Pan Seared Salmon with Chive Dill Butter


So I know it’s been a while again since my last post, but what can I say….. I just get busy and unfortunately my blog and even making new recipes in general takes a back seat for a while.  But I always come back!  I left off with my first installment of a new project called Kids in the Kitchen, and though I haven’t had time to fit in another between busy school schedules, mini vacations and illnesses it’s still on my to-do list so be watching for that!  In the meantime I am hoping things have settled down enough that I can focus on making new and, in keeping with my current mindset of eating lighter and losing some of this holiday weight, healthier recipes.

First up on the menu is this Pan Seared Salmon with Chive Dill Butter.  I will share my technique/recipe below, but this is one of those great recipes that has a lot of versatility.  All you’re doing is preparing a piece of salmon and mixing whatever flavors you want into some butter to top it off.  Super simple.  I served this with some grilled asparagus drizzled with olive oil and salt and pepper, and some smashed potatoes.  This was my first time trying smashed potatoes and all I can say is now I am a believer!  So good, with a crispy outside, seasoned just right, and soft in the middle….. but let’s get back to the salmon lol.

I will admit, I have struggled to cook salmon in the past.  It’s not particularly hard, but cooking fish in general takes practice to get it done right where you get that nice crust on top and the fish is nicely cooked through.  I have either had it stick in my pan, or ended up with somewhat undercooked fish in the middle of a nice thick piece of fish.  With time, however, I have gotten the hang of it.  Although I switched over to stainless steel cookware some time ago to cut down on my use of non-stick and their chemicals. fish is something I pretty much always use nonstick for.  Specifically, I use a a Rachel Ray Anodized Nonstick skillet and it works beautifully for giving me a nice crust, but avoiding the dreaded stick.  Another very important tip when cooking fish to ensure it doesn’t stick and gets great crust is to leave it alone once you have placed it in the pan.  It may be tempting to lift the edges to check, or slide it around to see if it’s sticking but don’t.  Trust me.  And don’t forget to use oil or butter or something to grease your pan.  Once it’s done on one side according to your recipe’s directions flip it once and again leave it alone til it’s time to come out.  It also helps to take your fish out a few minutes early to bring the temp up just a bit before you start, and make sure it’s dry…. especially if you are cooking with previously frozen fish.  Of course, as with pretty much all food, seasoning is important, so don’t forget to season before you place it in the pan!

Now that we talked a bit about cooking a nice piece of salmon, let’s talk about the butter…. as I mentioned it’s a versatile method.  You could put whatever herbs or seasonings in this you like.  The butter will melt beautifully over the warm fish and give that richness that takes a boring piece of fish to a whole new level, imparting the flavors you incorporated at the same time.  For this recipe I used some fresh chives, dill, garlic, lemon and some salt and pepper.  It’s important to start with room temperature butter for this, so don’t forget to take it out in advance.  You could even make the butter in advance and either use it hard from the fridge, or take it out a little before for a softer butter…. and any leftovers can be used on other meats, bread, or whatever sounds good to you.

As a natural casualty to having to photograph my food before I can eat it my salmon had cooled a bit while I was setting up so my butter wasn’t melting over it right away as I would have liked for the photos, so you’ll have to use your imagination a bit.

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Pan Seared Salmon with Chive Dill Butter

Ingredients :

  • salmon fillets (about a lb) * I used salmon with the skin
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 T. butter, at room temp * I just eyeballed how much butter so this is estimation
  • drizzle of olive oil (about 1/2 tsp. perhaps)
  • fresh chives, chopped (about 1 tsp. or so)
  • fresh dill, chopped (about 1 tsp or so)
  • salt and pepper to taste (separate from the salt and pepper above)
  • garlic clove, minced
  • lemon zest
  • Lemon wedges (for serving with the fish)

Directions :

