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Dinner Tonight! | QUICK FIX

The Good (Fat), the Bad and the Cilantro

May 19, 1999|JANET McCRACKEN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The only way I can get my kids to eat fish is if it's grilled, it's salmon and it's covered with a rich buttery sauce. They get really good fat and really bad fat all in one shot, but it tastes really good. This time I flavored the sauce with lime juice, wine and shallots. Because cilantro and lime juice are a great match, I decided to season the couscous, my favorite quick-fix carbohydrate, with freshly chopped cilantro.

Steamed asparagus rounds things out. Dessert can be simple too. A bowl of frozen yogurt is a cool (low-fat) finish to the meal.

Menu

Cilantro Couscous

Grilled Salmon

Steamed Asparagus

Frozen Yogurt

Cilantro Couscous

Active Work Time: 5 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 15 minutes * Easy * Quick

2 tablespoons butter

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 cups water

1 (10-ounce) box couscous

1 bunch cilantro, about 3/4 cup, chopped

* Bring butter, garlic and water to boil. Remove from heat and stir in couscous and cilantro. Let sit 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve.

4 servings. Each serving: 372 calories; 68 mg sodium; 16 mg cholesterol; 6 grams fat; 66 grams carbohydrates; 11 grams protein; 0.54 gram fiber.

Butter Sauce

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 cup white wine

1 large shallot, chopped, about 2 tablespoons

3 tablespoons whipping cream

1/4 cup butter

* Bring lime juice, wine and shallot to boil and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add cream and whisk to incorporate. Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking well as the butter melts.

1/2 cup. Each tablespoon: 74 calories; 62 mg sodium; 19 mg cholesterol; 7 grams fat; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 protein; 0.01 gram fiber.

Grilled Salmon

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 10 minutes * Easy * Quick

1 1/2 pounds salmon filets

1 tablespoon oil

Salt

Pepper

* Rinse salmon and pat dry thoroughly. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

* Place on grill. Cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. Fish is done when it begins to flake. Remember that fish will continue to cook once removed from grill.

4 servings. Each serving: 223 calories; 134 mg sodium; 75 mg cholesterol; 12 grams fat; 0 carbohydrates; 27 grams protein; 0 fiber.

Steamed Asparagus

Active Work Time: 5 minutes Total Preparation Time: 10 minutes * Easy * Quick

1 pound asparagus

1/4 lemon

Salt

* Trim tough bottoms off asparagus and peel spears if especially thick. Place asparagus in steamer or shallow pan with only 1/2 inch of lightly salted boiling water. Steam until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove to serving dish, sprinkle with lemon juice and salt to taste.

4 servings. Each serving:

29 calories; 76 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 0 fat; 6 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 0.94 gram fiber.

GAME PLAN

30 minutes before: Chop cilantro, shallot and garlic. Squeeze lime juice. Wash and trim asparagus.

25 minutes before: Make butter sauce and keep warm.

15 minutes before: Begin boiling water, garlic and butter for couscous. Rinse salmon, pat dry, brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Put salmon on grill.

10 minutes before: Remove boiling water from heat and add couscous.

5 minutes before: Steam asparagus. Spread couscous on serving platter. Place salmon on top of couscous. Pour butter sauce over fish. Serve with asparagus.

INGREDIENTS Staples

Butter

Garlic

Lemon

Lime

Pepper

Salt

Shallots

Oil

Whipping cream

White wine

Shopping List

1 bunch asparagus

1 bunch cilantro

1 (10-ounce) box couscous

1 1/2 pounds salmon filets

1 pint frozen yogurt

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