Living in the Mojave Desert, where the weather can vary as much as 100 degrees between summer and winter, usually means our eating habits change, right along with the seasons. I mention this because, even though it's only the end of April, we seem to be headed toward a real firecracker of a summer, as the temperature has climbed into the high-90's over the last few days. What this often means in Rosco's Kitchen, is a change toward lighter fare, and the beginning of grilling season.
Saturday night's dinner was a prime example as we opted for simple steamed veggies and poached salmon fillets. The poached salmon was me trying out something different, as my previous attempts at salmon often ended badly, ruining what had been otherwise good fish. This time I kept it simple. For two salmon fillets, I added four tablespoons of butter to a frying pan and let it melt, then I added the fish, skin side down, and kept it moving for a bit to prevent sticking. Next I added half a cup of pinot grigio and about three tablespoons of lemon juice, sprinkled some dill over the fillets, and popped on a lid. I let it cook for about ten minutes total, over medium heat, just long enough to cook the fish through. I was honestly amazed at how something that had been so simple tasted so good.
Something else we eat a lot during the summer months is what we call "Kitchen Sink Salad", which is basically the home-made equivalent of eating at a Salad Bar. The wife and I started making it as a way to use up a lot of canned vegetables we had on hand, and we liked it well enough to keep making it. The name came from it including everything but the kitchen sink even, at least the first time I made it, pineapple chunks. The basic ingredients are fresh spring mix, canned corn, peas, green beans and beets, along with anything else that sounds good that day, like garbanzo beans, boiled eggs, dried cranberries, crumbled feta, sunflower seed kernels, crumbled bacon, etc. Just toss it all together and serve. It's great during hot weather with a grilled chicken breast, fish, or on really hot days, cold sliced ham. We had it last night with store-bought greek-style chicken skewers, cooked on the grill, a tasty way to cool down after a day of running around in the desert heat.