Thursday, October 8, 2009

Salmon Cups with Lime Infused Rice

These are definitely restaurant quality appetizers. Pretty little cups filled with lots of goodness and none of the bad stuff. No butter, no oil, no refined carbohydrates. The recipe might look long but it's really simple. Once you get the hang of this method, you can switch up the filling with anything you like! :D That's what I call cooking, my friends!

Ingredients (Makes about 12 cups):
1. 200 to 250g (about 6 to 8 ounces) fresh salmon fillet, skinned
2. 2 stalks green onion, finely chopped
3. ½ cup cooked bulgar wheat mixed with orzo pasta
4. Juice from 1 lime
5. Zest from 1 lime
6. 2 cloves garlic, whole
7. ½ small yellow onion, finely chopped
8. 2 bay leaves
9. 1 teaspoon chilli powder
10. 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
11. 1 tablespoon white cooking wine
12. 8 sheets of phyllo pastry, divided into 4 sheets per set
13. 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

Method to make phyllo cups:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. On a large working space or chopping block, lay out 1 sheet of phyllo pastry.
3. Brush phyllo sheet lightly with egg wash and lay another phyllo sheet on top. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for another 2 phyllo sheets.
4. Cut into 6 equal squares/pieces.
5. Using silicon muffin cups, fit each phyllo piece into each cup to line the muffin cup.
6. Repeat steps 2 to 5 for another set of phyllo sheets.
7. Bake the 12 phyllo cups in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes until golden brown on the edges.
8. While the pastry is baking, prepare the salmon for baking.

Method to prepare salmon:
9. Place salmon on a piece of parchment paper and season it with salt, pepper, chilli powder and white cooking wine. Wrap the parchment paper into a sealed packet
10. Remove the pastry cups and let cool.
11. Place salmon packet onto a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.
12. While salmon is baking, prepare bulgar wheat and orzo.

Method to make bulgar wheat and orzo:
13. Heat a pot over medium/high heat. Sauté garlic and onions and bay leaf in 2 tablespoons of water for about 2 minutes.
14. Add bulgar wheat and orzo and stir fry for about 1 minute. Then add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.
15. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until all moisture is absorbed.
16. Once the bulgar wheat and orzo is cooked, remove from heat and remove the bay leaf and garlic.
17. Add lime juice, zest and salt and mix well into the bulgar wheat + orzo mixture.

Method to assemble:
18. The salmon should be ready by now. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
19. Place contents from the salmon pouch into a bowl and roughly mash. Season with additional salt, pepper and chilli powder if necessary. Add spring onion and mix well.
20. To assemble the cups, place about 1 to 2 teaspoon of cooked bulgar wheat and orzo into each phyllo cup.
21. Then top each cup with about 1 teaspoon of salmon mixture.

Let the cups stand for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving. The color and flavor is so much better after the stand.

Nutritional value of this recipe
The calories count per cup is an extremely low 120. You can definitely feast on a few more without feeling the pinch. This recipe is also an excellent source of protein (7g) and selenium.

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