Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I heart old beer

It may sound gross, but alas, there is good reason behind saving a little bit of the dregs.

For instance, when cooking some greens, a little bit of beer can make a wonderful difference in the flavor put out by them. Depending on the greens you choose to cook – there are much more than than just spinach and cabbage – some have subtle flavors while others have metallic or spicy flavors. Adding a little bit of beer can dull down the bite and add a little bit of sweetness.

The last few days I've been on a spinach kick. It's inexpensive, good for you and easily made into a side. I bought some fresh packed fish from the local H-E-B and figured I could plan ahead for the week with some cooked brown rice and some veggies. Here's a new favorite of mine, it's quick and tasty.

I'm trying to save my monies for an upcoming trip to Guatemala to visit an awesome friend who is doing documentary work there and pursing personal projects, so I am trying not to buy fast food on my breaks. I only have an hour break, so I have found myself cooking on my break, which helps take the mind off of the deadline grind, and wrapping up a plate to take back to the office. Today, I decided to go with some couscous, spinach with mushrooms and pan-seared salmon.

First, I cooked the couscous. Such an easy side to go with fish, or pork or chicken. Its really light and cooks in just a few minutes. Then in a second pan, I sauteed some garlic in butter and oil and then added some rough-chopped mushrooms to brown. All the while, I seasoned some salmon with salt and pepper and dropped it in a buttered pan skin-side down. I love crispy skin. I think that is the only reason people don't like fish skin, because they don't cook it so that it's crispy.

I flipped my fish, and squeezed the juice of a half a small lemon on it to help it cook and add some flavor. I then added s healthy handful of spinach to the mushrooms and garlic, poured in some old Miller Lite and covered the pan with a lid. This way it steams and cooks the spinach, melds the flavors of the browned mushrooms and garlic too. The beer brings out a nice added flavor note to the veggies. I dig it.

Bon appetite.

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