Roasted Salmon Burrito Bowl + Cookbook Giveaway

Roasted Salmon Burrito Bowl - A Thought For Food

Over a month has gone by since my last blog post. In nine years, I can't recall another instance where this much time has elapsed between entries. When I saw my calendar filling up with projects, I quickly resigned to the fact that the blog would be moved to the back burner for a bit. In some ways, it was refreshing to take a step away from it; when something has such a strong presence in your life, a break can be healthy. But I missed this space; it remains a creative outlet that I relish, and it feels good to be here. 

I have Jessica to thank for this resurgence. The other week, I received a copy of her second cookbook, The Pretty Dish: More Than 150 Everyday Recipes & 50 Beauty DIYs to Nourish Your Body Inside and Out. When it arrived, I quickly glanced through the photos (all of which are lovely) and set it aside. I'd dig into it when I had a free moment, which didn't occur until a few days ago. I sat down with my morning cup of coffee and flipped through the pages, searching for a recipe to dig into (there were a lot of excellent candidates). I found the colors and flavors of her carnitas burrito bowl striking, and I realized simply swapping in roasted salmon would make it pescatarian. 

Now, I have the honor of hosting a giveaway of The Pretty Dish!  One lucky winner will get a copy of Jessica's book!

Giveaway Details: 
To enter, leave a comment on this post. Eligible to US residents only (sorry international friends)! Giveaway ends at 12PM EST on Friday, April 6, 2018. The winner will be contacted via e-mail. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another name will be drawn. (Note: Be sure to fill out the e-mail field in the comment form) 

Roasted Salmon Burrito Bowl - A Thought For Food


Source: Adapted from Jessica Merchant's The Pretty Dish

Notes: To make Jessica's recipe pescatarian, I swapped out the carnitas she included for spice roasted salmon fillets. All the other components came from her book

Servings: 4

For the salmon
4 skin-on salmon fillets, 6 ounces each
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Zest of 1 organic lime
Olive oil

For the pickled onions
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt

For the corn salsa
1 1/2 cups corn kernels
1/2 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno chile pepper, diced
Juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

For the pico de gallo
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, diced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and ground black pepper

The Basic Bowl Setup
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 avocados, thinly sliced
A few spoonfuls pickled onions
3 tablespoons cotija cheese

Additional toppings (optional)
Sliced scallions
Chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges

To make the roasted salmon
Preheat the oven to 485 degrees F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the pan with olive oil or cooking spray. In a bowl, combine all the spices, lime zest, salt and black pepper and whisk together. Place salmon fillets, skin-side down, on the prepared baking pan. Cover the flesh of the fillets with the spice mix. Transfer to oven and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let salmon rest on the pan for another 10 minutes before serving. 

To make the pickled onions
Place the onions in a jar or cup. In a bowl, whisk together the water, vinegar, sugar and salt until the sugar and salt dissolve. Pour over the sliced onions. Let sit at room temperature for an hour. You can make this ahead of time and once made, store it in the fridge in a sealed container or jar.

To make the corn salsa
In a bowl, combine the corn, onion, jalapeno pepper, lime juice, cilantro. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Mix well. 

To make the pico de gallo
In a bowl, mix together the tomatoes, onion, cilantro and lime juiced, stirring well. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Roasted Salmon Burrito Bowl - A Thought For Food

Homemade Gravlax (Cured Salmon)

Homemade Gravlax (Cured Salmon) from A Thought For Food -
Homemade Gravlax (Cured Salmon) from A Thought For Food -

I have a deep love for smoked and cured salmon. Well, any fish, really. Salmon, though, is my #1 favorite. WhIle some people put tiny cuts of lox on their bagels, I want a mound on mine. Ideally there's a greater salmon to bagel ratio. If I haven't made myself clear, I can't get enough of the stuff. So, when I first learned of gravlax from my mother-in-law, I knew I needed it in my life. Gravlax is a Nordic recipe that involves curing salmon (or any other fatty fish) in salt, sugar, pepper, and dill.  Once these ingredients have been rubbed all over the fish and arranged so that the two fillets are placed with the flesh sides pressed against each other, the salmon is then wrapped in aluminum foil.  At this point, it is left in the fridge, set in a pan with a weight on top of it, for 48 hours. For a number of years, we made it fairly often. While it's not difficult to prepare, it does take some forethought. To have it on Sunday, I'd have to get everything ready on Friday. 

However,  we recently acquired two Himalayan salt blocks, so I thought I'd give it a try using those. Not only were the results delicious, but the preparation was cleaner and faster (it takes less time to cure... closer to 36 hours). Of course, I don't expect people to have salt blocks, so I've included two recipes below. Enjoy this as an appetizer at Christmas dinner or your New Year's Eve party or for a very special Sunday brunch. 

