Easy Weeknight Date Night Meal

28 Apr

Just because it’s a weeknight doesn’t mean that you and your special someone can’t have a nice date-night worthy meal. It ended up being pretty warm today in Boston, so instead of cooking the salmon in the oven the full time and heating the oven to 375 – 400 degrees, I decided to pan-sear it and then finish it gently in the oven.

I paired the salmon with basmati rice with cherry tomatoes and spinach.

Here’s what you need:

2 salmon filets, I took the skin off (I should really get a better knife for that)

2 TBS of basil butter, see previous post for recipe

1 garlic clove, chopped

extra virgin olive oil

2 scallions, white and green, chopped

2 cups of uncooked baby spinach

1/2 a pint of cherry tomatoes, halved

salt and pepper

1 tsp herbs de provence

Splash of Orange Juice

5 pineapple cubes, I used frozen pineapple

Parmesan cheese

1 Bag of oyster crackers, the kind you get when you get soup at the grocery, 5 saltines would do ok too if you don’t have oyster crackers

I’d add a splash of white wine too but alas I was out.

Preheat your oven to 350. In an oven-safe dish, melt the basil butter into some extra virgin olive oil. Season salmon filets with salt and pepper. Place in dish. Do not turn over. Once you see the bottom starting to cook, top with the crushed crackers. Add the splash of orange juice/wine. Add pineapple chunks. Cover top with foil and bake until salmon is flaky.

I used the fabulous Uncle Ben’s rice in the bag that you microwave for 90 seconds and it’s done! While the two bags of rice are in the microwave, heat some extra virgin olive oil with the cherry tomatoes and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and the herbs de Provence. Add one bag of the rice and the spinach. Do not mix yet. Once the heat of the rice starts to wilt the spinach add the other bag of rice and stir.

By the time the rice is done, the salmon is done. I serve the rice with a sprinkle of freshly crumbled Parmesan cheese. I actually found a black peppercorn Parm from Trader Joe’s, delicious. I also put some of the pineapple into the rice for an added level of flavor/texture. You can also put the pineapple on top of the salmon.

This is a bright, super easy dish to make for a week night and elegant enough to be a date night. My someone special said this was “awesome.” C’est si Yum!

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