Friday, March 29, 2013

Humble House Foods Four-Pack Sauce Giveaway...Featuring Tomato-Pesto Roasted Salmon with Creamy Cilantro Pesto Rice

This month's spotlight on Texas-based gourmet food brands continues with San Antonio-based Humble House FoodsAfter graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio in 2007, Luis Morales quickly put his creative talents to work. In May 2009, he came up with Humble House Foods. They have a really fantastic line of fresh-made condiments and sauces, including: Basil Pesto, Cilantro Pesto, Hummus, Roasted Tomato, and Tapenade. They sell their products locally every weekend: Saturdays at the Pearl Farmers Market, and Sundays at the Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market. For those of you not located in San Antonio, the good news is that they will begin offering their products online for shipping all across the country very soon! They recently gave me three of their items to sample at home and play around with in my kitchen.

I received jars of original Basil Pesto, Cilantro Pesto, and Roasted Tomato. All three are super delicious, fresh tasting, and so versatile! I love to add a spoon of the tangy Roasted Tomato to cooked penne pasta, then add chopped roasted chicken breast and some freshly grated parmesan -- talk about a fast weeknight meal.  The sauce has all the seasonings needed to provide big flavor! The original Basil Pesto is so fresh tasting...full of basil, garlic, olive oil, and walnuts. The Cilantro Pesto puts a unique Texas spin on pesto by using cilantro, white cheddar, and pecans. Both are made with organic, locally grown basil. We first tried both pestos on slices of French bread to get a feel for their flavor profile...then I got into the kitchen to come up with a fast and easy weeknight meal using both pestos: my Tomato-Pesto Roasted Salmon with Creamy Cilantro Pesto Rice.

This dish tastes like something you spent hours on in a hot kitchen, but the reality? It's ready in just over 30 minutes! While the salmon roasts in the oven and soaks up the seasonings in the pesto, you've got a nice pocket of time to make the rice that it's served on top of. Whip up a quick salad, you've got a restaurant quality meal that you can enjoy at home in your comfy clothes!

Tomato-Pesto Roasted Salmon with Creamy Cilantro Pesto Rice
a Weekend Gourmet Original

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 425. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and top with a 1.25-lb. piece of salmon. Spoon approximately 6 ounces of Humble House Basil Pesto on top of the salmon. Top with thinly sliced Roma tomato and sprinkle with your favorite seasoning, salt, and pepper. Put in hot oven and roast for 10-15 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and the pesto is bubbly.

Step 2: While the salmon roasts, make the rice. Add 1 tbs. butter and 1 tbs. olive oil to a saucepan over med-high heat. Add 1 tbs. chopped shallot and cook until translucent. Reduce heat to medium, then add: 1/3 cup half and half, 2 cups cooked rice, and 4 ounces of Humble House Cilantro Pesto. Stir to combine and lower heat to med-low and let simmer until the rice absorbs the sauce. 

Step 3: To serve, place the rice on a serving platter and top with the salmon. Note that it may take two spatulas to move the moist salmon without it breaking apart...just go slow, and you'll be fine. Serve with a salad on the side for a complete meal.

This dish is just plain succulent...and that's a word I don't throw around lightly! The salmon cooks up moist and flaky under the bed of pesto and tomatoes. The pesto provides all the seasoning and flavoring that you could want. The rice is creamy, with a cheesy flavor from the cheddar in the pesto. The tomatoes provide a nice pop of color, and a fresh tangy flavor. Michael gave this an enthusiastic thumbs up and couldn't believe it was made with so few ingredients. Thanks to my friends at Humble House, I saved time and effort...and was able to serve a meal that was bursting with flavor.

The best part is that one of YOU is going to get a chance to try these fantastic products in your kitchen! Humble House is giving one lucky reader a sampler pack containing 4-ounce jars of both pestos, the olive tapenade, and the roasted tomato spread. To enter, leave a comment telling me how you would use one of these flavors in your kitchen. It's that simple...and please make sure to leave your e-mail so I can find you if you're the winner. I will accept entries until this Saturday at 1159 p.m., and I'll notify the winner on Easter. Just think of me as your Culinary Easter Bunny...good luck!

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