Monthly Archives

September 2018

Food Recipes

Thirty Minute Meals: Salmon + Orzo

Ever since I moved away to college I developed a passion for cooking and baking. It started off by just watching the food network and trying to recreate some of the dishes I saw, and eventually turned into me coming up with recipes on my own. I would create ridiculously elaborate meals and invite friends over for dinner parties.

After college I moved back home for my first two years of medical school. During that time my cooking pretty much came to a halt (yes, I was living at home again and spoiled by mom’s cooking). I eventually moved out and started cooking again, only now I had to find much simpler meals that also tasted great.

That brings me to this recipe. It’s super simple to make, considerably healthy, takes about 30 minutes to cook everything, and comes out tasting absolutely delicious. It’s a perfect quick dinner for two at the end of a long work day (or for one with leftovers the following day).

I am actually going to discuss the full recipe for two different things – my favorite salmon, and my favorite orzo. I usually pair this dish with a steamed vegetable (broccoli or asparagus), with just a touch of salt and pepper (or everything but the bagel seasoning if you’re feeling adventurous).

For the Salmon, I usually get two 8 oz pieces of Atlantic Salmon from Whole Foods with the skin on (I know wild caught is better for you but my budget will usually only allow for the farm raised version). The marinade I use is Stonewall Kitchen’s Sesame Ginger Teriyaki.

If you watched my Instagram story recently you would already know how obsessed I am with this marinade. I usually buy it at The Fresh Market, but they’ve been sold out recently so I’ve been ordering it online. Trust me when I say this is the best and only marinade you will ever need for Salmon, ever again.

To marinate the salmon, I use a fork to poke holes in the top of the fish (the more holes the better). I find that this allows for better absorption of the marinade to give it more flavor. I then put the two salmon filets in a small zip lock bag with about half of the bottle of marinade. Ideally you want this to sit for 30-45 minutes.

Just before I am ready to cook the Salmon, I start making the Orzo. You’re going to melt 1 tbsp of ghee (or other butter) over medium heat in a pan or sauce pot with a lid. Once the ghee is melted, mix in 1 cup of orzo. Make sure you mix it thoroughly so that all of the orzo is coated and allow it to cook for about 5 min. Continue mixing the orzo every 20 seconds or so, so that none of the pieces burn. Your goal is to brown the pieces slightly and as evenly as possible.

Next, you’re going to pour in 14 oz of chicken stock. I personally use low sodium broth and just add a small amount of salt to taste later on, to avoid exceeding my sodium limit for the day. You can also use vegetable broth if you are vegan or vegetarian. Once the broth is added, reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Set your timer for 18-20 minutes.

Now that the orzo is doing its thing, we can turn our attention back to the Salmon. Set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and take out a medium size (preferably non-stick) pan. Heat the pan over low-medium heat, and melt another tbsp of ghee in the pan. Again, you can use regular butter however I personally use ghee because it’s better for cooking at higher temperatures.

Next, remove the salmon from the zip lock bag and place it face down on the pan. You may want to use tongs to do this so that if any of the ghee or marinade splash up (which it frequently does), it will not burn your hand. DO NOT throw away the contents of the zip lock bag. Cook the salmon face down for about 5 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally to make sure the salmon is not sticking to the bottom.

Once 5 minutes have passed, empty the remainder of the marinade from the zip lock bag into the pan with the salmon. Place the whole thing in the oven. That’s right, the whole thing; I promise your pan won’t disintegrate. Leave it in there for about 10 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked to your desired doneness.

You can now throw your veggies in a pan with a vegetable steamer basket and lid and cook on high for 3-5 minutes.

At this point, your orzo should be almost done. Check it to make sure all of the water is absorbed. If not, give it a few more minutes, and if it is, mix in your basil, ¼ cup of white cooking wine, and ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to your desired taste and mix well.

The salmon, orzo, and veggies should all (theoretically) be done. Plate as desired and sprinkle some sesame seeds on your salmon to give it a little extra crunch. Season your vegetables, and sprinkle some more parmesan on top of your orzo. Voila – an amazing meal in 30-ish minutes. Enjoy!

XoXo
-Erica

Salmon + Orzo Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

This is my go to recipe for several reasons; it's super simple to make, considerably healthy, takes about 30 minutes to cook everything, and comes out tasting absolutely delicious. It's a perfect quick dinner for two at the end of a long work day (or for one with leftovers the following day).

Servings: 2 people
Ingredients
  • 2 8 oz Salmon Filets Atlantic Salmon
  • 1 1/2 Bottle Stonewall Kitchen Sesame Ginger Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1 cup Orzo Whole Wheat
  • 2 tbsp Ghee or Butter
  • 14 oz Chicken Broth Low Sodium, or Veggie Broth
  • 3 tbsp Fresh Basil Chopped
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup White Cooking Wine
Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. To marinate the salmon, use a fork to poke holes in the top of the fish (the more holes the better). This allows for better absorption of the marinade to give it more flavor. Put the two salmon filets in a small zip lock bag with about half of the bottle of marinade. Ideally you want this to sit for 30-45 minutes.

  2. Just before you are ready to cook the Salmon, start making the Orzo. Melt 1 tbsp of ghee (or other butter) over medium heat in a pan or sauce pot with a lid. Once the ghee is melted, mix in 1 cup of orzo. Make sure you mix it thoroughly so that all of the orzo is coated and allow it to cook for about 5 min. Continue mixing the orzo every 20 seconds or so, so that none of the pieces burn. Your goal is to brown the pieces slightly and as evenly as possible.

  3. Pour in 14 oz of chicken stock. I personally use low sodium broth and just add a small amount of salt to taste later on, to avoid exceeding sodium intake. You can also use vegetable broth if you are vegan or vegetarian. Once the broth is added, reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Set your timer for 18-20 minutes.

  4. Set oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat a medium size (non-stick) pan over low-med heat, and melt another tbsp of ghee in the pan. Remove the salmon from the zip lock bag and place it face down on the pan. Use tongs to do this so if any of the ghee or marinade splash up, it will not burn your hand. Cook the salmon face down for about 5 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally to make sure the salmon is not sticking to the bottom.

  5. Once 5 minutes have passed, empty the remainder of the marinade from the zip lock bag into the pan with the salmon. Place the whole thing in the oven. That’s right, the whole thing; I promise your pan won’t disintegrate. Leave it in there for about 10 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked to your desired doneness.

  6. You can now throw your veggies in a pan with a vegetable steamer basket and lid and cook on high for 3-5 minutes.

  7. At this point, your orzo should be almost done. Check it to make sure all of the water is absorbed. If not, give it a few more minutes, and if it is, mix in your basil, ¼ cup of white cooking wine, and ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to your desired taste and mix well.

  8. The salmon, orzo, and veggies should all (theoretically) be done. Plate as desired and sprinkle some sesame seeds on your salmon to give it a little extra crunch. Season your vegetables, and sprinkle some more parmesan on top of your orzo. Voila – an amazing meal in 30-ish minutes. Enjoy!