Monday, September 21, 2009

Fall Fare: Kate’s Pumpkin Chipotle Salmon & Spaghetti Squash

In the middle of the summer I was at a local food specialty store that carries the American Spoon products. I am a fan of a lot of their products (one in particular, which I’ll write about soon), and picked up a new jar that caught my eye. The Pumpkin Chipotle Roasting Sauce that I purchased has been burning a hole in my pantry since then. I kept prolonging opening it up as I waited for autumn to come. On Sunday, however, I was running errands and saw Christmas decorations and supplies at several stores. The vision of Christmas cards and wrapping paper triggered me into running home to open up my special fall sauce at an attempt to savor autumn as much as possible before is it actually time to purchase Christmas cards and wrapping paper.

I decided to try out my sauce with salmon and spaghetti squash. My husband and I both love spaghetti squash. If you haven’t tried it before, I encourage you to do so. It’s a versatile vegetable that is not typically utilized widely. It’s not common to see it on a restaurant menu, however last summer we were dining at Burke’s Chophouse in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and much to our surprise, spaghetti squash (not green beans, broccoli, or something else more typical) was the vegetable of the day! Spaghetti squash tastes delicious simply roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper, and nothing more. Seriously, that’s it. It also works well as a pasta substitute – top it with your favorite marinara sauce, toss it with some sautéed vegetables, or throw in some chopped fresh herbs. The squash, salmon, and Pumpkin Chipotle were the perfect trifecta. The Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale was a nice compliment!

Kate’s Pumpkin Chipotle Salmon & Spaghetti Squash
* 1 whole spaghetti squash
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* American Spoon Pumpkin Chipotle Roasting Sauce (you will use about ½ jar)
* 4 skinless salmon fillets
* Kosher salt, to taste
* Freshly ground pepper, to taste
* 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 450° F.

Split the squash in half and scrape out seeds. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Season the spaghetti squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place flesh side down and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and turn squash so flesh side is facing up. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. When squash are cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape against flesh to pull out the strands of the squash.

Meanwhile, place salmon fillets on a foil-lined broiling pan. Season with salt, pepper, and brush with Pumpkin Chipotle sauce (about 1 tablespoon per fillet). Bake in 450° F oven for approximately 6 minutes. Turn broiler on high, and move pan to top rack in oven. Broil for 2-4 minutes, until sauce on salmon has caramelized on top.

Toss squash in a large bowl with about ¼ cup Pumpkin Chipotle sauce, season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Place squash on plates, top with salmon fillet, and garnish with Italian parsley. (And serve with a chilled pumpkin beer!)

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