  1.  Make your butter first.  To your room temp butter add your herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, the garlic, lemon zest (by preference but about a tsp or so), and some salt and pepper.  Using a small spatula sort of stir/whip it up until well combined and set aside.  If making ahead put back in the fridge.  You can either use it straight from the fridge later on, or let it warm up just a bit so it’s a little softer.
  2. Prepare you salmon.  If you are using previously frozen salmon be sure to pat dry before you start.  Season your salmon with a bit of salt and pepper (I like to use coarse salt when seasoning meat).  If you are using salmon with skin you don’t need to season that side, but if not I would suggest doing both sides.
  3. Heat the T. of oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat.  If using skin-on salmon place it in your pan skin UP so you get the nice crust from that first bit of heat on the top of your fish first.  Once you have set your fish in your pan DON’T TOUCH IT for about 4-5 minutes.  You see the fish start to turn opaque towards the middle and the edges will start to brown.  Flip it and cook an additional 4-5 minutes.  Of course the cook-time depends on the thickness of your fish, so take that into consideration, and watch for the fish to become opaque all the way through.
  4. Remove from pan and top with a dollop of your prepared butter.  Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Note : Amounts for the herbs in the butter are estimations and I encourage you to use more or less to your tastes.  I like a nice punch of flavor and likely used more than stated above.

Healthy Sweet & Sour Fish


I don’t know about you, but when I am browsing for new recipes and I see the word HEALTHY in the title I automatically pay attention.  Of course, sometimes upon further investigation of the recipe I decide it’s either just not for me, or not nearly as healthy as it claims, but lucky for me I decided to give this one a try.  I honestly don’t even care if it’s healthy or not because it was just so good!

It has all the elements of a nice Hawaiian type sweet and sour with the vinegar, peppers, pineapple, etc, but then you get the kick from the chili sauce and this just takes on a whole new level of goodness.  I really liked the use of fish in this rather than something like chicken, which I would typically do.  It was so soft and flaky and the flavor was perfect.  You just have to be a little more careful in the cooking process so as not to break up the fish too much.  Besides being full of flavor, this dish has a lot of color and would be sure to impress at your next dinner party.

This dish does take a little longer to prepare, but it’s worth the extra effort, and having everything prepped and ready to go from the start really makes things go smoothly.  The recipe says to serve over rice, but you’ll probably notice I just mixed it all together in the picture.  I was just saving myself the hassle and mess of trying to do it later on my plate lol.

Healthy Sweet & Sour Fish

Serves : 8          Time to make : 40 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 2 lbs. tilapia
  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 each,  red/yellow/green bell peppers
  • 2-3 cups fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili garlic sauce, or more to taste
  • 2 T. + 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • cooked brown rice
  • sesame seeds

Directions :

  1. Fish: Cut the fish into bite-sized pieces and mince 1 onion. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for 1 minute. Add the fish and sprinkle with cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste. Cook, flipping occasionally and draining any excess liquid, for 5-10 minutes or until the pieces are golden brown on the outside and white all the way through. Set aside.  (Be careful with the fish to avoid breaking it up too much)
  2. Vegetables: Chop the bell peppers and 1 onion into bite-sized pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet and saute the peppers and onions for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown on the outside and tender-crisp. Chop the pineapple into bite-sized pieces and add to the pan, cooking for another few minutes. Set aside.
  3. Sauce: Combine the vinegar, ketchup, sugar, salt, pineapple juice, orange juice, and sweet chili garlic sauce in a large skillet over medium low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Whisk the cornstarch into a few tablespoons of water until smooth. Add to the sauce in the skillet and bring to a low boil. Cook for a few more minutes until the sauce is thickened.
  4. Combine the fish, vegetables, and sauce (you might not want all of it – just eyeball whatever looks good) in a large pan or bowl. Serve over brown rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds. I liked mine with extra sweet chili garlic sauce.

Recipe from pinch of yum

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Chilean Salmon with Avocado Cream Sauce + Island Nectar


As promised last night on my facebook page, here is Chilean Salmon with Avocado Cream Sauce and a drink I made up to use the rest of the coconut water.  If you are following my facebook page (there is a button on the right hand side of this blog) you will know that I had a bit of a fiasco with this recipe last night.  Because I had such a thick piece of salmon, and didn’t want to cut it and take away from the photographic presentation, I ended up with a portion in the middle/bottom that wasn’t quite done.  Having the skin still on the bottom side didn’t help either.  It wasn’t a big deal though, as I just flaked off the parts that were done and then put the rest back in the skillet for a minute more until it was done.  It was quite the mess however since I had already put the sauce on top.  I suggest making sure your pieces are cut more reasonably though if you want to present a beautiful piece of fish on the plate.

