Pan roasted Arctic Char* with Dijon-maple glaze, basmati-wild rice blend, wilted spinach with balsamic marinated mushrooms and grape tomatoes
*for more on Arctic Char, check out my earlier post here
The Recipes (for 2 people)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 /2 teaspoon lemon juice
Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl. This glaze will keep in the refrigerator for some time, so it can be made in advance. The recipe can be doubled or tripled easily if cooking more fillets or larger portions.
Wilted spinach, balsamic mushrooms, grape tomatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1 /2 cup balsamic vinegar
6-8 grape (or other small, sweet varieties such as cherry) tomatoes, halved
2 cups baby spinach
1 /2 teaspoon salt
1 /2 teaspoon pepper
In a large, non-stick pan, heat olive oil. Add sliced mushrooms and cook over medium heat until mushrooms have started to brown. Pour balsamic vinegar over mushrooms, shake the pan a few times until mushrooms have absorbed most of the vinegar, then add tomatoes. Cook tomatoes 1-2 minutes, then add spinach, salt and pepper, and continue cooking until spinach is wilted, no more than a minute or so. I like to get the mushrooms and tomatoes ready, then set aside until just before the meal is ready, then I reheat the pan and add the spinach.
Basmati-wild rice blend
1 cup cooked basmati rice
1 cup cooked wild rice
Although you can buy wild rice-white rice blends, I prefer to cook wild rice separately and add it to the basmati (or other white rice). This is due to the length of cooking times-they don’t match, so invariably you end up with mushy white rice, or tough wild rice. Blech.
For supper on this particular night, I had leftover cooked wild rice in the freezer (it freezes very well, doesn’t lose it’s texture like true rice), so I just defrosted that and added it to the white rice.
Now, here’s the deal with basmati rice. I hear lots of folks say they can’t cook it properly, or it’s always soupy, or for some reason doesn’t work out. That’s how Minute-Rice and it’s ilk took hold. But real rice is not that hard, and here’s my practically fool-proof method (I say practically, because there’s one in every crowd, right? Hedging bets and all that).
The ratio is always 2:1, liquid to uncooked rice.
In a saucepan with a lid, melt a little butter (about 1 /2 teaspoon for each cup of uncooked rice). Stir rice until grains are coated with butter, then add water. Bring to a boil, knock the heat back to low, and put the lid on. Set a timer for 15 minutes and DON’T STIR (it’ll break the grains, make the rice mushy, and mushy is for British peas not rice). After 15 minutes shut off the heat and let stand, covered for 5 minutes. And NOW you can fluff with a fork before serving.
Wild rice, I cook pasta style. I add it to a big pot of salted boiling water, and when the grains have split, I taste it for doneness (should be chewy and nutty), about 45 minutes. Strain the water and poof! Wild rice, ready to go.
2 x 6 ounce char filets (salmon or trout would work equally well)
Preheat oven to 400F. Place the filets in a pan, and brush with glaze. Cook the fish for about 10 minutes, brushing on more glaze about halfway through cooking. Doneness of fish is a personal preference, and I like fish that is still translucent in the middle. Overcooked fish is dry, unpleasant, and I think a waste of good fish. But, to each his own-you do you!
This is how I do it, so it’s under an hour from start to finish. If you cook the wild rice the day before, or don’t use it at all, the prep time will be less than 1 /2 hour.
The idea is to start the longer cooking items first, then the items that take less time, and so on, until it’s all ready at the same time or thereabouts.
- Preheat the oven for the fish
- Get the wild rice cooking
- Start the basmati rice
- Make the glaze, coat the fish
- Once oven is ready, pop the fish in
- Cook the mushrooms & tomatoes, set aside
- Combine the two cooked rices
- Set plates out
- When the fish is nearly ready, reheat the mushroom-tomato business and throw in the spinach.
- Start plating: fish, rice, and by now the spinach has wilted and that can go on the plate.
Do let me know if you have any questions or if something isn’t clear.
I’d love to see your Supper Snaps, with our without recipes!