Salmon, Mint, and Pea Pasta

An unexpected combination of mint, peas and salmon bring together a light pasta dish.  The lemon and the mint together make this dish pair perfectly with a mojito to wash it all down.

Serves 2
Salmon, Mint, and Pea Pasta
3/4 pound salmon
1 lemon
1/8 cup mint, chiffonaded
1/2 pound pasta (farfalla is best)
5 oz frozen peas
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper

1. Season the salmon with salt and pepper.

2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

3. While the pasta cooks, zest the lemon.

4. Add the salmon to a skillet, add a 1/2 cup of water, the lemon zest and the juice of the lemon.

5. Over medium heat bring this to a boil, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

6. Add the peas and cook for another 7 minutes.

7. Drain the pasta and add the butter.  Stir in the mint and peas and flake the salmon into the pasta.

8. Delicious!

Pan Seared Scallops with Pea Puree

Whats better than scallops?  Scallops cooked in pancetta fat!  Throw in a pea puree and you get a great blend of savory and sweet in a super fast and super delicious meal.

Serves 2
Pan Seared Scallops
6 Sea Scallops
4 oz pancetta, diced
10 oz peas

1.Cook the peas according to package directions and puree in a food processor with salt to taste.

2. Heat a saucepan to medium high and cook the pancetta until done.

3. Add the scallops and cook for 2-3 minutes per side.

4. Serve the scallops with a swab of pea puree and some of the crispy pancetta bits.

Cranapple Salmon Salad

Cranapple seems to everywhere these days from juices to porkchops.  I figured I’d hop on the bandwagon and made this up for tonight in one of those clear out the fridge dinners.  It’s basically salmon baked with cranberry applesauce over it, served over a bed of arugula.  It turned out much better than expected!  The sweetness of the applesauce and tartness of the arugula with balsamic worked perfectly.

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Serves 2
Cranapple Salmon Salad
1/2 green apple (skinned, cored, and cubed)
1/4 cup fresh cranberries
1 tbsp sugar
2 6 oz salmon fillets
2 Handfuls of arugula
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Put the apple cubes and cranberries in a sauce pot and top with water.  Boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 mins, stirring and mashing occasionally.

3. Add sugar to taste to the applesauce.

4. Salt and pepper the salmon generously, cover in applesauce and bake for 35 min until done.

5. Plate the arugula and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.  Place a salmon fillet on the arugula and top with thin green apple slices for garnish.

Salt Crusted Fish

Trust me, I know this sounds like a lot of salt, but it’s not for seasoning really, it create a mini oven within an oven and helps cook the fish evenly.  And by peeling away the skin (that’s touching the salt) you end up with a fillet that is lightly seasoned.  This is out of the April 2011 Fine Cooking if you’d like step by step pictures which certainly helped a lot.

Serves 2
Salt Crusted Fish
1 whole fish (~1.5 lbs), gutted and cleaned
4 cups kosher salt
3 egg whites
1/3 cup water
olive oil
1 lemon, cut in slices
dill

1. Preheat the oven to 400.

2. Rinse the fish with cold water inside and out and pat dry.  Stuff the insides with dill and lemon slices then lightly oil the outside of the fish so the salt won’t stick.

3. Mix the salt, water and eggs together.

4. On a baking sheet lay down 1/4″ of salf a little bigger than the fish.  Lay the fish on top and encrust the whole thing in salt.

5. Bake for 20-30 minutes until a thermometer stuck into the fillet behind the head reads 135-140 F.  Let rest for 10 minutes.

6. Crack the salt crust with the back of a spoon and expose the whole top of the fish.

7. With the spoon, gently scrape the skin off the top of the fillet an push it to the side.

8. Run the spoon along the spine to separate the fish from the bones and move the fillet to a serving plate.

9. Grip the tail end of the bones and pull them away to expose the bottom fillet, and push away the lemon and dill.

10. Use the spoon to seperate the bottom fillet from the skin.

11. Serve with a little olive oil, lemon wedges, and dill.

Orange Salmon with Yogurt Sauce

The yogurt sauce originally just tasted like yogurt so I upped the orange juice and capers to make it taste like something not bland.  Original is from Fine Cooking.

Serves 2
Orange Salmon with Yogurt Sauce
2 8 oz salmon filets
1 tsp orange zest
olive oil
salt and pepper

For the sauce:
1/2 tsp orange zest
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 Tbsp orange juice
2 Tbsp capers, rinsed, drained and chopped
3/4 cup whole milk yogurt (un-flavored)

1. Preheat the oven to 400

2. Place the salmon skin side down on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil

3. Sprinkle the orange zest and salt pepper on them and rub it in, let this sit while the oven preheats

4. Cook the salmon for about 10-12 minutes in the oven

5. While the salmons cooking mix all the sauce ingredients together

6. Serve the salmon with a dollop of sauce on top.

Blackened Catfish

Lynn and I had some left over catfish so we decided a little blackened catfish would be delicious.  The recipe we found recommended knowing when to flip the fish from the color of the smoke, that should have been a hint as to how this would end.  About a minute after throwing the catfish on the skillet I could swear our apartment had just been smoke bombed by a SWAT Team.  We had to open both patio doors and the front door while breathing through kitchen towels to finish making it but it was sooo worth it.  It tasted just like the blackened catfish we had in New Orleans a couple years ago.

Serves 2
Blackened Catfish
2 filets catfish
1 tsp crushed dried thyme leaves
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
3 Tbsp melted butter

1. Preheat a cast iron skillet on high for 10 minutes and get your vent fan going super high (an apartment microwave vent fan won’t come close to cutting it).

2. Mix all the spices together

3. Brush both sides of the catfish with melted butter and then sprinkle both sides completely with the spice mixture

4. Drop a pad of butter in the skillet

5. Cook the catfish in the skillet for about 4 minutes on both sides or until flaky. (the original recipe claimed you can know when to flip it when the smoke turns gray).

Seared Tuna with Cuban Mojo

This was pretty quick and tasty.  I started making the mojo sauces for cuban sandwhiches and fired plaintains and thought I’d try it out with some tuna for a sauce and it worked pretty well, the lime compliments the tuna very well as I think you’d probably guess.  A traditional mojo has a whole lot of oil in it because its mostly used for marinades but because I didn’t want to drown my fish in oil I used just enough for the garlic.  I also chose to add some heat to the tuna with some cayenne pepper, but of course that’s optional.  I also served it with grapes and rice with raisins and peanuts.

Serves 2

Seared Tuna with Cuban Mojo
2 6 oz Tuna Steaks
4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
2 limes, juiced
1 orange, juiced
olive oil
cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

1. Sprinkle cayenne pepper on both sides of tuna steak and set aside.

2. Heat up a quick drizzle of olive oil in a pan on medium-high for the tuna.

3. Heat up some olive oil in a small pot and add the garlic, cook until fragrant, add the fruit juices and salt and pepper to taste.  Turn heat to low or pull off stove so it doesn’t burn while you cook the tuna.

4. Sear the tuna 2-3 minutes on both sides (I prefer a medium rare).

5. Let the tuna rest for a couple minutes and then slice into 1/2 inch strips.

6. Pour mojo sauce over fish.