Healthy, Versatile Salmon Recipes Are A Delight

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Alaska Salmon Ciabatta Sandwiches

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Bronzed Alaska Salmon in Butter-Wine Sauce

Salmon is one of my favorite foods. When my grandmother made salmon patties, I was in heaven — actually, when Grandma made anything I was in heaven, but I really liked her salmon patties, though I never had her show me how to make them.

Salmon and tuna, both from the commercial can — and occasionally home canned — were about the only fish we ate when I was growing up (at least that I remember).

I can’t recall when I first discovered actual salmon filets and smoked salmon, but it was a revelation. Unfortunately my repertoire of recipes left a lot to be desired … until now.

Just this week I received an e-mail proclaiming “New Video Showcases Wild, Natural and Sustainable Alaska Seafood COOK IT FROZEN!® Technique” from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

Now, most of the salmon I buy is frozen (from Schwans) and the instructions on the box tell how to cook it frozen, so this was not exactly late-breaking news.

But the e-mail press release also included some really spectacular-looking recipes. They also sounded relatively easy, so I am sharing them here.

Alaska Salmon Ciabatta Sandwiches

Preparation time: 10 minutes; cooking time: 12 minutes; makes 4 servings

1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

4 ciabatta or hard sandwich rolls

4 Alaska salmon fillets (4 to 6 ounces each), fresh, thawed or frozen

1 tablespoon olive, canola, peanut or grapeseed oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup chopped green onions

4 leaves butter or curly leaf lettuce

In small bowl, blend mayonnaise, lime juice, and celery salt; set aside. Slice sandwich rolls in half; toast or grill and keep warm.

Rinse any ice glaze from frozen Alaska salmon under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Heat a heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of salmon with oil. Place salmon in heated skillet and cook, uncovered, about 3 to 4 minutes, until browned. Shake pan occasionally to keep fish from sticking.

Turn salmon over and season with salt and pepper. Add green onions to bottom of pan. Cover pan tightly and reduce heat to medium. Cook an additional 6 to 8 minutes for frozen salmon (or 3 to 4 minutes for fresh/thawed fish). Cook just until fish is opaque throughout.

Blend cooked onions into mayonnaise mixture; thinly spread mayonnaise onto each cut side of roll. To serve, place a salmon fillet onto each roll bottom. Top salmon with dollop of mayonnaise; add a lettuce leaf and roll top.

Bronzed Alaska Salmon

in Butter-Wine Sauce

Preparation time: 5 minutes; cooking time: 12 minutes; makes 4 servings

4 Alaska salmon steaks or fillets (4 to 6 oz. each), fresh, thawed or frozen

1 tablespoon olive, canola, peanut or grapeseed oil

2 tablespoons of your favorite seafood seasoning

1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth

1 tablespoon butter

Rinse any ice glaze from frozen Alaska salmon under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Heat a heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of salmon with oil. Place salmon in heated skillet and cook, uncovered, about 3 to 4 minutes, until browned. Shake pan occasionally to keep fish from sticking.

Turn salmon over and sprinkle with seafood seasoning. Cover pan tightly and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 2 minutes; add the wine and butter to pan. Continue to cook, uncovered, an additional 4 to 6 minutes for frozen salmon (or 1 to 2 minutes for fresh/thawed fish. Cook just until fish is opaque throughout and sauce is reduced. Drizzle sauce over salmon when serving.

Alaska Salmon Havarti Caesar Salad

Preparation time: 10 minutes; cooking time: 12 minutes; makes 4 servings

4 Alaska Salmon steaks or fillets (4 to 6 oz. each), fresh, thawed or frozen

2 tablespoons olive, canola, peanut or grapeseed oil

Seafood seasoning, to taste

4 Havarti cheese deli slices (approximately 2 oz. each)

2 light Caesar salad kits (7 to 8 oz. each)

Fresh dill, for garnish

Rinse any ice glaze from frozen Alaska Salmon under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Heat a heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of salmon with oil. Place salmon in heated skillet and cook, uncovered, about 3 to 4 minutes, until browned. Shake pan occasionally to keep fish from sticking.

Turn salmon over and sprinkle with seafood seasoning. Cover pan tightly and reduce heat to medium. Cook an additional 3 to 6 minutes for frozen salmon or 1 to 2 minutes for fresh/thawed fish. Cook just until fish is nearly opaque throughout. Add Havarti slices to top of salmon portions; cover. Turn heat to low and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until cheese begins to melt. Remove from heat; keep warm.