The flavor of this salmon was fantastic!  The actual preparation of the salmon is very simple, but allowing the lemon juice to soak in a bit and then covering the top with a generous amount of course sea salt and pepper results in such a beautiful crust that is full of flavor and allows the actual salmon flavor to really be the star.  Topped with the cool, creamy, slightly spicy avocado cream dip this is melt in your mouth good!  As I mentioned, my piece of salmon still had the skin on one side, which can be nice for presentation if you like that sort of thing, but I feel like it kind of messes up the cooking process… at least in a hot skillet since it seems to block some of the heat from reaching that bottom side and making it through to the middle to ensure a fully cooked fillet.  It would also be nice without the skin to have the option to salt and pepper both sides for even more crust.

Note : my piece of salmon was quite wet to start, and I had forgotten to pat dry it a bit before putting the lemon juice on.  As a result when I placed in into the hot oil in my skillet there was a LOT of splash from the moisture which not only caused a disaster on my stove top, but also managed to give me quite a few little burns.  I imagine even if you do dry your fish off well before putting the lemon juice on it’s going to splatter a bit from the lemon juice so beware and consider having a splatter screen handy!  And here is another little tip when cooking fish in a skillet.  Once you set the fish down don’t touch it until you see the bottom is starting to brown and the color will start to change up the side of your fillet.  You want it to be about halfway before you flip it.  If you try to move it before it starts to crust over you chance breaking the fish or having it stick to the skillet.  Also, always use oil or non-stick spray and cook in a quality skillet.

Chilean Salmon w/ Avocado Cream Sauce

Serves : 2+                          Time to make : 15 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 1 lb fresh salmon fillets (2 good sized fillets or you can opt for smaller pieces to serve more people)
  • lemon
  • course sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • olive oil (about 2-3 T.)
  • 1 Haas avocado, about 2/3 cup
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T. finely chopped shallots
  • 1/3 C. coconut water (I used Blue Monkey with pulp)
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch chili powder
  • pinch smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. chopped chives

Directions :

  1. Pat dry your fillets and then place on a plate and squeeze the juice of one lemon over top and allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes.  Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking.  Generously sprinkle your course sea salt and fresh ground black pepper onto the salmon fillets before carefully placing into the hot oil.  Cook on the first side about 3-4 minutes depending on the thickness of your salmon until browned on bottom and the color has turned light pink about halfway up the side of your fillet.  Flip and cook through.
  2. Meanwhile for the sauce (It can help to have some of the sauce ingredients ready to go before you start cooking your salmon) cut open your avocado and scoop out the insides.  If you have never cut an avocado before what you do is take a knife and make a cut from top to bottom.  You won’t be able to cut through because of the pit, once you hit that sort of roll the knife around the avocado until you cut all the way around from top to bottom.  Holding both sides twist and pull and you’ll have two perfect halves with the pit in one of them.  I like to use a knife or spoon to pry the pit out at that point and then using a spoon slide it between the peel and the avocado and you can scoop it out in one swipe usually.
  3. Place all sauce ingredients together in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.  Spoon over your finished salmon.

Recipe from : domestic fits

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Now for the drink… I am calling it Island Nectar because the flavors are very “Island-y” and it has Guava Nectar in it… real creative I know lol.  As I mentioned on the facebook page, I just wanted to use up the rest of the can of coconut milk and figured some sort of cocktail would be the way to go.  I have a rather diverse bar in my pantry from all the various drinks we have tried over the years so I knew I could probably come up with something.  Unfortunately the ones I wanted to use, such as the rum were pretty low, hence the somewhat random amounts listed, but it actually ended up just right for my tastes.  Jeff likes a lot more alcohol in his drinks, whereas I am more about the taste, so if you are more like him you might want to add some straight rum or vodka to it so as not to change the taste too much.

