On Monday I met my new dentist, who was just as competent and nice as I was led to believe. I learned several things from her. First, the Glide dental floss I use isn't effective in removing plaque from my teeth. Second, despite that, I have good dental hygiene habits and a nice bite. Third, I may need root canal surgery in the near future. Let me just say that I have a list of things I never want to experience--and root canal surgery is number six on that list. My friends who've had a root canal tell me it's a piece of cake, not a big deal and totally painless. Yadda, yadda, yadda. The rational part of my brain accepts that they're telling me the truth. But, I don't usually pay attention to that section of my brain in times of high anxiety. Right now, my brain is run by squirrels juggling with knives.
As I left the dentist's office there were two surefire ways to deal with this news. I could eat something extremely bad for me, which would most likely be high in fat and salt. That usually tranquilizes me better than two Xanex tablets. Or, I could have salmon. I love salmon, and wouldn't feel disgusted with myself the next morning for eating it. I'd feel proud for dodging a high fat/salty bullet. So, I chose salmon. However, if I find out for sure that I'm having the root canal, a huge bag of Yukon gold potato chips will be on my agenda. And an In & Out Burger.
Once I decided to go with salmon, I wanted it with something green and leafy. One of the easiest and fastest recipes for this is Nigella Lawson's salmon with greens and shitaki mushrooms. I've made this recipe many times and changed it a little. I always double the puny amount of bok choy called for in her recipe. And I usually add some oyster sauce. Grated ginger root is a nice addition too. If the salmon is good quality, and mine was, this is a delicious meal.
Salmon with greens and shitake mushrooms (Adapted slightly from Nigella Lawson)
2 skinned salmon fillets
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
around 1/2 cup shitake mushrooms, tough ends trimmed and sliced thinly
14 - 24 ounces bok choy (I use the higher amount of greens, about 4 cups). Chop the bok choy roughly, with stalks separated from the leaves
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
pepper to taste
Cook the salmon, preferably in a non-stick pan or on a griddle, over medium heat until just cooked through. Remove to warmed plates while you finish the vegetables (you can start them while the salmon cooks)
In a heavy pan, saute garlic in oil over medium heat until it's warm. Add the sliced mushrooms and chopped bok choy stalks, stirring everything together for a bare minute. Cover pan and cook for barely 5 minutes. Remove lid and add the bok choy leaves, the soy and oyster sauces, and the sesame oil. Cook this for another 2-3 minutes until the leaves are wilted. I don't like my leaves to be too wilted--so I always cook mine barely 2 minutes or until the leaves are the way I like them. They cook very quickly.
Serve the greens piled next to the salmon, along with jasmine rice if you wish.