A Simple Asian Menu for Autumn

First, you may notice that I have done some reorganizing. I’m trying out a new theme, which offers a little more screen real estate, a cleaner look and spreading out of the sidebar elements. I hope you like it. I’ve also separated out the meta-categories from tags. Look in the tag cloud for specific ingredients, styles and types of recipes, while the shorter category list groups all recipes together, all reviews and so forth. Check the right sidebar for both.

Last night, I put together a simple dinner of three dishes cooked with different techniques but with similar flavors to create a coherent meal. I thought the flavors combined nicely to compose an autumnal, Asian-inspired menu. None of these dishes requires a full recipe, just knowledge of the appropriate technique. This is my favorite type of menu: simple, improvisational, complete and satisfying.

It started with a trip through the grocery store, picking out what looked delicious and fresh with no real destination recipe in mind: salmon fillets, butternut squash, bok choy. Once home and looking over my purchases, the bok choy inspired me to think Asian, and the menu evolved from there. This is when I really feel like I’m cooking — when I’m building on techniques for cooking and flavoring ingredients that I’ve already learned to construct a thematically complete meal. Each item complemented the others nicely, tied together by the Asian-style flavors.

Here is the menu:

  • Pan-seared salmon with sesame drizzle
  • Stir-fried bok choy
  • Simmered butternut squash with Asian flavors

To make the Pan-Seared Salmon with Sesame Drizzle, season salmon steaks or thick fillets with salt and pepper, and pan-sear over medium-high heat in a little canola oil until cooked to your liking. In the meantime, heat ½ tbsp. peanut oil with 1 tbsp. sesame oil over low. Stir in 1 tbsp. soy sauce. Drizzle a little over each piece of salmon before serving.

The Stir-Fried Bok Choy is chopped and stir-fried with a little garlic and ginger in peanut oil. After it turns bright green, add ¼ cup chicken stock and 1-2 tbsp. soy sauce. Let the bok choy steam in the liquid until tender.

I have made the Simmered Butternut Squash with Asian Flavors before — click the link for the recipe.

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One thought on “A Simple Asian Menu for Autumn

  1. crabbydad 8 October 2007 at 9:02 am

    The new template looks great. The tags make for a nice index. Very cookbook-y. Damn, I’m hungry now.

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