(Tues.) Mustard Salmon with Swiss Chard & Couscous

So my first post for the What’s For Dinner series of posts is a bit delayed, sorry about that.  Here is Tuesday night’s dinner though in all its glory.  After stuffing myself to the gills for Valentine’s Day & umm… President’s Day, I was ready to have a well rounded meal Tuesday night.

One of my favorite preparations of salmon is simply baked with a spicy & sweet glaze on top.  The combination of mustard & agave nectar here really turns this dish into a winner.  Best part was that I was feeling so darn healthy after eating this that I enjoyed a little bit more of my favorite Valentine’s Day treat, Malted Milk Ball Geltao!

Mustard Glazed Salmon with Swiss Chard & Whole Wheat Couscous

Key Players:

Salmon: These days almost everyone knows that eating fish is good for you but many people are still intimidated to cook it at home.  And what a shame because not only does salmon cook quickly, but it is a also a nutritional superstar providing you with ample doses of selenium , omega-3 fatty acids and protein.  It also provides a large amount of  phosphorous which helps keep bones, teeth and tissues strong.

Whole Wheat Couscous: Couscous (especially whole wheat) is a great weeknight staple because it is so gosh darn quick & easy (talking about the instant stuff here).  It is also a good source for protein & fiber.  Most importantly its just a damn funny word to say.

Swiss Chard: Oh where to start with the culinary & nutritional wonder that is Swiss Chard.  Its flavor is slightly bitter but only in the best way possible.  If you still think these leafy green stalks would be better off in a fancy vase than on your plate though, please give them a chance. If the flavor doesn’t entice you, the health benefits will.  Swiss Chard is loaded with vitamins, minerals and even fiber!  Swiss chard is especially good for those who don’t seem to drink enough milk, the combination of Vitamin K, magnesium & calcium will help keep your bones strong.

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The Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel

Two nights ago a group of girlfriends and I went to the Oak Room at NYC’s Plaza Hotel as a part of the latest installment of restaurant week (which actually is running for 3 weeks this summer).  Typically, I won’t critique a restaurant based solely on their restaurant week performance but rather use the experience as first taste to what the restaurant offers.

There is so much history and old New York glamour surrounding The Plaza and the Oak Room that spending an evening there is a pleasure, even before the food comes to the table.  Over sized photographs featuring the restaurant’s  famous patrons over the years grace the walls leading into the opulent dining room where carved wood walls & ornate accents climb high up to the extended ceiling.

The restaurant week menu at The Oak Room had a diverse offering of items from their regular menu which ensured that all of us were able to find something that we would enjoy.  For the appetizer I chose a delicious Lobster & Sweet Corn Bisque.   The bisque was not heavy yet not watery either and was a great summer starter.  There were hints of cilantro throughout the dish as well which kept it crisp and refreshing.  Others at the table enjoyed Tomato & Fennel soup with a Robiola Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Big Eye Tuna Sashimi with crackling crumbs and uni.

As an entree, I went with the Pan Seared Scottish Salmon with crispy rice, citrus bacon salad & coconut-kaffir lime emulsion.    I must say I was pretty disappointed with this dish.  Although the salmon was cooked well, it had very little flavor and the coconut-kaffir lime emulsion was too watered down to give any taste to the salmon.  The only sign of a “citrus bacon salad” was a single slice of mandarin orange and as for the crispy rice, it was slightly overcooked and over salted.

Luckily, dessert turned things around a bit with an almond tart with vanilla ice cream and chocolate.  The tart was the perfect sweetness paired with the ice cream and chocolate.  Another dessert highlight was The Oak Room’s pistachio ice cream which was delicious.

Overall, our night at the Oak Room was delightful and I look forward to giving their entree’s another try sometime soon.