Here is a meal I recently made for a party on a working day. The menu obviously needed to be uncomplicated and quick, since I had only a few hours in the afternoon to shop for the food and then to cook it.
We began with a salad of seasonal greens, sliced mushrooms and julienned sweet red peppers in a lemon and olive oil dressing. Marinated salmon fillets, garnished with sesame seeds and chives, was the main dish, served with assorted vegetables. And a purchased pound cake topped with sliced peaches and an easy caramel sauce took no time to assemble for dessert.
The salmon was one of the best dishes of the evening. The fillets are marinated for two hours in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. Then they are broiled and served sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds and chopped chives. Although the salmon fillets were delicious broiled (a quick method when you are rushed), they would be equally good cooked on a grill.
SALMON FILLETS WITH SESAME SEEDS AND CHIVES
8 (6- to 7-ounce) salmon fillets with skin on
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons dark roasted sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped chives
Remove any bones sticking out from salmon with tweezers.
Combine soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil in bowl. Mix well to blend. Place fillets, skin-side down, in shallow glass or ceramic dish that will hold them comfortably. Pour marinade over top. Cover and chill 2 hours, turning several times.
When ready to cook, remove fillets from marinade and place, flesh-side up, on rack in broiler pan. Broil 5 to 6 inches from heat until flesh flakes easily when pierced with knife, 5 to 8 minutes.
When done, remove from oven. Cut small piece from 1 fillet and taste. If necessary, season to taste with salt. Since soy sauce is salty, additional salt may not be needed. Arrange fillets on heated platter and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and chives. Makes 8 servings.
Note: To toast sesame seeds, spread on rimmed baking sheet and bake on center shelf at 350 degrees until golden, about 10 minutes, stirring several times. Watch carefully as seeds burn quickly. Or place seeds in heavy skillet over medium-high heat and shake pan several minutes until seeds are golden.