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Posts Tagged ‘Tomato Cucumber and Onion Salad’

Salmon isn’t something I grew up eating. Well… I take that back. We put canned salmon in salmon stew, but we NEVER had it fresh. Actually, I didn’t have fresh salmon until I was in my twenties. I think that was the case for most fish, unless it was bass or bream my dad caught.

Now, I eat salmon all the time… especially since we have an awesome fresh fish and meat market down the road. Thank you, Stowe Seafood!

What’s nice about salmon is you can cook it any way you’d like– bake, grill, or sear. It can also handle rubs and sauces.  Me? I’m boring. I like mine simple with just salt and pepper, seared in a cast iron pan.

I realize a lot of people don’t have access to sushi-grade salmon, so here are some keys to buying salmon:

  • Know where it comes from; domestic is always best.
  • Get wild caught, if possible.
  • There shouldn’t be a strong, fishy smell and you want the flesh to be firm. No stinky, mushy salmon– never, ever.

Once you buy the best you can get, be sure to cook it properly, which means to NOT overcook it. I have a feeling a lot people don’t care for salmon, because a lot of restaurants cook the hell out of it, and it’s bone dry. If it’s cook just beyond medium, it’s perfect (my opinion). Even if it’s cooked all the way through, but not a minute over, it’s still delicious.

Let me show you how I do mine, but know you can bake it at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes, and it’ll be very tasty, but it won’t have the crispy skin (if you like that) or a seared top.

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First, heat up vegetable oil in a heavy skillet (I use cast iron). While it’s heating up, season your salmon. You can use any kind of seasoning you like. My husband likes Old Bay and I like salt and pepper.

Place the salmon, skin side down, in the hot skillet.

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Cook on med-high heat for at least 5 minutes. You want the skin to get crispy. If you don’t like the skin, that’s okay. Once the salmon is cooked, it will pull away from the skin easily. Once the skin is crispy, carefully flip.

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From here, keep an eye on the flesh of the salmon. You’ll see it turning more pale as it cooks through. It will take another 5-10 minutes, depending on how cooked you want it. My husband likes it just past rare. I like it just past medium. If you need to, take it off the heat, and with a fork, see if it pulls away easily in the middle. If it’s still undercooked, put it back in the pan for few more minutes.

Tip: If you normally cook the heck out of your salmon, try cooking it just a little less, just once. It could change how you enjoy your salmon from now on.

Sides:

I served mine with lima beans and a lightly dressed tomato, red onion, and cucumber salad.

For the salad, cut cherry tomatoes in half, and slice the onions and cucumbers. Put it all in a bowl that has a lid.

Whisk together red wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper and then pour on top the salad.

Put the lid on and shake. Put in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

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Now, for the lima beans.

I know it seems like a strange side with salmon, but for some darn reason, we love it. If you don’t like lima beans, any veggie will work. Rice is also a good side with salmon.

My mom always told me to buy Fordhook Limas, so that’s what I buy. They’re a little bigger than the others.

I cook them according to the package. Then, I strain out most of the water, add a little butter, salt, and pepper, and then cook them down for another 10-15 minutes, stirring them often, and adding water (when needed) to make them creamy.

I apologize… I forgot to take pics while I cooked them. But, honestly, there’s not much to see.

Now, put it all on a plate and enjoy!

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Salmon– it’s healthy and delicious!

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What you’ll need for the salmon:

6oz – 8oz salmon fillet (as many fillets as you need for the amount of people you’re cooking for)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Seasoning of your choice

What you’ll need for the salad:

Small package of cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 purple onion, diced

1 cucumber, diced

1/4 cup good olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

What you’ll need for the lima beans:

One or two packages of Fordhook Lima Beans (number of packages depends on how many you’re feeding)

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tablespoon butter

Directions for Salmon:

Heat up vegetable oil in a heavy skillet (I use cast iron). While it’s heating up, season your salmon. You can use any kind of seasoning you like.

Place the salmon, skin side down, in the hot skillet.

Cook on med-high heat for at least 5 minutes. You want the skin to get crispy. If you don’t like the skin, that’s okay. Once the salmon is cooked, it will pull away from the skin easily. Once the skin is crispy, carefully flip.

From here, keep an eye on the flesh of the salmon. You’ll see it turning more pale as it cooks through. It will take another 5-10 minutes, depending on how cooked you want it. My husband likes it just past rare. I like it just past medium. If you need to, take it off the heat, and with a fork, see if it pulls away easily in the middle. If it’s still undercooked, put it back in the pan for few more minutes.

Tip: If you normally cook the heck out of your salmon, try cooking it just a little less, just once. It could change how you enjoy your salmon from now on.

Directions for the salad:

Cut cherry tomatoes in half, and slice the onions and cucumbers. Put it all in a bowl that has a lid.

Whisk together red wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper and then pour on top the salad. Put on the lid and shake. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Directions for the limas:

Cook according to the package. Then, strain out most of the water, add butter, salt, and pepper, and then cook them down for another 10-15 minutes, stirring them often, and adding water (when needed) to make them creamy.

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