Salmon with Spicy Tomato Rice


Spur of the moment invention dinner…

As part of my green journey, I have been slowly reducing the number of production steps between me and the raw materials. Last week, I used the last can of tomatoes from the pantry and resolved henceforth to only use fresh tomatoes where previously I would have used the canned variety.

Obviously this means a little more planning ahead due to the shelf life of fresh tomatoes v their tinny competition. So the tomatoes I bought last we were starting to scream for attention and tonight was the night. I wanted to do something a bit different and also empty out the freezer a little more – still don’t have much space for frozen soups and TV dinners after giving up the chest freezer in the garage.

I took some salmon steaks out and only once they were committed to defrosting did I stop to consider how tomatoes might figure in tonight’s dining experience. I got some ideas from Google, selecting this one for Mexican tomato rice and beans from Fine Foods as my base.

It looked like – and was – a quick cook so I got the rice on first. Now that the last of the white rice is gone, it’s all brown from here on – I’m using a mix of long and short grain – with black held in reserve for special occasions. The spicy tomato bit has this in it:

  • 1 teaspoon of oil (grapeseed tonight)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 generous tablespoon of jalapenos, also finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of black salt (the colour doesn’t really mean anything)
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1 can of red kidney beans (also the last can)
  • 440 grams of fresh tomatoes, blended
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of oregano
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of coriander powder (will use crushed seeds next time)

I started by frying the garlic and jalapeno in the oil til the flavours were really strong – about a minute – before stirring in the spices and salt. After a couple of minutes add the tomato and beans, followed by the herbs. If it looks a tad dry, add about half a cup of water (I rinsed  the bean tin into the pan).

Once this is simmering away, I added the salmon steaks, and let it all simmer away until the rice was done.

Nice a simple. Hot and spicy. Brought out a good sweat on a cold wind wet night…

Took out some more fish to do again with the leftovers tomorrow…

Spicy ricy


The enhanced vegetarian version underway

This post was originally meant to be an addendum to an existing post on the Healthy Food Guide Spicy Indian Mince and Rice recipe [PDF: Spicy Indian mince and rice – Healthy Food Guide ]but it seems that I never got around to publishing (or even drafting) that post in the first place…

Every day a new recipe or two from HFG pops up in my Facebook feed and I’ll grab anything that looks doable with basic i.e. inexpensive ingredients…meals that can either be frozen and/or that will last over a couple of days are popular at the moment…

What You Need

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped (I’m used garlic that has been crushed and frozen for simplicity and ease of use + I’m lazy)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (I dice up the onion, ginger and (if fresh) the garlic using my every handy Tupperware Terminator – see below)
  • 400g lean lamb or beef mince
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (the recipe says whole cloves which I have but hate picking them out later on)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3-4 whole cardamoms, crushed (optional) I just used a teaspoon of cardamon powder because I have a bottle of it that will most likely not get used otherwise.
  • 1 cup long-grain or basmati rice
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes in juice
  • 2 cups liquid chicken stock
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • toasted slivered almonds and currants
  • chopped fresh coriander (optional)
The Tupperware Terminator

The Tupperware Terminator

What you do

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the onion, ginger and garlic. Cook until onion begins to brown.

Stir in the mince and break up any lumps. Cook, stirring frequently, until mince has lost its pink colour.

Add the spices and cook for 1-2 more minutes before adding the rice, tomatoes in their juice and stock. Bring the mixture to the boil and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender. I find that, at a slow heat, this takes about 30-40 minutes. If it starts to dry out, just add some more water.

Season with salt and pepper then serve. Garnish with a sprinkling of almonds, currants and coriander (if using).

I’ve made this a few times since discovering the recipe in March but until last night it seems to have avoided both camera and blog. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to prepare and is another uber-flexible recipe that you can tweak depending on what you might have available in the fridge.

Having successfully experimented with a  vegetarian version of the Going Nutty With Rice recipe, I thought I might try the same with this one. Looking to provide dinner for the next 3-4 nights I also increased the quantities to make the same quantity as that nutty recipe. The change I made were to substitute the following from the original recipe above:

  • 400g lean lamb or beef mince became two diced carrots, a diced stick of celery, a diced up chuck of cauliflower (about a cup) and a cup of frozen peas.
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder was increased to three teaspoons.
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala was increased to three teaspoons.
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder was increased to a  full teaspoon.
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves was increased to a  full teaspoon.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon was increased to a  full teaspoon.
  • 1 teaspoon of cardamon powder. I kept this the same but probably should have increased it to 1 1/2 teaspoons.
  • 1 cup long-grain or basmati rice became 1 1/2 cups.
  • 2 cups liquid chicken stock became three cups. This was enough stock for flavour but I had to add two extra cups of water before the rice was cooked properly. I actually used Maggi Green Herb stock powder as I found that I was out of chicken stock.

I was very happy with the result although for dining in polite company I might look at reducing the curry and chili powder by about a third so that they match the proportional increase in the size of the recipe i.e. the 50% increase in the rice and stock.