The Salmon found my Swing

Since summer has ended, I think I've lost my "swing". I attend school 5 days a week, work at a Bistro 4 days, complete homework, writing a book, spend time with loved ones and sleep somewhere in between it all. No one said this journey was going to be easy, so I guess I had it coming. I haven't returned to my journal in weeks and for that I feel guilty. To be honest I felt like I've had no time for JeremyCooks anymore, let alone a social life. I've caught the infamous case of "Senioritis",  when senior pride results in a year of being lazy. In school, with each available  chance I seize the opportunity to lay my head down on a big comfy textbook. One of those recent  moments resulted in my daydream of a salmon (YES a salmon!).

I dreamed I was on a bridge, facing the upstream of a large rushing river. I was completely surrounded by trees and mountains. I must have been remembering a scene from my families vacation to Alaska in '07. I noticed though that the body of water gushing below me had really been a glistening stream of Alaskan King Salmon . I was so dreary that I sat down. Just then an abnormally large salmon jumped onto the bridge and laid down in front of me. " Hey there" said the salmon. "Hey" I replied, not paying attention to the fact that a fish was talking to me. "You've lost your swing Jeremy" he said boldly. "I have, haven't I, what do I do about it? I asked. "What you do best!" he yelled. With that he began to wiggle and as he leaped into the air shouted " Keep on Cooking!". He flew over my head and back into the stream. I quickly stood up, contemplating what the salmon had told me. " I will" I yelled back to him. Right then a large net appeared beside me. I picked it up and casted it into the stream pulling out a large catch of wriggling salmon. Satisfied, I threw the net over my shoulder and happily began to march off the bridge, in order to Keep on Cooking!

I opened my eyes with a red textbook mark imprinted into my forehead. I now knew what I had to do, cook salmon, and thats exactly what I did.

In honor of the salmon that gave me back my swing in this somewhat long exaggerated fictional daydream, I created  this dish for you.

Maple-Soy Grilled Salmon with Butternut Squash Puree & Sautéed Spinach Salad

Serves 4

Butternut Squash Puree
2 butternut squash, halved and seeded
Olive oil (enough to coat)
Salt & Pepper
1 tablespoon, unsalted butter
1/2 cup half & half

Coat each halve of squash with oil and a generous pinch of each seasoning listed above. Roast at 400F for 50-60 minutes until fork tender. Let cool and scoop squash from skin. In a medium sauce pot, add the squash, 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter and a 1/4 cup of the half and half (add more if needed). Blend in blender or handheld blender until smooth and loose but not runny. Keep warm.

Sautéed Spinach Salad  
1/4 lb, thickly sliced pancetta
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon garlic
1 16oz can cannelloni beans, washed and rinsed
1 bag spinach

Fry pancetta until golden brown in a large sauté pan ( add a little olive oil to prevent sticking). Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon and reserve. While the oil is still hot add the red onion and sauté until translucent. Add in garlic, stir for 1 minute. To the pan add the beans just to heat. Add the spinach and toss until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm


Maple-Soy Grilled Salmon
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup soy sauce

Bring Maple Syrup and Soy Sauce to a boil then simmer in a small saucepan for 5 minutes until slightly thickened.

4 (4-5 oz) Scottish salmon fillets, skins removed 
Salt and Pepper

Heat and grease  grill. Oil salmon to prevent any sticking. With a high heat grill salmon on a each side for 2 minutes. Remove from grill and brush with each presentation side with the glaze. Place under broiler for no more then 1 minute.

 Serve all together in any fashion and presentation that you feel appropriate. Be creative and enjoy.

and don't forget..............
Keep on Cooking!!!

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