Pomegranate Glazed Slow-Roasted Salmon with Fennel & Leeks

Salmon with Pomegranate Glaze and Roasted Fennel

Let’s get this out of the way upfront: there’s a meat-and-fruit tradition in cooking that we’re just not a hundred percent on board with. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that kind of combination, but the problem occurs when the fruit is overly sweet and there’s nothing to balance it out. When you have a fatty cut of meat — such as lamb — or fish, such as the wild salmon we use here — it benefits from being cut with an acidic component. It’s the same reason we use oil and vinegar together in a salad dressing. 

We’ll often use lemon in our dishes to contribute that balance, but this week we’re looking at how pomegranate molasses, made into a pomegranate glaze, can lend a similar complexity to the rich flavor of roasted salmon.

Salmon with Pomegranate Glaze and Roasted Fennel

We’ve all got that ingredient somewhere in the pantry. It’s the jar of something you picked up at the store, maybe on a whim or maybe with a specific purpose in mind, but then it got forgotten and languished in your kitchen cupboard until you re-discovered it and thought “aha! I know what to do with that”. Pantry space is not infinite (we can’t all have a TARDIS) and there’s a limit to how many items we can store that we aren’t using on a regular basis. For us, this ingredient is pomegranate molasses.

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An American-British Fish Pie

A bowl of fish pie with fork and spoon

Fish Pie

It’s a funny thing, food writing. Cooking has so much potential to bring people together, but recipes can also create rifts of disagreement that can simmer for years (OK, rifts don’t simmer, but, you know what we mean). As a case in point, a while back we posted a basic recipe for pasta, minced beef and tomato sauce that in Emily’s family had gone by the name of “gamush” since time immemorial. We hadn’t exactly imagined it would lead to a kum-ba-yah reunion, but we got two swift pieces of feedback from opposite ends of the family, both claiming that they had invented it, and both mentioning that we had gotten the recipe quite wrong (but in different ways).

Posting a variation on a favorite recipe can be like tackling a religion: you’re going to get diehard believers who have A Correct Way to make something and no deviation will be tolerated. Then, there are more casual members of the church who don’t really mind what you do with the recipe so long as you don’t put raisins in it.

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Crispy Pan-Seared Salmon with Creamy Lemon Rice

Crispy Salmon and Creamy Lemon Rice

Crispy Pan-Seared Salmon with Creamy Lemon Rice

Flaky, moist salmon with perfectly crisp skin, sitting on a bed of creamy lemon rice. It might look fancy but it’s a cinch to make, even on a weeknight.

Hey, you! Our old buddy! You made it out of 2016! Us too – and look, Nerds with Knives is exactly where you left it, a little battered, a little bruised perhaps, but we made it to the other side of the timeline mostly intact. Now, don’t get alarmed, but we’ve moved a few things around. We’re on new hosting, which won’t affect your NWK experience too much (perhaps a little faster, do you think?), we have a new ad partner, and we are now Pinteresting like never before. You can visit and follow us here. Other than that, it’s still just the two of us wombling along making things to eat and hoping you like them.

I know that the food trends in the beginning of January are all about salads and smoothies (and salad smoothies and smoothie salad bowls, etc), but we decided to go in a different direction. It’s 19 degrees and snowing tonight and while I like a good smoothie as much as the next food blogger, I want something warm and comforting as well as healthy for dinner. 

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Miso-Glazed, Crispy-Skinned Salmon – Updated!

Miso salmon
Miso salmon with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and green scallions.

‘Sup nerds!

Not you’re not crazy, I’ve blogged this recipe before but I’m re-posting it for two reasons; One, I wrote out the recipe in a bit more detail so it’s easier to follow and two, I took much better photos. This is the first time I’ve updated a post for mostly cosmetic reasons but the truth is, this is one of my favorite recipes ever and the original pics were just not doing it justice. Can you tell that I really, really want you to try it? Therefore I present to you, Miso Salmon, Part Deux. 

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If you’ve never cooked with miso, miso salmon is a really great recipe to start with. While most of us are probably familiar with miso in soup form, it’s also fantastic in all kinds of dishes, from savory to sweet. I use it in salad dressings, I love it drizzled on roasted vegetables (try this same glaze on eggplant, yum).

One of the great aspects of miso is that it keeps for ages in the fridge (seriously, months and months), so you won’t have to go on a miso bender just so you won’t waste it. I mean, you’ll probably go on a miso bender anyway because the stuff is delicious but it won’t be for economic reasons.

This miso salmon recipe is certainly what I use it for most often (and how I love it best). The glaze has a great balance between savory and sweet, and the skin gets wonderfully burnished and crisp. It also literally takes just a few minutes from start to finish, so it’s my absolute favorite weeknight dinner. Quick or not, for me, this is one of the best salmon recipes of all time. I could have it twice a week, happily.

Miso salmon

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Grilled Swordfish, Fresh Tomato Relish and Sautéed Ramps

We make grilled swordfish as soon as the weather is warm enough to fire the grill up – we use a quick marinade and serve it up with tomatoes and ramps.

Grilled Swordfish, Fresh Tomato Relish and Sautéed Ramps

I’m going to set a little scene for you. Ready?

It’s a warm, early summer evening and after days of torrential, flooding rains, the sky finally clears and you can see a million stars. You can smell the damp earth and the new leaves on the trees. You can hear the frogs that have just woken up from their winter-long sleep. You pull up to the lovely, perfect little restaurant where you’ve reserved a table, excited because you’ve heard great things about it and also because it’s been a long, hard winter and you haven’t gone out in what feels like forever. You hold your husband’s hand as you walk to the entryway, listening to a stream gurgling in the distance that you can’t see because it’s the country and it’s dark. You walk in and the place is adorable and there’s a seasonal cocktail menu written on the chalkboard above the bar and then they seat you at a table RIGHT NEXT TO PETER FRIGGIN DINKLAGE.

Yup. In the car on the way to the restaurant, Matt and I talked about how there was no Game of Thrones on Sunday because of Memorial Day and then they seat us right next to Tyrion Lannister himself. How tempted was I to say the waitress “Bring us bread, two of those little fish, and some bacon burned black?”  Very. But I restrained myself. Just barely.

Oh, and they also had grilled ramps. So, yeah. It was a good night.

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