Blackened Salmon and Bacon-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts: our go-to weeknight dinner

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Whether you're like me juggling multiple jobs chasing your dreams of building a company, in the throws of parenthood or deep in the books studying for school, a clear, focused mind is essential to navigate the day and make it to the weekend. I have found that cooking healthy meals throughout the week keeps my mind sharp and energy high.  However, neither cooking nor eating healthy happens without these two things: meal prep and easy go-to weeknight dinner in my back pocket. I am excited to resume the GG blog with my favorite go-to weeknight dinner for two - Blackened Salmon and Bacon-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Let's talk Brussels first so you can get them going before the salmon since they take a little longer to cook. Both recipes I am sharing have been adapted from recipes I discovered online. My Brussels Sprouts recipe is a variation of this delicious recipe from the New York Times Cooking. Quick tip: an oven-safe cast iron pan is preferred for this recipe, but you can make do transferring the brussels from the stove top pan to a baking sheet if you don't have this tool.   Steps for the Bacon-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts:
  • preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • rinse brussels sprouts
  • cut ends off and chop in half
  • place brussels sprouts faced down in pan, cover the surface of the pan with face-down brussels
  • add 4 whole garlic cloves to pan
  • heavily drizzle EVOO over brussels sprouts and garlic (about 3-4 tablespoons)
  • season with kosher salt + freshly ground pepper
  • turn heat to medium-high
  • cook brussels sprouts face-down until blackened (about 5-7 mins)
  • chop 3 strips of bacon
  • add bacon to pan before transferring to oven
  • drizzle with 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, stir dish to prevent face of brussels from burning
  • transfer pan to oven and cook for 15-20 mins (this is when I start on Salmon, if rub is already assembled)
  • stir dish a couple times to prevent burning
  • finished when Brussels tender and browned
  This Blackened Salmon recipe is so quick and was adapted from a blackened tofu recipe I discovered on pintrest. I double or triple the blackened rub from this recipe and have it on hand to use on salmon, chicken or tofu. I choose to omit the corn starch and find the rub still performs well. Quick tip: I like to buy the bags of wild caught frozen salmon from Whole Foods or Costco because they are individually packaged, delicious and more affordable.   Steps for the Blackened Salmon:
  • rinse salmon, pat dry
  • drizzle both sides with EVOO and soy sauce
  • cover side facing up with blackened rub
  • heat 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil over medium-high heat in pan on stove
  • add salmon with seasoned side down in pan when oil hot
  • cover side two of salmon with blackened rub
  • for rare to medium-rare, sear in pan for 3 min each side
  • remove from heat
As I'm sure you've noticed, I'm not one for complete accuracy when it comes to cooking. I like the kitchen be a place of creativity with less rules and perfection - where I can trust my instinct on how much salt to add, oil to drizzle or unique flavor to add to the mix.  And, I encourage you to do the same - this is how we learn to become confident in the kitchen through experimentation. You may surprise yourself with the delicious new variations of your favorite recipes that you create. Take time this week to create something in the kitchen that fuels your mind and welcomes people to the table. We've been really reflecting on the important act of gathering around the table with yummy foods, beautiful garlands and thoughtful friends. We hope you'll pull up a seat because we have a lot to share.     Shopping List:
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 bag of brussels sprouts
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 strips of bacon
  • EVOO
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Soy Sauce
  • Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Paprika
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Dried Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Cayenne Pepper

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