March 25, 2010
A few weeks ago, I made honey-mustard-glazed salmon. My girlfriend said, “you know what would be good? Salmon marinated in raita.”
For those who don’t know, raita is an extremely refreshing mint/cucumber/yogurt sauce that’s often served with certain types of Indian food. I decided to serve this salmon with some succotash, which doesn’t have a recipe as far as I’m concerned - I usually take a bunch of corn, and sautee it with a little basil, cider vinegar, garlic, onion, and tomato, and a whole bunch of other vegetables ad libitum. I used zucchini, carrots and celery because that’s what I had.
That Wikipedia articles says that succotash is supposed to involve corn and beans as a foundation, I guess this makes sense since that I believe that would make succotash a complete protein.
Can we talk about complete proteins for a second? Wikipedia says that “a complete protein (or whole protein) is a source of protein that contains an adequate proportion of all of the essential amino acids for the dietary needs of humans or other animals.” Typically, this is eggs, meat, dairy, etc. This is also a few very rare grains (e.g. quinoa) or vegetables.
You can also make complete proteins, however, by combining two of (a) a grain, (b) a legume, © a nut. This combination “explains” in some way a lot of the basic dishes in many cultures. For example, beans and rice. Or corn tortillas and beans. Or beans and toast (English breakfast). Or hummus (chickpeas and sesame seeds). I find it fascinating that humans appeared to have discovered many of these combinations well before understanding their nutritional basis. Others might find it unsurprising!
Anyway, back to the recipe description. So I made the succotash. To try to make it go with the salmon a bit better, I added a little mint and cumin too. This didn’t taste bad, but it was little strange. I also am not a big cumin fan, so I’ll probably leave that out of the raita next time I make it.
In addition to the succotash and salmon, I also made some more polenta. I am getting hooked on this stuff - really easy to make, and very tasty if you make it with stock. It has one major drawback, which is that when heated it gets very nerflike in texture. You have to spend a lot of time reheating it in a pan, and as far as I can tell also adding some water, to get its original creamy texture back.