Friday, March 21, 2014

Parsley Pesto Salmon and Brussel Sprouts with a Honey Chipotle Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Sometimes I get really excited in the kitchen. If you walked in, you may find yourself wondering what wonderful thing has just happened that has caused me to dance to terrible but utterly enjoyable seventies music in an apron. And, well, in my eyes something wonderful has just happened and it usually comes in the form of some really yummy food. Like yesterday, when Blake walked in from his run, and I announced smiling spatula in hand, "I just added buffalo sauce to the chili fries because no one was here to stop me." Yes, buffalo sauce makes me that excited. But today we are not here to talk about chili fries with buffalo sauce, someday I promise we will talk about them, but not today. Today I want to talk about this delicious pesto salmon and my new favorite sprouts.

Whole Foods was having a big sale on salmon this week and I will never pass up on-sale seafood at Whole Foods. I debated for many a day the fate of my beautiful piece of salmon. Blake wanted parsley pesto and I wanted parsley pesto...on steroids. Because parsley pesto is delicious, but add a little chipotle, honey, and yogurt and you are really on to something. The secret to this recipe is making the honey chipotle yogurt sauce for the brussel sprouts in the food processor (or blender) and using that same food processor without washing to make the pesto sauce. The remainder of the honey chipotle yogurt sauce coating the processor will impart a slight heat and creaminess to your pesto and that's what takes it to the next level. I served the sprouts like an appetizer because it's fun. We munched on them while the salmon finished baking. Baked chili fries were an excellent addition as a side.

Parley Pesto Salmon and Brussel Sprouts with Honey Chipotle Yogurt Dipping Sauce
Brussel sprouts inspired by How Sweet It Is, serves 2

2 chipotle chilies and 1 tbs adobe sauce (chipotles in a can with adobe sauce can be found in the Mexican aisle of most grocery stores)
1 tbs honey
2/3 cup greek yogurt
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tbs lemon juice
3 cloves garlic (1 for the yogurt sauce and 2 for the pesto)
1 bunch cilantro, remove bottom of the stems
1 shallot
1/2 cup pecans
2 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 lb salmon filet
1 lb brussel sprouts, quartered
3 tbs flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a food processor or blender, pulse together to combine chipotles, adobe sauce, honey, yogurt, paprika, lemon juice, 1 clove of the garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Scrape sauce into a small bowl and reserve for later. No need to scrape it clean. You want some of the sauce to remain in the processor for the pesto.

In the same food processor or blender you made the honey chipotle yogurt sauce in, add the remaining 2 cloves of garlic, cilantro, shallot, pecans, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse together until combined.

Coat the bottom of a baking dish with nonstick spray or butter. Place salmon in the dish and spread cilantro pesto over the top. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

While the salmon is baking, prepare your sprouts. Coat the bottom of a saute pan with oil. You want at least 1/4-1/2" of oil coating the bottom of the pan. Heat on high until the oil is sizzling. Toss brussel sprouts with the 3 tbs of flour and pan fry until pieces start to turn golden brown. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon or spatula and enjoy with your honey chipotle yogurt dipping sauce.

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