So without a real plan I just started pouring things together and at first it was AWFUL… I mean seriously bad.  This was around the point that it was just coconut water and guava nectar.  I hadn’t really ever tried guava nectar before, but had a few cans lying around for a drink I wanted to try from Guy Fieri.  It is definitely not something I would drink on it’s own… So I knew I needed to sweeten it up and just started grabbing other things I had and voila it was suddenly good!  I don’t know how much this makes, but it about filled a basic pitcher.

Island Nectar

makes : 1 pitcher

Ingredients :

  • 1 can Blue Monkey Coconut Water with pulp (or slightly less if you used some on the fish)
  • 1 (11.3oz) can guava nectar (I found some called Jumex in the beverage isle at the grocery store)
  • 1 can 7-up
  • 2 oz. triple sec
  • 6 oz. pineapple rum
  • 1 oz. vanilla flavored syrup (like for coffee drinks)
  • ice
  • mint sprigs or lime wedges for garnish (I didn’t have anything on hand)

Directions :

  1. Combine everything over a generous amount of ice in a pitcher and stir.

islandnectar copy

Mango & Banana Salsa with Tilapia


It is my goal to eat more fish this year for it’s health benefits and just for the variety as well.  I have always enjoyed fish, but I am not very experienced with it, so it will be fun to try new ways to prepare it.  Tonight’s recipe instantly grabbed my attention by all the gorgeous colors in the dish.  After all, they way your food looks plays a large role in your enjoyment of it.  I was a bit disappointed to see that the recipe called for mango because I just can’t stand the stuff, but I also knew that I could probably substitute some pineapple with good results since I have had a similar salsa before.  The addition of banana was very new to me however, and intriguing for sure.  I will post it with the original recipe, but my own review is for the pineapple version.

The dish comes together very quickly, and easily.  I suggest making the salsa earlier in the day if you have time and letting it sit in the fridge to really let the flavors marry, but I only had about a half hour for mine and it was still great.  The dish has such a freshness to it, and a great balance of heat, sweet, and sour with the colorful salsa.  With the eye-catching presentation it’s the perfect thing to serve to guests if you want to impress.  It’s also very low calorie/fat which everyone appreciates.  The recipes makes a lot of the salsa, almost more than you need, but it worked out to sort of eat it like a salad with the cut up fish rather than as a topping for it.  I was a bit confused about the part where it called for half of a long red pepper, and then listed jalapeno or thai, so I just got a red jalapeno and put the whole thing in there since they aren’t very big.  I would suggest tasting whatever type of pepper you use first to determine how much you want in there.

 

Mango & Banana Salsa with Tilapia

Serves : 4                         Time to make : 25 minutes (+ time for salsa to sit)

Ingredients :

  • 1 large ripe mango, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (a heaping cup) * I subbed the same amount of fresh pineapple
  • 1 medium banana, firm ripe, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 long red pepper, ripe jalapeno or Thai
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2/3 cups cilantro leaves, 1/3 cup minced & 1/3 cup roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 T. fresh lime juice (I added a little more and some zest)
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt or to taste
  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • flour (about a 1/4 cup or so
  • 2 T. olive oil

Directions :

  1. Combine mango, banana, pepper, red pepper, cilantro, onion, lime juice, and salt in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 hours if time allows, otherwise you can move right on to the fish.
  2. Pat dry fish fillets, season with salt and pepper on both sides and dredge in flour; shaking off excess.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add fish and cook until medium golden brown and fish easily lifts from bottom of pan.  Turn over and cook until done all the way through.
  4. Move to either one serving tray or individual plates before topping with the salsa (about a cup per fillet if individual).  Serve with additional lime wedges if desired.

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Ultimate Tuna Melt


Let me start by saying I did not name this recipe.  It came from Food.com.  However, I do agree that this is one awesome tuna melt!  The first time I made this recipe was in 2007, and I have made it countless times since.  Not only are they tastey, but they are quite quick and simple to prepare, and low in fat and calories.  These melts make it into our meal rotation often during those times we are trying to lose a bit of weight… such as last night lol.

