Monday, January 7, 2013

Pan Seared Salmon

Before we get to the salmon, I wanted to give you the links to the recipes I'll be using for dinners later this week (according to the menu).  I may be making some adaptations and making the recipe my own, but these sites were the inspiration.  I'll post my version of these recipes later this week if I make any major changes. 

Buffalo Chicken soft tacos or lettuce wraps

Shrimp Scampi

Orange Chicken

Now to tonight's meatless monday...
Over the years, I've grown really fond of salmon. I mean I used to hate it and everything about it. But then I had salmon cooked as it was meant to be cooked and I found a whole new appreciation for the fish I already knew was full of omega-3 healthy goodness.

And so began my journey of making it at home. I tried cooking salmon a thousand different ways, but it never tasted as good as when I would order it from a restaurant. Until one day, I finally got it right. This salmon recipe is soooo good, we eat it cold for lunch the next day over a huge salad. Yum!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! I'm serving mine today with a side of lentils (recipe follows) and roasted brussel sprouts. It was so good, I think I cleaned my plate off in less than 10 min (which is not that unusual in our house if I really like something). Happy Cooking!

And here's to the healthy home revolution!!!

Pan-Seared Salmon with lentils and roasted brussel sprouts

3 cups brussel sprouts
Cooking spray
1 T olive oil for drizzling (or you can omit this step)
salt to taste

First, prep the brussel sprouts and get them in the oven. I cut the bottoms off, then cut in half, spray pan with cooking spray, sprinkle the sprouts with some kosher salt, drizzle with olive oil (optional) and roast at 400 for 30min. Simple and delicious! If brussel sprouts aren't your thing, then substitute another cruciferous vegetable.

Now to the lentils...they came out totally different from what I expected, more like a purée, but very yummy. I adapted the recipe from the back of the lentil bag. Here's what you'll need:

1 T olive oil
1 cup red split lentils, sorted and rinsed (I found mine at Trader Joe's)
2 1/4 cups low sodium broth or stock of your choice (I had a box of turkey stock already open)
1/4 cup dry white wine (I used Pinot grigio)
Pinch of red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4-1/2 tsp each salt & ground black pepper (I used 1/2 tsp of each and it was perfect for us, but it might be too seasoned for a child)

Using a medium saucepan, heat the oil in the pan over medium high heat. Add the lentils and toss to coat, stirring for about 1 min. Add broth, wine, and seasonings. Bring to a low boil, cover with a lid and simmer over low heat for 15-20 min or until almost all of the liquid is absorbed. (while you are waiting for lentils to cook, start the salmon). You'll see from the pictures below that the lentils broke down and it turned into a purée of some sorts.

The Pan Seared Salmon
1.25 lbs of wild caught salmon, cut into 4 or 5 relatively equal serving sizes (your fish monger can assist with this at the store)
1/4 tsp of each of the following: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder (I would usually just sprinkle till it looks right, but today I measured for you. You may want to use less seasoning depending on your taste)
Cooking spray
1 T olive oil (optional)

Heat a large skillet of medium-high heat. Sprinkle the seasonings on the side of the salmon with no skin (I never season the skin side because I hate the skin and take it off after it cooks). Spray the pan with cooking spray right before you place the salmon in the pan. Place it skin side down first, and LEAVE it ALONE! Let it cook for 4-5 min, add the olive oil if you wish, then flip it to the other side. Cook an additional 4-6 min until sides are no longer bright pink and it flakes easily. Do not over cook. Take salmon out of the pan and let rest 5-10 min to allow for easy skin removal.

If you time it right, the entire meal including prep will take less than 40 min to make. Plus my husband and I each have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Did my toddler eat this? No, but he did enjoy the bowl of plain pasta I made him. ;)

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