Jerusalem Cookbook's Salmon Steaks in Chraimeh Sauce

It’s really easy to wedge yourself into a nice little rut during the wintertime. The days drag on lacking substance, even the sun and we do our best to make it through. I admire folks that keep it positive and you know what? I’m really trying to be one of those people.

I’ve always been the one that commiserates and makes others laugh while focusing on the drudgery, on the shit really. That role has always served me just fine but you know something, how great would it be to be the happy one… The but think of it this way optimistic one? Because really, most of the time, I’m pretty damn happy.

Having a hobby I can do each and every day adds something extra to my life, you know. It’s that thing I love talking about and learning about, sharing with other people. And sometimes, all my interests wrap up into one when I’m able to be introduced into other cultures, other worlds, seduced into wanting to visit and experience it all in person one day too.

This very thing happened when I received the Jerusalem Cookbook. It is absolutely beautiful and reads like a gripping travel memoir. The photos give you a thrilling peak into a foreign world and I promise you it will never leave my shelf.

For my first experience with the book I chose something simple among the myriad of fusion dishes. This dish will be, I promise you, made over and over (and over) again. The sauce is unlike anything I’ve ever had and when I make it again I’ll be sure to triple it. This would be a wonderful dish for company.

As mentioned in the book (which you must buy or borrow from your local library at once) you can substitute another fish steak of your choice such as a sea bass or cod. But salmon? Salmon was perfect.

Salmon Steaks in Chraimeh Sauce (orignal recipe found in Jerusalem: A Cookbook

Serves 2

You will need:

~1/4 c. olive oil (total)

~3 T flour

2 salmon steaks (~3/4 lb)

3 cloves garlic

2 tsp sweet paprika

1 T caraway seeds, ground

1 1/2 tsp cumin

pinch cayenne

pinch cinnamon

2/3 c water

3 T tomato paste (Confession: I had to sub ketchup, worked out just fine)

pinch sugar (*omit if using ketchup)

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 T cilantro, chopped

To make:

Place garlic, spices and 2 T oil in food processor and pulse to form a paste.

Heat 2 T oil over medium-high heat. Dredge salmon and flour and sear fish so each side is browned (about 1 minute per side). Remove salmon from pan and set aside.

Add some (~1T) to the pan and add spice mixture, simmering for 30 seconds or so. Slowly add water and tomato paste. Add lemon juice salt and pepper and bring to a low simmer.

Add fish and bring back to a low simmer, cover and cook 7-10 minutes until cooked through.

Serve over rice and top with extra sauce and chopped cilantro. Enjoy! I know you will.

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