Over the years I have very slightly altered the recipe to suit our needs and this is what I will share on my blog.  The ingredients are all basically the same, but I may have changed a few amounts and also the method a little to give the best results.  Jeff and I usually each eat 4 of these…. yeah I know it sounds like a lot, but even at that many the calorie total fits well within our daily budgets.  If you can find the 100 calorie english muffins that works best (if you are counting calories anyway), but any type will do just fine.  Likewise, I use the ultra thin cheese for diet reasons, but have used regular slices before as well.  As for the tuna, I use chunk light because I try to avoid Albacore for the mercury levels, however the original recipe did suggest the albacore.

 

Ultimate Tuna Melt

Serves : 2-4               Time to make : 15 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 4 (100 calorie, or wheat variety) english muffins, cut in half
  • 2 small cans of tuna (in water), well drained
  • 3/4 cup artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (I usually use one of the small jars of marinated hearts)
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • zest of a lemon
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (start with the lesser and taste it)
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 8 slices ultra thin provolone

Directions :

  1. Preheat broiler, and arrange muffins on baking sheet.  Spray lightly with any sort of cooking spray and brown slightly.  This happens fairly quickly so keep an eye on it.  Once done set aside while you mix the topping.
  2. In a large bowl combine the tuna, artichokes, onions, lemon juice and zest, seasoning, and oil.  Spoon carefully onto each toasted muffin.  Top with a slice of cheese.
  3. Broil for a couple of minutes, watching closely until cheese has melted and starts to brown.  I find that rotating them helps get them all evenly done.

ultimatetunamelt

Fish Picatta


This recipe comes from Melissa d’Arabian, whom you may have seen on Food Network.  I’ve made other variations of this recipe before, but this one is SO simple I had to give it a try and I was so glad I did because it’s literally bursting with flavor.  It’s a great weeknight meal because it takes so little effort to prepare, and it’s also a nice light dish with low calories and fat.  If you’re like me and would like to find more ways to incorporate fish into your diet for all it’s healthy benefits, I highly suggest you try this recipe.

Tonight I paired this with some fried potato slices (fish and chips), but it would also be good with a simple pasta to soak up all that delicious sauce left on the plate.  Or perhaps some couscous would be nice too.  Tilapia is fairly inexpensive, but you can splurge a little and use something like Halibut for this too if you want.  Really, any firm white fish would work I am sure.  The lemon flavor is VERY strong, so if you would like it a little less lemony go ahead and do half the lemon juice.  I have tried this with both pinot and moscato and had great results.

 

Fish Picatta

serves 4                time to make : 20 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 4 small fillets of white fish such as tilapia, about a lb total
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 lemons, juiced (I also take the zest off one for extra flavor)
  • 2 T. capers
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Directions :

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  While pan is heating, blot fish with a paper towel, season with salt and pepper.  Dredge in flour, shaking off excess.
  2. Saute fish in oil until just cooked through and lightly browned, about 4 minutes.  Turn half way through cooking.  Move to platter and keep warm.
  3. Immediately deglaze the pan with the white wine, whisking for about 1 minute.  It  helps to lift the pan off the burner at this point or you will have a HUGE mess.  Add the lemon juice and capers next and stir to combine.  Add the butter, allowing to melt as you whisk together.  Simmer for a couple minutes to allow the sauce to thicken slightly as it reduces. 
  4. Pour over the plated fish, and top with your chopped parsley (and this is where I add the zest as well).

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Published in: on January 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Day 103 : Homemade Tartar Sauce


Since my son recently decided he likes battered fish, I decided to grab a box from the store.  And with that I wanted to make my own tartar sauce.  I found this recipe on Key Ingredient, and decided to give it a try.  I think it turned out pretty well, and I think the longer it sits, and the more the flavors marry the better it will get.  I had to make it tonight rather than ahead of time so I didn’t get to chill it for as long as I would have liked.

When I was reading the recipe I wasn’t sure what a cornichon was, and figured there was no way I was going to find it.  I looked it up and it basically said it was a gherkin so I figured I MIGHT be able to find that.  To my surprise Yokes has cornichons.  I had thought to use regular pickles in place of the cornichons if I couldn’t find them, but I think there is a pretty big difference taste wise between the two.  Cornichons are these tiny little pickles that are fairly soft, and not really strong or tart like dill pickles would have been.  Anyway, the only difference I made to the recipe was to throw in a bit of lemon zest.