Prepare Caesar salad according to package directions. Portion salad onto 4 serving plates. Top each salad with salmon portion; garnish with dill.

Variation: Substitute Pepper Jack cheese for Havarti cheese slices.

Alaska Salmon with Gnocchi and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Preparation time: 10 minutes; cooking time: 12 minutes; makes 4 servings

1/2 cup roasted red bell pepper

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 to 1/2 whole jalapeño pepper, chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup chicken broth

1 package (1 pound) vacuum-packed prepared potato gnocchi (dumplings) or 4 cups cooked orzo

4 Alaska Salmon steaks or fillets (4 to 6 oz. each), fresh, thawed or frozen

1 tablespoon olive, canola, peanut or grapeseed oil

1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning

In blender, puree red peppers, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, cornstarch, jalapeño, and garlic. Blend in cilantro and chicken broth. In a small saucepan, cook and stir pepper sauce over high heat until boiling. Reduce heat; cover and keep warm.

Cook gnocchi according to package directions; keep warm.

Rinse any ice glaze from frozen Alaska Salmon under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Heat a heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of salmon with oil. Place salmon in heated skillet and cook, uncovered, about 3 to 4 minutes, until browned. Shake pan occasionally to keep fish from sticking.

Turn salmon over and sprinkle with lemon pepper. Cover pan tightly and reduce heat to medium. Cook an additional 6 to 8 minutes for frozen salmon or 3 to 4 minutes for fresh/thawed fish. Cook just until fish is opaque throughout.

To serve, add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese to gnocchi. Portion 1 cup gnocchi (or similar) onto each serving plate; drizzle with sauce. Top with salmon and drizzle with remaining sauce.

Alaska Salmon with Orange Vinaigrette

Preparation time: 20 minutes; cooking time: 12 minutes; makes 4 servings

1 cup orange juice

1-1/2 tablespoons red onion, minced

1-1/2 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 cup fat-free Italian dressing

4 Alaska Salmon steaks or fillets (4 to 6 oz. each), fresh, thawed or frozen

1-1/2 tablespoons olive, canola, peanut or grapeseed oil Salt and pepper

1-1/2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Prepare sauce: Cook orange juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it is reduced to the consistency of syrup (makes about 1/4 cup); let cool slightly.

Place onion, lime juice, mustard, and chili powder in a blender or food processor; add cooked syrup. Blend 10 seconds. With blender running, slowly drizzle in Italian dressing until mixture emulsifies; set aside.

Rinse any ice glaze from frozen Alaska Salmon under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Heat a heavy nonstick skillet or ridged stovetop grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of salmon with oil. Place salmon in heated skillet and cook, uncovered, about 3 to 4 minutes, until browned or well grill- marked. Shake pan occasionally to keep fish from sticking.

Turn salmon over and season with salt and pepper. Cover pan tightly and reduce heat to medium. Cook an additional 6 to 8 minutes for frozen salmon or 3 to 4 minutes for fresh/thawed fish. Cook just until fish is opaque throughout.

To serve, pool 2 tablespoons orange vinaigrette sauce in the center of each of 4 plates; top with salmon and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Alaska Salmon Salad Monterey

Preparation time: 15 minutes; cooking time: 15 minutes; makes 4 servings

4 Alaska Salmon steaks or fillets (4 to 6 oz. each), fresh, thawed or frozen

1-1/2 tablespoons olive, canola, peanut or grapeseed oil

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1-1/2 teaspoons snipped chives

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

1 package (10 oz.) ready-to-eat salad greens

1 cup red seedless grapes, halved

1/4 to 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat broiler or grill to medium-high heat.

Rinse any ice glaze from frozen Alaska Salmon under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Brush both sides of salmon with oil. Place salmon on a spray- coated broiling pan or well-oiled grill. Cook salmon 4 inches from heat for 12 to 15 minutes for frozen salmon or 8 to 9 minutes for fresh/thawed fish, turning once during cooking. Season with salt and pepper after turning. Cook just until fish is opaque throughout.

For dressing, combine olive oil, lemon juice, chives, honey, and mustard in a shaker jar. Cover and shake well.

In large bowl, toss together salad greens, grapes and half of toasted walnuts. Spoon salad mixture onto four dinner plates. Place one piece of salmon over each salad. Shake dressing; drizzle over each salad. Sprinkle salads with reserved walnuts. Garnish with fresh chives, grape clusters and/or lemon slices as desired. Serve immediately.

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