Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ridiculously easy salmon, and a bonus recipe for the leftovers


This salmon recipe is so easy, it's almost embarrassing. In fact, it's slightly verging on semi-homemade-with-Sandra-Lee territory, but it's healthy and yummy and even packs in lots of leafy greens. I made a spinach topping by combining a box of frozen spinach with storebought garlic-herb cheese. The most common brands I've seen are Boursin, Rondele, and Alouette. If you are watching calories, all three brands make a light version. Based on the available sizes, you can use half an 8 oz container of Rondele, a 4 oz container of Alouette, or a full ~5 oz container of Boursin. Alternately, you can use a copycat recipe such as this one and make it yourself; you will probably use the whole batch in the recipe. If your salmon filets are very thick you might cut a slit in the middle and use the spinach mixture as a stuffing rather than a topping. I finished this off under the broiler with a dusting of parmesan cheese.

EASY SPINACH-TOPPED SALMON
Serves about 6, or 2-4 with leftovers

INGREDIENTS
  • 24 oz salmon filets (about six 4 oz filets)
  • 1 10 oz box frozen chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (I used frozen chopped onion)
  • 4-5 oz spreadable garlic-herb cheese (see recipe description above).
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
DIRECTIONS
  1. Adjust one oven rack to the center and the other rack on the upper-middle shelf of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Cook the spinach according to package directions and thoroughly squeeze out the water.
  3. Heat a bit of oil on medium-high heat in a skillet. Saute the onion until translucent. Add the spinach and garlic-herb cheese, reduce heat to low, and stir until the cheese is melted and thoroughly combine.
  4. Season salmon all over with salt and pepper. Top salmon filets with spinach mixture and bake in the center of the oven for 15-20 minutes (15 for thin filets, 20 for very thick, 17-18 minutes if they're in the middle).
  5. Remove from oven and switch from bake to broil. Sprinkle the tops of the salmon filets with parmesan cheese. Broil on the upper-middle rack for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.

Now, say you have leftovers. I think that fish tends to reheat poorly, especially if it was frozen, as the texture tends to get mushy. However, salmon cakes are a good solution because the flesh is already all flaked up. Plus, you're not repeating the exact same dinner multiple nights in a row. You can serve these the following night, or freeze them and serve another time. I love that these already have spinach worked in so you don't necessarily have to worry about serving with a veggie, though I think they'd pair very well with asparagus.

This recipe assumes 12 oz of leftover salmon, but feel free to scale the proportions if you have more or less.


SALMON CAKES
Serves 2-4

INGREDIENTS
  • 12 oz leftover spinach-topped salmon (or however much you have)
  • 2 Tbs dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning of choice (I used Old Bay, lemon pepper would also work well) or salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbs almond flour (this just helps it hold together, gluten-free breadcrumbs would also work)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Flake the salmon with a fork, being careful not to over-mash.
  2. Combine with the other ingredients.
  3. Form into patties. I got about six from the 12 oz of leftovers.
  4. When ready to serve, cook over medium-high in a bit of oil. You can add breading if you like such as more almond flour or breadcrumbs.
  5. If making ahead, freeze. Thaw overnight the day you want to cook them. Cook as in step 4.

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