Not-So-Vegan Supper, Dal for Lunch

Last night Barbara was in the mood for fish, so I made supper featuring a small (3.5 oz.) salmon fillet.  To make things interesting, and to add a modicum of choice to the meal, I made a little menu, similar to what she gives our grandsons for breakfast when they sleep over.  Here is her completed form: Salmon dinner choices   The most satisfying and inventive part of the meal was the raspberry vinegar-shallot reduction sauce for the salmon.  I put a few tablespoons of a raspberry-infused vinegar in a small, nonstick sauté pan, added a chopped shallot, and simmered until the shallot was tender and the liquid almost all evaporated.  Then added a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper, and warmed it again when the salmon was ready for the garnish. vinegar shallot reduction-09 vinegar shallot reduction-09-2   For me there is a strong association among these food memories: month of March, fresh salmon, and cabbage.  So next I pan roasted some sliced Napa cabbage until nicely caramelized, and I saved that as a base for the salmon, which itself was browned in a skillet, then finished in a 400º F. oven.  These were accompanied by steamed carrots and Yukon Gold potatoes, steamed, sliced, and finished with olive oil, parsley and salt. pan-roasted cabbage-09 salmon strip-09 salmon dinner plate-47   That made Barbara happy.  I was content with leftover stir fry from the previous night, supplemented with the remaining shallot concoction. …followed by Dal for lunch today  I’ve had a hankering again for Chana Dal, so after soaking a cupful of the dried dal overnight, I made it for lunch today.  Again, I used Mark Bittman’s article from a couple of years ago as my guide.  Julie Sahni’s tadka is a good model, so I sautéed two whole cloves in hot olive oil, added chopped garlic and serrano pepper, black mustard seeds, and less than 1/2 cup of Italian passato for the tomato.  This was stirred into the dal and served with two glasses of a superb Spanish Godello from Social Wines – 200 Cestos (thanks, John!).  Wholesome, delicious, ethnic, and vegan. stovetop-08 tadka-08 dal with tadka stirred in-09 200 Cestos-40

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