Homemade Tartar Sauce

Makes : about 1 Cup                 Time to make : q0  minutes (plus chill time)

Ingredients :

  • 1 Cup mayo
  • 3 T. capers, chopped
  • 10 T. cornichons, finely chopped
  • 2 T. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • dash hot sauce

Directions :

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, cover, and chill until ready to serve.

Published in: on April 14, 2011 at 8:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Day 47 : Smoked Salmon Fettuccine Alfredo with Capers


While browsing through the fridge I realized I had a bunch of ingredients either left over or in full quantities that needed used very soon.  One thing I like to do is create my own recipes on occasion so that one day I can pass them down to my children, and they to their’s and so on and so on, until one day they become a famous “family” recipe.  They may not all make the cut, but this one just might!  I will likely tweak it a bit still the next time I make it until it is perfect, but we felt it was pretty darn close as is.

I knew I wanted to use up the smoked salmon I bought the other day and then forgot about, and I realized I still had a bit of whipping cream left over, which instantly make me think of alfredo!   There is an alfredo sauce that I used to make that called for a TON of butter and whipping cream and is just so insanely bad for you….. but oh so good!  I wanted it to be like that, but on a smaller scale so I browsed a few recipes on Food.com and decided on this one that still used the ingredients just in smaller amounts.  Then I decided that I would use up some of the thyme I had left over because it just goes well with fish and of course you can have fish without lemon and capers!

This is definitely NOT a low fat or low calorie dinner, but in my opinion sometimes you just gotta go for it!  My new motto should maybe be that sometimes you need to STOP going for it…. but that’s another story lol.  One thing I might do differently next time is to reserve some of the pasta water to add if it seems too thick because this is definitely a thick sauce and if you are like me and eyeball your ingredients you may find it just a bit TOO much.  It also depends on the amount of pasta you make which I also eyeball.  I was also thinking that possibly some parsley thrown in could bring a nice fresh taste to counter the richness of the sauce.  I really liked the capers though and might add a few more next time.  You could probably get away with a little less salmon if you wanted, but Jeff really likes a lot of meat in his meals so I went with a lot.  One other thing I might try next time is to add a bit of asparagus either roasted, sauteed, or grilled…. I haven’t decided yet but just a way to add in some veggies!

 

Smoked Salmon Fettuccine Alfredo with Capers

Serves : 2-3                       Time to make : 20 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 3 T. butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 8oz. fettuccine
  • 1 cup smoked salmon, chopped
  • 1 T. capers, roughly chopped
  • 3/8 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice

Directions :

  1. Melt butter in a medium sized skillet over medium-low heat.
  2. Add garlic, cream, white pepper, and thyme and bring to a simmer stirring often.
  3. Add the parmesan and simmer about 8-10 minutes stirring often, until mixture thickens and becomes smooth.
  4. Once thick add mozzarella and stir until smooth.
  5. Meanwhile, cook fettuccine according to package directions, and heat the salmon, lemon zest, lemon juice, and capers in a small skillet just for a minute or so until heated through.
  6. Drain pasta, add the salmon mixture to the sauce and spoon over pasta.

Published in: on February 17, 2011 at 8:12 pm  Comments (1)  
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Day 43 : Salmon-Cilantro Burgers


Until fairly recently I would never have imagined that fish could make a good burger.  The very idea of ground up fish grossed me out for some reason.  I decided to put my fears behind me one day and not only try a tuna burger, but to create my own for my introduction to the fish burger.  Luckily for me it turned out great and I was hooked on the idea!  To my surprise it did not get dried out and nasty like I thought, but rather stays soft and holds flavor very well.  My husband LOVES burgers and though I enjoy them as well, I like to mix things up a bit and the idea of different fish burgers makes that very easy.  They really are so versatile.

