Saturday, July 14, 2012

Something Fishy

We've been eating a lot of fish lately.  We, Kenny and I, like fish, but we have very rarely prepared it ourselves.  And, while the kids have had fish on occasion, since we don't eat it at home much (i.e. never), they haven't had much exposure.  But, we have been thinking about upping our intake for awhile and finally decided that fish was the perfect food to eat on really hot summer days.  It is filling, though not overly so, it doesn't take long to prepare so the kitchen stays relatively cool, and it can be paired with all sorts of delicious summer veggies and fruit.  Anyway, the point of this and ultimately the reason for this post is that I wanted to record what we've eaten all in one place so I'll be able to refer back to it in the future. 

The first kind of fish we tried was salmon.  Once upon a time, when I had an expense account, I used to frequent really nice, fancy restaurants in and around DC.  I went so often to some of them that eventually I'd ordered everything on the menu, so I've had salmon a time a two.  But, I think I have cooked/baked/grilled it myself only a handful of times.  The thing about salmon, and most fish actually, is that preparation is simplicity itself.  Unless you start with a whole fish, um, no thank you, prepping fish takes minutes, cooking it takes minutes, and therefore, getting dinner on the table (my most important priority these days) also takes just minutes.  We bought our salmon at Costco so we had it three ways before we'd eaten all of it.

Salmon #1: Kenny brushed the whole thing with olive oil, added salt and pepper and some lemon and baked it for 20ish minutes.  The result was perfection.  Flavorful, moist, delectable fish that we all yummed right up.  We served it with a salad and some fresh cut fruit.

Salmon #2: Using 4 servings of the left over salmon I made this salad (a slight variation on a Rachael Ray recipe for honey-lime salmon and warm black bean and corn salad):

Warm Black Bean & Corn Salad

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium Red Onion, chopped
2 large Garlic Cloves, chopped
1/2 to 1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes 
1 tsp. Ground Cumin 
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
1 Red Bell Pepper chopped
1  can of corn drained
1  15oz. can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
Juice of 1 lime
6 cups Baby Spinach

Preheat a medium skillet over medium heat the olive oil.  Add the onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.  Once the onions are cooked, add the bell peppers and corn kernels and cook for 1 minute.  Add the black beans and cook until the beans are just heated through.  Remove the skillet from the heat and add the lime juice and spinach.  Toss to wilt the spinach and then taste and adjust the seasoning.  Serve alone or with a piece of salmon on top. 

I topped our salad and fish with this yummy honey lime vinaigrette so, so, so good.  Everyone (the kids included) cleaned their plates.

Salmon #3: With the last bit of left over salmon I made salmon patties/cakes.  I used this recipe for guidance, but made a few changes (i.e. seasoned bread crumbs instead of bread, no canned salmon -- ick, and a bit of garlic powder).  When the cakes were ready, I sliced them in half and served them on hot dog rolls with tartar sauce.  I make my own tartar sauce because I like it extra tangy.  Here's the recipe in case you do too:

Tartar Sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise
Dash of spicy brown mustard
1 spear or so dill pickle finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon
Lemon pepper seasoning to taste
And, if your lemon is a little bitter (you'll know once you taste your sauce), a bit of sugar

The salmon cakes were a hit, so we were 3 for 3 with our adventures in serving salmon.  If you've got some great recipes for salmon or any other fish for that matter, please share them with me, we're on a roll.

Next up, Tilapia.


Unknown said...

We are huge Tilapia fans, I cook it about once a week because it is so easy just baked in the oven. I haven't dared try cooking salmon at home though. For some reason it seems so scary, like I'm going to mess it up. I loved these 3 recipes you shared. It makes me feel like I can conquer this salmon fear of mine.


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