Homemade Gravlax (Cured Salmon) from A Thought For Food -
Homemade Gravlax (Cured Salmon) from A Thought For Food -
Homemade Gravlax (Cured Salmon) from A Thought For Food -

Yield: 4-6 servings
Tools: baking pan, aluminum foil, 2 Himalayan salt blocks

1 1/2 lbs salmon fillet (skin on)
Large bunch of fresh dill
Lemon (optional)

Line a large baking pan with aluminum foil. Place one of the salt blocks on the pan and cover the surface of the salt block with a bunch of dill.

Using a sharp pairing knife, score the skin of the salmon with 3-4 incisions. Lay the salmon fillet on top of the salt block, skin-side down. Cover the flesh of the salmon with more fresh dill and place the second salt block on top. Transfer to the refrigerator. Let cure for 36 hours. 

Before slicing, remove the dill.

Slice thinly and serve with bagels or pumpernickel bread.  It is tasty with either cream cheese or butter.  A nice mustard sauce would work nicely as well.  Or just a couple lemon wedges.

HOMEMADE GRAVLAX (Without Salt Block)
Yield: 4-6 servings
Tools: baking pan, aluminum foil

2 - 1.5 lb salmon fillets (skin on)
1/3 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons white pepper
Large bunch of fresh dill
3 tablespoons gin

Mix the salt, sugar, and white pepper in a bowl.  Lay out two sheets of aluminum foil that are 6 inches longer than one of the fish fillets on a roasting pan or another rimmed baking dish that is big enough to hold the fish.  Rub the fish with the salt/sugar mixture on both sides of each of the fillets.

Lay one fillet, skin-side down, into the baking dish.  Cover the flesh side with heaping handfuls of fresh dill.  Drizzle with the gin.  Place the remaining fillet, flesh side down, on top of the other piece of fish.  Fold the ends of the aluminum foil over the fillets so that it completely wraps the fish.  Wrap with another two sheets of foil, so it is tightly packaged up.  Place a weight (I use another heavy, but smaller, baking dish and then fill it with oranges and grapefruits) on top of the fish and let sit in the fridge, flipping every 12 hours, for 48 hours.

Before slicing, remove the dill.

Slice thinly and serve with bagels or pumpernickel bread.  It is tasty with either cream cheese or butter.  A nice mustard sauce would work nicely as well.  Or just a couple lemon wedges.

Hazelnut-Crusted Salmon with Roasted Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts


Are there things in your pantry you struggle to use up? For me, it's nuts. I'll buy a bag of almonds for a recipe and then neglect them for months. Next to the almonds are five walnuts lingering in a bag . One day I'll get frustrated and either eat them or chuck them in the garbage. I'm not even sure why I initially bought a container of hazelnuts... but they've been hanging in our cabinet for a while.  Occasionally, I'll be looking for something to snack on and will reach for a handful, but it never seems to do much to deplete our supply. I finally decided to take action and, the other day, I ground up the remaining nuts, mixed them with panko and parsley, and spread it on top of some salmon. The whole dinner came together quickly and has an air of elegance (just saying "encrusted salmon" feels sophisticated). You can serve it with any of your favorite vegetables. A lightly-dressed green salad would really round out the meal. For me, I went with what we had in the fridge, some baby potatoes and Brussels sprouts.  


Hazelnut-Crusted Salmon with Roasted Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

4 servings

4 skin-on salmon fillets (approximately 6 oz each)
1 lb baby potatoes, cut in half
1 lb Brussels sprouts, cut in half
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Lemon zest
Black pepper
Vegetable oil
Olive oil
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 8-10 minutes to par cook them (they're done when a knife slides easily into the potato, but there should be some resistance). Strain potato in a colander. 

Preheat oven to 385 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a bowl, toss potatoes and Brussels sprouts with 1-tablespoon olive oil and season generously with salt. Spread them onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer with the cut sides down. Transfer to the oven and cook for 30 minutes, giving them a stir halfway through to prevent sticking.

Raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. 

Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together chopped hazelnuts, panko, parsley, and 1 ½ teaspoons salt. In another bowl, stir together Dijon mustard and honey. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Spread Dijon mustard-honey mixture on top of fillets, this will allow the chopped hazelnuts and panko to adhere to the salmon. Spread hazelnuts and panko on top of the mustard.

Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to a large, oven-safe skillet and set over medium-high heat. Once the oil starts to shimmer, carefully place the salmon fillets, skin-side down, into the pan. Cook for 5 minutes and then transfer the pan to the oven. Cook for another 7 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve salmon with lemon wedges, roasted Brussels sprouts and potatoes.