Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Baked Salmon w/ Blackberry Ginger Glaze & Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes. Easy, right? Well, I know that now, but before last Saturday I had no idea. I had literally never made real mashed potatoes from scratch in my life before that day. Sad, I know. Its not like I'd never tasted them - I've had them many times, and I love them, but I never felt the need when I had instant mashed potatoes in my pantry. The pearls are still there, but I just felt it was time to branch out and try one of the easiest recipes on the planet. And they were delicious! Garlicky and perfect with the skins mixed in & some sour cream to make them nice and smooth. I couldn't believe that they turned out so good, seeing as how I winged the whole thing! You're gonna love 'em. And they are the perfect side for phenomenal blackberry glazed salmon.
This recipe was also a first for me. Blackberries are in abundance (and might I add cheap?) at Costco these days, so when I found this recipe I knew I'd have to try it immediately. I served it with the potatoes and roasted pears from my last post when my parents came over for a little dinner date, and it was a smashing success! My mom texted me the next morning and said she'd had dreams about it - now that's a compliment! I was glad they loved it, and that it seemed like such a fancy dinner, because it made me look pretty darn good. But can I tell you a secret? It was sooooooo easy! Give this one a try, and invite people over when you do. You'll be glad you did.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
2-3 lbs red potatoes, washed and quartered
4 cloves garlic
3/4 - 1 c. sour cream
3 Tbsp butter or margarine
salt and pepper to taste
Put potatoes & garlic in a large pot. Fill pot with water until its about 1 inch above potatoes. Bring to a boil & cook until potatoes are tender. Drain potatoes and put back in pot over low heat for excess water to evaporate. Add margarine and proceed to mash potatoes and garlic with a potato masher. As you mash, add in sour cream, salt & pepper until they reach your desired consistency and taste.

Baked Salmon with Blackberry Ginger Glaze
From Sunny Anderson of the Food Network

1 c. water
12 oz. blackberries
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled & sliced into coins
1/2 lemon, juice
1/4 c. sugar
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 (8-oz) skinless salmon fillets
salt & freshly ground black pepper
preheat oven to 400 degrees.
in a small sauce pot over med-high heat, combine water, blackberries, ginger & lemon juice. bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until berries break down, ~5 min. remove from heat & strain into a bowl, using the back of a spoon to push blackberry pulp through. return blackberry mixture to the sauce pot, add sugar & bring to a boil. lower the heat and simmer until reduced by half, ~20 min, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. remove from heat & let cool.
brush a baking sheet with olive oil & set the fillets on top. brush fillets with oil & season with salt & pepper. once blackberry mixture is cool, brush over salmon fillets & bake for 4 minutes. brush again with blackberry mixture. turn oven to broil and broil another 3 minutes.

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