 2-3 minutes. I personally like my salmon on the rare side, but if it’s too rare for you, just turn the heat back on to medium and cook to your liking.
- Meanwhile, boil the orzo. Drain the orzo over the spinach and shake a few times to ensure water is drained out.
- In a medium large bowl, combine the orzo, spinach, 1 tablespoon of marscapone, ½ Tablespoon of olive oil, your parmesan, and juice from ½ a lemon and very mix well. Add more olive oil, if desired.
- Add salt, pepper, and more lemon zest to taste.
- Quickly toast your crushed hazelnuts, taking care not to burn them.
- Spoon orzo onto a plate and top off with a salmon filet.
- Garish with the hazelnuts and some lemon zest. Serve immediately.