Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dinner Tonight: Broiled Salmon Fillets with Curried Chutney

So, I know lots of people are scared to cook fish at home. Never fear, this is the recipe for you! It's easy, salmon is one of the easiest types of fish to cook, and it's absolutely delicious!

A partially-used mango chutney jar was burning a hole in the condiment shelf of my fridge (figuratively, anyway), so I picked this dish for a easy weeknight dinner. And it was a total win. Sweet without being too desserty, and it still lets the flavor of the salmon shine through. Served with green beans (roasted simply with minced garlic, olive oil, salt and tiniest bit of honey) and some brown rice to sop up extra sauce. For an extra kick, you might even want to try it with a touch of ground red pepper. ...Do it.

I ended up still not using all the chutney, so stay tuned for trying-to-pare-down-the-condiment-shelf part some point.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Buku (Raleigh)

On my way back from a work trip last week, I had the great pleasure to visit and dine with the moms and pops. We went to Buku because it's (probably quite literally) spitting distance from their place, and, well, who doesn't love international street food?!

I have to say that the execution of pretty much all the cooking at Buku was spot on. Conceptually, though, every single dish we ordered had some sort of not-quite-rightness.
Exhibit A, the cilantro chutney. As our waiter had promised, it was very tasty. Unfortunately, it was NOT a chutney. Super-thin, and not a chunk in sight.
Number 2, the cochinita pibil. The pork was tender, the corn tortillas soft but not soggy. However, these tacos could have really used some acidity. Even just a lime wedge on the plate would have done the trick!
The paneer had fantastic flavors, but lacked texture. Soft cheese with mushy caramelized onions and sauteed kale really need something crunchy so didn't all just slurp down.
By contrast, the Chilean sea bass had all sorts of textures and, like everything else, was perfectly cooked. But it was sweet, on top of sweet, on top of sweet. I have a killer sweet tooth, but I don't really like my fish to taste like dessert.
And speaking of dessert, lastly, the tiramisu. Absolutely delicious, and I loved the presentation in a parfait glass with long spoons to boot. But where was the booziness? A tiramisu without liquor is like a fair without a ferris wheel.

If cooking is both an art and a science, Buku has the technique, but lacks the finesse. But I see real potential! (portions x-posted to