Here’s a very popular dish from the restaurant “Terra” in Napa Valley, another recipe from the “Secrets of Success” by Michael Bauer.

If you are looking for a dish to impress your friends, your in-laws,  or that special someone having dinner at your place for the first time… this is it! The kind of food that gives a pause of satisfaction after the first bite,  a meal that you’d expect from a first-rate restaurant, but instead… you made it yourself! … And it wasn’t even hard!  An impressive concoction that you can definitely bring to the table on a weeknight after a hard day at work…  A “Celebrate Wednesday” kind of deal.  😉

Everything in this dish is balanced, a contrast of flavors and textures:  the subtle heat of the curry, the freshness of the salad, the silkiness of the sauce on the  crunchiness of the cabbage and peanuts, and luscious salmon as the centerpiece!  It’s a  symphony for your tastebuds. Try it, and I’m sure you’ll make it again.


(from Terra restaurant, recipe published in M. Bauer’s Secrets of Success)

(receita em portugues na segunda pagina)

for the curry sauce:
2 tsp peanut oil
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp  ginger, minced
1 tsp coriander seeds, cracked
1 1/2 tsp curry powder (I used mild curry, from Penzey’s spices)
1 1/2 tsp Thai red curry paste
1 1/2 tsp  paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
3 Tbs tomato puree
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1.5  Tbs  firmly packed brown sugar

for the cabbage salad:
2 cups very thinly sliced cabbage (red or green)
1/3 cup julienned cucumber
2 T fresh cilantro
2 T fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar

4 pieces of Atlantic king salmon filet (6 oz each)
1 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper

roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

cooked white rice

Make the sauce… (you can make it the day before if you prefer)
Heat the oil and saute the garlic and ginger until it is just beginning to get golden. Remove the pan from the heat and add the coriander seeds, curry paste and powder, paprika, and ground cumin.  On low heat, saute for a couple of minutes.  Stir in the coconut milk, tomato puree, soy sauce, and brown sugar.  Increase the heat and bring it almost to boiling,  and then remove it from the heat.  Keep warm or gently reheat  if  it was refrigerated.  Sauces containing coconut milk should not be boiled, as they tend to separate.

Make the salad…
Mix the cabbage with all other ingredients in a large bowl.    Add the soy sauce and vinegar, toss well.  Reserve until serving. (I like to do it 30 minutes in advance, if possible).

Cook the salmon…
Brush the salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill to your liking, but salmon is best cooked medium, for a thick filet about 4-5 minutes per side on a hot grill. You can also cook it on the stove, making sure it is still translucent in the center.

Assemble the dish….
Place rice in the center of the plate. Ladle 1/2 cup of sauce around it, place the salmon on top or next to it. Top each fillet with a tall mound of the cabbage. Sprinkle the sauce with roasted peanuts.

Enjoy the compliments!

(to print the recipe, click here.)

Comments: Please don’t be put off by the number of ingredients. This is a very simple dish to prepare, and if you want to make it even easier, get the sauce ready the day before.  It’s a good idea to make more than called for, because it is wonderful.   Try it on seared sea scallops,  on grilled shrimp, or even pork tenderloin, they all go quite well with it.

I have made this dish with red, green, and also with  napa cabbage.   In general, I am very fond of  napa cabbage, but  this dish calls for a little more  crunch, and Napa doesn’t deliver the same snap.  Try them all yourself, and pick your own favorite.

If I ever make it to Terra, I’m definitely ordering this dish!

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