Tonight’s came from the Key Ingredients site that goes along with my Demy (digital recipe device I mentioned in an earlier post).  From that site it is credited back to Cooking Light, which is even better because I love not feeling guilty about what I am eating when it tastes so great!  These burgers pack a lot of flavor, and are ones you are going to want to make over and over again.  Thinking back to a post I made a couple days ago about how food should LOOK good as well as taste good these fit the bill nicely with such a pretty pink color, and all speckled with the cilantro and peppers.

I followed the recipe pretty closely, but left out the cucumbers just because Jeff doesn’t like them and I didn’t want to get a whole cucumber just for a couple slices.  One thing I did differently was to just make 2 big patties, because it did seem a bit skimpy as 4.  So if you are wanting to make these for guests you might keep that in mind and just increase the ingredients and get a little more salmon.  I also threw in the zest of one of the limes to the mayo because I hate wasting all that yummy flavor!  For the breadcrumbs I used an Italian blend and felt it went along well with the other flavors.  And last, instead of using the grill (or foreman usually in my case) I decided to cook these up in the skillet which worked very well.

 

Salmon-Cilantro Burgers

Serves : 2-4                           Time to make : 20 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 1/4 cup reduced fat mayo
  • 1 T. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 T. fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 (1 pound) salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 T. cilantro leaves
  • 2 T. chopped green onions
  • 1 T. chopped, seeded jalapeno pepper
  • 2 T. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • cooking spray
  • 4 burger buns with sesame seeds, toasted
  • 12 slices english cucumber
  • 4 lettuce leaves

Directions :

  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl, cover and chill.
  2. Place salmon in a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped.  Add breadcrumbs and next 6 ingredients; pulse 4 times or until well blended. Divide into 4 equal portions, shaping into patties.
  3. Heat grill pan over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add patties to pan; cook 2 minutes.  Carefully turn patties over ; cook 2 minutes or until done.
  4. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the mayo mixture over bottom half of each bun.  Top each serving with 1 salmon patty, 3 cucumber slices, 1 lettuce leaf, and top half of bun.

 

Day 28 : Seared Salmon with Balsamic Glaze


I finally had a chance to get to the store!  At least one of them anyway, I have to go again tomorrow still lol.  But since I went today I figured it was a great day to have some fresh fish.  I learned the hard way after some very BAD salmon to never buy fish ahead of time in our house, and always to cook it up that very same day.  This is especially true for the fact that we live a ways from any truly FRESH fish here in Idaho.

This salmon was so easy to prepare and looked beautiful on the plate.  The sweetness of the glaze was a nice addition and was not overpowering at all.  This is a fairly simple flavored dish I felt, and if I make it again I might try to add something more to it just to see if I could achieve that “wow” factor.  Maybe some garlic, herbs, some orange juice perhaps, or even some asian inspired ingredients.  One thing I did have an issue with was the glaze not wanting to thicken up.  The recipe claimed it should after a couple of minutes, but even with some cornstarch added in (after reading reviews) I noticed it took a good 5 minutes to even start to thicken and then only after I finally gave up and let it sit for a bit.  Of course it did not subtract from the flavor that the glaze was runny, just the presentation.  One other thing about this recipe… it’s quick!  Perfect for a nice meal after a long day at work or like me, after a day of shopping.

 

Seared Salmon with Balsamic Glaze

Serves : 4                          Time to make : 15 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 T. lemon juice
  • 1 T. + 1 tsp. brown sugar, packed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions :

  1. Pat dry salmon fillets and season with salt and pepper to taste. (I like to use course salt for seasoning meats)
  2. Whisk together vinegar, water, lemon juice, and brown sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat warm the oil, but not to the point of smoking.  With skin side up, place fillets in the heated oil and sear for about 4-6 minutes.  Flip and cook another 3 minutes or so until the salmon is done all the way through.  Remove to a plate and tent with foil to allow the juices to rest.
  4. In a small saucepan heat the balsamic mix over high heat and boil, stirring constantly, for about 3-5 minutes or until the glaze has reduced down and thickened.  (I added about 1/2 T. of cornstarch to mine at the start to help it thicken which you may want to do also)
  5. Spoon the glaze over the salmon and enjoy!

 

Published in: on January 29, 2011 at 8:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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