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Salmon Main Dishes

Notes:  The reader may notice fish recipes are heavily weighted toward salmon.   We eat  salmon at least once a week, because it is high in Omega-3 fatty acids.  These unsaturated fats are linked to the low rate of heart disease and "bad" cholesterol and the high levels of "good" cholesterol in Eskimos, who eat a lot of fish high in these types of fatty acids.

We buy wild salmon when available, because it tastes better and poses less of a threat to the environment. Most of these recipes have been tested in Planter 's kitchen.  Rule of thumb is to cook fish fillets and steaks is 8-10 minutes per inch of thickness, according to Weight Watchers' Simply Delicious Cookbook. Salmon can be cooked with or without the skin, but removing the skin allows marinade and flavors to soak in. Skin contains extra fat, so avoid eating it.

Unless otherwise instructed, grill or poach salmon.    The tart and turnover recipes below would benefit from a Yogurt Sauce .   See also Salmon Sauces.

1.  Blue tortilla with salmon

This is from the TV program, Great Chefs of the West. I'm filling in the gaps , since they don't
give many of the measurements and I missed some of the steps. Use regular tortillas if you can't
find blue tortillas.

3/4 cp sour cream
1/4 cp goat cheese
lime juice
jalapeno pepper

Blend all ingredients to taste.
Grill or poach salmon.
Fry tortillas in oil but leave flexible enough to roll.
Roll salmon in tortillas. Heat in oven and serve with sauce.

            Great Chefs of the West TV program

2. Salmon with Creole Vinaigrette Sauce

Note:  Make double the amount of sauce and serve with Leeks Vinaigrette .   I don't have Creole mustard, so I mix Dijon mustard with a teaspoon of Creole seasoning.

2 T tarragon vinegar
1 t Creole mustard
1/4 t ground hot red pepper (cayenne)
1/2 t salt
6-8 T olive oil

3.  Salmon with Lentils, Green Beans, and Cucumber Sauce

Note:  Cooking lentils in this two-step process helps preserve their crispness.   This recipe should not be restricted to use with salmon.  It's an outstanding side dish with anything.

4 6-8 oz fresh or frozen salmon steaks
12 oz green beans or long beans
1 cp chicken broth
2/3 cp dry lentils, rinsed and drained
lemon wedges (opt)
mint sprigs (opt)

Blanch green beans and set aside.

For the lentils:

1. Bring to boil 8 cps lightly-salted water and add lentil beans.
2. Cook, covered for 4 minutes or till crisp-tender. Drain well.
3. Bring to a boil in medium saucepan broth and lentils. Simmer, covered 20-25 minutes or
till lentils are tender.
4. Drain and discard lentil bean liquid. Return lentils to saucepan; stir in half of the
remaining sauce (about 1 cp). Set aside.
5. Grill salmon on greased rack 6-9 minutes or till fish flakes easily with fork. Turn halfway through grilling time. Or, broil 4" from heat 6-9 minutes or till fish flakes easily with fork.
6. Serve lentils in separate bowl or with green beans and salmon on serving platter.
7. Serve with sauce. Garnish with lemon and mint.

For the sauce:

2 med cucumbers (about 7" long), seeded and chopped
1/4 cp fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cp lemon juice
2 T salad oil
2 T thinly sliced green onion
2  T freshly picked mint (optional, or use dried mint if fresh isn't available)
1 T Dijon mustard
2 T plain yogurt

1. Combine first all ingredients, blending thoroughly.
2. Chill, overnight if desired.

4.  Salmon Turnovers

Note:  The April 2005 issue of Yankee Magazine has a recipe for a salmon and egg pastry served in a cup and topped with Mornay Sauce.    Coincidentally, the puff pastry box has a picture of a cup filled with a creamed mixture.  Now I know how to make the cup! The puff pastry is cut into four equal 5" x 5" puff pastry squares and formed in each corner cavity of a muffin pan.   The shells are filled and baked for 25-30 minutes.  Instead of making a turnover, this approach might be used for the recipe below, or any other favorite pot pie filling, for that matter.

For the filling:
1 16 oz can salmon, drained and liquid reserved for dill sauce
puff pastry, thawed
cream cheese

1/4 cp chopped scallions
1 egg
1/2 t dill
1 t lemon juice
1/4 t garlic salt
dash pepper

For the Dill Sauce:
8 oz cream cheese (low fat OK)
1/3 cp salmon juice
2 T buttermilk or yogurt
1 t lemon juice
1/4 t basil
1/4 t garlic salt
1/4 t dill

1. Blend dill sauce ingredients and chill till ready to use.
2. Cut puff pastry in pieces, roughly 5" x 8" reserving excess to decorate tops of turnovers.
3. Place 1" from edge of each rectangle of pastry 1/4 of salmon mixture and 1/4" thick slice of cream cheese.
4. Wrap pastry around filling and crimp with a fork. Decorate with reserved pastry to form leaves. (Wet one side of pastry and press on so it will stick.)
5. Bake at 400 degrees 15-20 minutes till pastry is puffed and golden brown.
6. Serve each turnover with 1/4 cp of dill sauce and sprig of fresh parsley or dill, if available.

        Peter Christian's Recipes, Shirley Edes and Julia Philipson

5. Salmon Remoulade

A creole cook says good remoulade sauce is supposed to make you think you look better and younger than you ever have. Its taste should be so sharp it feels "astringent" in your mouth. (American Cooking: Creole and Acadian, Time-Life Books, 1971)   Compare with Remoulade Sauce.

If you use canned salmon, drain and reserve liquid; do not squeeze salmon. Fresh salmon should be poached or baked for about 20-30 minutes in medium oven.

Some recipes add chili sauce or ketchup, creole mustard, Worcestershire, and Tabasco sauce to the mayo and sour cream.

This recipe resembles one in the AHA Cookbook, which uses whites of 2 large eggs and lime juice in place of the mayonnaise. This cook uses bread crumbs instead of cracker crumbs. The AHA recipe weighs in at 1 g saturated fat and 34 mg cholesterol, compared to a WW recipe for salmon cakes using mayonnaise: 2 g sat. fat, 57 mg cholesterol.

Warning: You need to refrigerate croquettes for 1 hour.

For the sauce:
2 t tiny capers, drained and chopped
1 scallion (3 inches of green left on)
1 T flat-leaf parsley if you have it

2 T mayonnaise
2 T non-fat sour cream
2 t Dijon mustard
I/2 t whole-grain mustard
1 tsp dried tarragon
1/4 t Tabasco sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and set aside in refrigerator

For the croquettes:

2 cans (7 1/2 ounces each) pink salmon, drained and deboned, or 2 good sized filets (could
eliminate need for deboning), baked for 20-30 minutes in medium oven

1/2 cp finely diced onion
1/2 cp finely diced celery
1 1/2 cps crushed cracker crumbs

1/2 cp mayonnaise
1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 t tarragon

1. Combine salmon, onions and celery, and fold in mayonnaise mixture.
2. Lightly beat one egg and fold with rubber spatula into salmon mixture with 1/3 cp of the cracker crumbs. Divide into 8 patties, coat with remaining cracker crumbs, and
refrigerate, loosely covered, 1 hour.
3. While salmon croquettes are chilling, Grate:
4-8 med carrots, mix with 1/3 cp Remoulade Sauce, and set aside.
4. Heat 1 T oil and 1 T unsalted butter, fry croquettes 3-4 minutes per side on medium heat.
5. Serve croquettes with a dollop of remaining Remoulade and carrots on the side.

      Mom Dorrington from Parade Magazine, 1998