Gunnery Sgt. Loan Brooks

"What’s Cooking?” is a monthly series that profiles an area food service specialist and one of their favorite recipes.

Featured Chef: Gunnery Sgt. Loan Brooks

Unit: II MEF 

Length of Service: 14 Years

Hometown: San Francisco, California

What do you enjoy most about cooking?

“The hospitality. I like taking care of people and one way to do that is food. When a Marine is hangry (hungry and angry) there’s not much they can do that is productive. The best thing about what we do is that we make sure no one goes home hungry.”

What influenced you to become a cook?

“My family. My husband, my son and my daughter. Also my mother and father (growing up). Growing up my parents worked a lot so I usually had to make dinner and help with meals. My mom would leave what I was supposed to cook. It taught me a lot about following instructions.”

What’s your favorite type of dish?

“Pasta. Or maybe Mexican food. I like to make a lot of things from scratch like noodles. I like making lasagna or, as far as Mexican food, salsa. (Almost) everywhere I’ve gone I have had a garden (where I can grow) tomatoes and herbs.”

What’s one thing people should have in their kitchens?

“Lemons and limes. Citrus. You want to have good olive oil. Those will make your food fresh. There’s no shame in pre-made seasonings. Get chopped or minced garlic in a jar. (As far as tools go) I use tongs to cook a lot. You also want a good knife with a sharpener. A saute pan is good for making anything in, even soup.”

Do you have any advice for amateur chefs?

“Keep on cooking. Practice. Cook from the heart. It helps to plan your meals out too. When I plan something I don’t give it four or five days, I do it on the spot. For other people it is good to have a prep list, especially if you are busy or meal prepping.”

What do you like most about the recipe you’re providing?

“It’s a salmon dish with ginger and honey. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s healthy. You can serve it with rice or a salad. It’s also really good for meal prep. If you have it prepared ahead of time you can mix it into a salad or something and take it to work. It keeps well. I also like that it is versatile.”

Honey-Ginger Baked Salmon

INGREDIENTS

8oz Salmon filet

1 tsp of minced ginger (fresh OR powder)

2 tsp of minced garlic or chopped garlic is fine

2 springs of green onion

2 TBSP Honey OR agave

2 TBSP Soy Sauce (this amount can be reduced, if you are trying to limit salt intake)

½ Lemon Juice

Pinch of salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice green onion thinly and separate the white and green parts.

2) Clean the salmon filet, making sure to remove any bone. Use paper towel to gently pat dry.

3) In a small bowl, combine all ingredients together except for the green part of the green onion.

4) Lay salmon skin side down on a sheet pan or baking dish and pour the sauce over it. (Optionally, you can lay some thinly sliced lemon on top of the salmon).

5) Bake for 15- 20 min. Remove the salmon from the oven, use a small spoon to baste the salmon with the sauce. Use the rest of the green onion as garnish.

CHEF’S NOTES

To avoid over cooking the salmon, remove the salmon from the oven when the white proteins appear on the surface. Let the salmon rest for 5 minutes.

You can use toast sesame as garnish to dress up the dish.

This dish can be served over cooked rice or chilled for a salad. It’s a great option for a cold lunch item, accompany with a side salad.