In Chef Michael Smith’s new cookbook, the recipes are full of memorable flavours and the prep work’s a piece of cake.
EASY & DELISH | Michael Smith had us at easy. The celebrated Canadian chef who, among his many other accomplishments has a James Beard award-winning television series to his credit, has just released a new cookbook with the “E” word in the title—Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen: 100 of My Favourite Easy Recipes—and that’s music to our ears.
It isn’t that we don’t appreciate elaborate food production numbers that require time-consuming cooking techniques—we do like to cook complicated on occasion. Most days, though, what we want to prepare are flavour-rich dishes that do not require a huge investment of time or energy because we already have too many other things to think about. Chef Smith gets this, and in this, his fifth cookbook, shares easy-make recipes for dishes he cooks regularly in his own home kitchen for family and friends.
What Smith likes about the salmon dish he shares here with Frugalbits readers is that its Mediterranean flavours are both familiar and comforting. Plus you don’t have to worry about overcooking the fish (which can be a problem with salmon) because the “juices will be absorbed by the tomato mixture and ultimately served with the fish.”
Mediterranean Braised Salmon With Ripe Tomatoes, Olives And Oregano
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups (500 ml) halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup (125 ml) kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) dried oregano
1 cup (250 ml) orange juice
1 tbsp (15 ml) red wine vinegar
4 centre-cut salmon fillets (about 6 oz/175 g each), patted dry
1-2 sprinkles of salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
In your favourite large, heavy sauté pan or frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Toss in the onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until lightly browned, soft and aromatic. Add the tomatoes, olives, oregano, orange juice and vinegar and cook until simmering, a few minutes longer. Lightly season the salmon fillets to your taste with salt and pepper, then nestle them in the tomato mixture. Lower the heat so the liquid is barley simmering; cover and simmer until the fish is cooked through but still juicy, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve and share, with lots of the tomato mixture spooned over the salmon.
Oh, And Don’t Miss These
Two events you will not want to miss: On September 22 at 7 p.m. (EST) Chef Michael Smith will participate in a live online cooking event to launch his new cookbook, Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen. For more info on this webcast, visit www.CanadianLiving.com/CookingLive. On November 15 at 6 p.m. (PST) Smith will be at Barbara-Jo’s Books To Cooks in Vancouver to demonstrate a favourite recipe and share stories and cooking tips. For tickets visit www.bookstocooks.com.
Photo: James Ingram