When it comes to your health, if you’re like most people, nutrition is the most difficult part to get right. There are hundreds of different answers to the most basic questions. An even harder challenge is integrating a heathy, nutritious diet into your busy life that doesn’t exhaust you of your time and energy.
Omakase Sarkis, a Los Angeles based chef, joins the STARK team to show us how cooking can be both nutritious and time sensitive. His go-to sauce is best served with wild salmon.
Step 1: Preparing the Sauce
Sarkis’ Go-To Sauce:
- 10 ripe tomatoes
- 3 Tablespoon Salt
- 2 Tablespoon White Powder Pepper
- 2 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Buy soft (but not rotten) tomatoes, cut them up, put them into your cooking pot with 2 cups of water, and turn the heat up. Once boiling, bring the heat down to low and let it sit for 2 hours. After 2 hours pass, mix salt, white powder pepper, and apple cider vinegar into your pot and cook it for 5 minutes. When finished, don’t forget to pour the sauce into a strainer to get rid of the excess skin and pulp, and put it in the freezer.
Step 1 should be done ahead of time. It can be months ahead of time if you’d like; but you should prepare your sauce in advance, freeze it, and save it for cooking day.
Step 2: Prepping the Veggies
- 1 Tablespoon Raw Butter/Extra Virgin Olive Oil Non-filtered Cold Pressed
- 1 Shallot
- 1 Jalapeno
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 8 ounces Wild mushrooms
- Handful of Grapes
- 1 Lemon
- 2 Cups of the Go-To Sauce (make sure not in fridge and at room temp by the time you cook)
To begin prepping your meal, take your salmon out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking and wash it in cold white wine or champagne.
Add a little bit of olive oil into your pot before any of the good stuff goes in.
Leeks are a very dirty vegetable, so make sure you wash them thoroughly before you cut them into small pieces and add them into your cooking pot. Add them first and then prepare the rest of your vegetables. Leeks work well cooked down and are almost impossible to overcook so don’t worry.
Crush the garlic up and add them into the pot next. Go ahead and clean your mushrooms, slice them, and throw them in as well. Then add the jalapenos last.
Cut the outside of the lemon peel into long, thin slices until you have about a handful. Grab your grapes and cut them into halves. Hold off on adding these to your cooking pot for now, we’ll add these a bit later.
Mix it all together and cook it in your pot for 10 minutes. Don’t mix too much though, you want the ingredients to caramelize in order the bring out the flavor.
Step 3: Cooking the Meat
Now you are ready to add the fish! Clear a space in your pot for the fish and add it skin side down.
Depending on the thickness, (Sarkis recommends salmon of 1-1.5 inch thickness) your salmon will take different lengths of time to cook. Regardless of thickness, you want to cook your salmon about 50% through, medium pink is what you want.
Step 4: Remove the Fish, Add the Sauce!
Once cooked about 50% through, remove your fish and set it on a plate.
Take your sauce which you strategically prepared well in advance and add it to your pot. Add a little bit more water to the pot too. Now is when you can start to taste the vegetables and decide if it needs more salt.
Let the sauce melt and then mix it in good with the vegetables. Make sure the tomato sauce covers all the ingredients.
Cover the pot. The pot should stop boiling because of the frozen sauce that was added. Once the dish starts boiling again, it’s time to bring back the fish.
Step 5: Return of the Fish
Your pot is now boiling again and it’s time to finish cooking the salmon.
Add the salmon skin side up. Add the grapes and lemon peels you’ve set aside too. Once those are added, cook the fish all the way through. If you’re unsure whether it’s cooked properly, it’s better to err on the side of undercooking. Fish doesn’t do well overcooked.
Mix the sauce on top of the fish to get the entirety of your meal’s greatness.
We have reached the final stage of our journey.
Step 6: Eat!
You’ve just made a nutrient dense meal in 30 minutes. Celebrate by devouring your meal with dignity! (actually, Sarkis recommends eating slowly and taking time to chew your food).
Add your own creativity to the meal to make things convenient for your own taste. The most important thing is that you have a healthy, well balanced meal that gives you the proper energy and nutrients you need. Hope you enjoyed your food and learned that healthy can be easy.