a personal blog by erin whitlock brown



recipe below.

I want to preface this post by saying in no way am I claiming to be a food blogger or budding chef. This blog has become more to me than just a place to talk shop about affordable clothes. In 2014, I vow to make smarter decisions in all aspects of my life, and share those experiences with you, dear readers! 

While I do know how to get my burn on in the kitchen, my repertoire could stand a bit more bulking up. And thanks to a very thoughtful Christmas gift from my sweet sister, The Mr. and I took a healthy cooking for the new year class over the weekend at Sur La Table, taught by the amazing chef, The Kitchn contributor and cook book author Nealey Dozier

Being from the south, health-conscious cooking doesn't alway take a seat at the table. Fried is a 5th food group and nothing is worth eating until a heap of butter is added in. But in this class, we learned to  make better food choices and how to prepare dishes that are good for you...and taste amazing!

Chef Nealey Dozier
Root Vegetable + Chickpea Stew. Soooo Yummy!
A savory Farro Risotto.

The Mr., Nealey Dozier and Me! 

We had such a great time in our cooking class and definitely plan to take a few more. To find a Sur La Table cooking class in your area, visit their website at SurLaTable.com. And to try out the dishes we created, see the recipes below:


Wine Poached Salmon with Herb Quinoa (courtesy of Sur La Table) 

(For Qunioa)
2 Cups of Quinoa
2 Cups of Vegetable Broth, Low Sodium
3 Tbls of Olive Oil
1 Medium Shallot, minced
1 Medium Clove Garlic, minced
1 Celery Stalk, 1/4 inch dice
1/2 red bell pepper, 1/4 inch dice
1 Tbls lemon juice
1 Tbls minced flat leaf parsley
1 Tbls minced cilantro
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

(For Salmon)
3 cups of water
1-1/2 Cups of Dry White Wine
1 Large Shallot, chopped
3 Thyme sprigs
4 (5oz) Salmon filets, skin off and pin bones removed

(For Yogurt Sauce)
1/4 Cups of Plain Yogurt
1 Tbls lemon juice
1 Tbls cilantro, minced
1 Tbls parsley, minced

To prepare quinoa: place quinoa in a large colander and rinse with cold running water until the water is clear (about 2 minutes). In a medium saucepan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the shallot and cook until tender (about 5 minutes). Add the celery and red pepper and continue to cook until tender (about 3 minutes). Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Transfer the quinoa to the saucepan, add broth. Increase the heat and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender (about 20 minutes). Transfer quinoa to a bowl using a fork and fluff until all grains are light.

Using a silicone spatula, stir in the remaining oil and juice and cool until room temperature (about 5 minutes). Stir in the herbs and pine nuts, taste and season with salt and pepper.

To prepare salmon: in a large nonstick skillet, combine the water, wine, shallot and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Carefully place the fillets into the poaching liquid, cover and cook on low heat until just cooked (about 6 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, remove the fillets to remove any excess liquids, and pat-dry with towels before setting onto plates.

To prepare yogurt sauce: in a small bowl, thoroughly combine the yogurt with lemon juice and herbs.

Divide the herbed quinoa between 4 warmed dinner plates. Place the salmon on the top of the quinoa, top with a dollop of yogurt sauce and serve!

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