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Jun 8, 2012

The Bon Appetit Throwdown: Round 5

"The salmon is really good honey and I like that yogurt sauce you made, but for the life of me I can't figure out why anyone would eat couscous. It can't even make a turd."
                                       ~ The Big Guy 
                                  as he's critiqued the June Bon Appetit cover recipe. 

Let me just state the obvious:  The Big Guy is not a fan of couscous. He usually just grits his teeth and mumbles something about it being tasteless. But turdless? Who knew? Who needs to know?

Anyhow, for round 5 of the BA Throwdown I was delighted to see a piece of salmon on the cover. I ended up using an nice Atlantic salmon, since here in Hickville I couldn't get my mitts on a Pacific Wild King. There are no firework flavors in this dish so good quality salmon is a must.



Yeah, I know my picture doesn't look much like the cover don't judge me! 

Thanks to my friend Wanda, who allowed me to pilfer some of her young tomatoes so I could at least try to replicate the cover photo.  I then invited our friends, the Nicholsons, to bring their highly refined palates and be my taste testers. 

Slow roasting the salmon on the bed of herbs was a nice touch, at least scent wise, but I didn't think it added much to the flavor.
     The cherry tomatoes on the other hand were delicious and I wish I would have have roasted a bunch more of them. They imparted a simple and mild flavor, making the salmon delicious without being covered up by a lot of unnecessary flavors.
     The yogurt and herb sauce was a nice enhancement; it was mild and fresh tasting, letting the salmon flavor come through so the combination worked really well together. I will make it again as I think it would be good on everything from fish to vegetables.
     As far as the Israeli couscous went, it was a mere vehicle for the parsley and tomatoes and the consensus was that it was just ok; it needed something more. Maybe if I had used the called for optional seasoning, za'atar it would have elevated the couscous to turd worthy, but I couldn't find it nor could I find sumac, the ingredient needed to make your own.

My finished dish

The Lowdown on the Throwdown:

This was overall just a mellow recipe. No big bold flavors here, so you have to use GREAT quality salmon.  Anything less would put this dish in the same category as a TV dinner.  BA screwed up when they said the roasted tomatoes were "optional" because if you made this dish without them you would basically just have a roasted piece of fish, so in my professional, unpaid opinion the roasted tomatoes are A MUST, as is the yogurt-dill sauce. 
     But the couscous...well to be honest, it wasn't worth a crap.    

Bon Appetit's photo

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