Wow, I just noticed that I have a lot of posts that I started and never completed (I have a few dating back to last summer….). Between a cold and a few deadlines, my updates kind of dropped off here, so I’ll try to catch up and get some of these pushed out.
This is one of those meals spawned by a fast run through the grocery store (Kroger, I believe) – I didn’t have much time and I definitely didn’t have any patience for the shopping cart demolition derby that goes on around rush hour. It being winter, greens are in season (mustard, kale, collards, etc.) and the giant mountain that had just been stocked caught my eye. The mustard greens looked fresh, so that was the start. Mustard is a strong, peppery green – even a little bitter. It can overpower your pallet, so I think it needs to be served with things that have enough flavor to stand on their own – salmon seemed a good choice.
The salmon was rubbed with a paste of minced ginger, Madras curry paste and a bit of salt and pepper, and then pan seared in a bit of olive oil and butter. After cooking, I let the salmon rest and cooked off a bit more butter for a beurre noisette (brown butter).
Greens are easy to prepare. Trim them of any tough stalks, chop them coarsely and toss in a sink of cold water to wash (greens always have a lot of sand and mud in them). Put about a tablespoon of oil in a large pot, toss in a chopped onion, a clove or two of garlic and some kind of chili (serrano, jalapeno, sambal oelek, etc.). After the onion has sautéed for a bit, add the greens. I also like to throw in a smoked ham hock for flavor (these are cheap and you can freeze them to have on hand any time – added bonus is eating the hock when the greens are done…). A bit of salt and pepper, then add just enough water to come to the top of the greens. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat simmer – I’ve gone anywhere from 1/2 hour to 1 hour. Cooking time is really driven by how tough your greens are – other than that it just intensifies the flavor of the liquid (pot liquor).