My cooking style usually defaults to that of The Simple Bold Chef. First, I’ll use up what’s on hand — that’s pretty simple. Next, I’ll seek out ingredients that are local, organic, in season and affordable — to me, finding said ingredients creates the dishes with the boldest, most satisfying flavors. The Simple Bold Chef always makes for a tasty meal, and a happy tRuth.
Every once in a while though, I throw a wrench in the gears. Like yesterday, when I opted for the cooking style of the Protein Queen and made a beeline to the seafood counter at the grocery store. It’s always rewarding to step outside the comfort zone in the kitchen, but the process also caused me to consider what it really means to be a Protein Queen (or in this case, a Seafood Señora) in the kitchen.
1.) Oh my goodness. If you ever had any doubt that it was possible to cook an incredible dinner in 15 minutes, please make this dish. It literally takes 15 minutes from start to finish, and it comes out looking like a million bucks and tasting like a million and one. I almost whipped out my phone to invite my friends over for a raging seafood soiree — that’s how impressed I was with myself and my salmon.
2.) Additionally, this dish costs about $4 per serving to make, and it’s 10 times better than the last $5 sub sandwich you had. I know, right? You’re sitting there with bated breath, amazed it takes only $4 and 15 minutes to tackle salmon hook, like and sinker. That’s not fishy at all.
3.) Mostly, though, I started thinking about the environmental impact of my decision to purchase farm-raised salmon in New York City. There’s an ongoing debate about whether it’s healthier for the environment (and the body) to buy farm-raised or wild-caught salmon. There’s no easy answer, especially because each farm and each fisher…person’s values and practices can be vastly different. To me, it’s clear that the health benefits of wild-caught salmon are higher, but there’s no obvious winner when it comes to the environment. If you have any insight on this issue, leave a comment to quell this pondering mind.
4.) I also started thinking about the last time I went fishing, which was about 10 years ago in the middle of Nowhere, Minnesota. I realized that if you ever see me fishing again, it will be strictly for my dinner and not for sport. Or else I will be playing that awesome fishing game of my youth that I sometimes still fantasize about playing again.
5.) I wonder too, what you guys think. How often is it okay to cook a meal that tastes incredible and is soiree worthy even if its environmental consequences are questionable? Should the The Simple Bold Chef continue yielding to the Protein Queen?
Roasted Salmon with Rosemary and Pecans
Makes ~2 servings
Extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
3/4 pound fresh salmon fillet, skin on
2 tablespoons raw pecans, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
Sea salt, black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking pan with your oil, and place salmon on, skin side down. Rub the fillet with sea salt and black pepper, and sprinkle the pecans and rosemary over the top. Bake until salmon flakes lightly with a fork, 12-15 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.