Tuesday, January 29, 2013

One-Pan Seared Salmon with Red Peppers, Onions, and Spinach

All in one pan in, oh, maybe 15 minutes, including chopping time.
Maybe I'm an unusual cook in that when I am home alone and cooking for myself, I cook the most gorgeous healthy meal I can find in that refrigerator.  I often make a big pot of soup just for me. Perhaps many people are like this; I really don't know.  I save the Beef Burgundy (not that Beef Burgundy is UN-healthy) for when the hub comes in from work on Friday night.  I wait for the burger in summer when he's grilling out back. (If we're out at the local bar--in Minnesota this is mostly about families, games, and beer-- I am the weird one out--ordering the veggie burger and wine.)  Last weekend, I made ribs for Dave.  I was sick of winter food, so I did eat some, too.  I even made potato salad, though I made it with vinaigrette, not mayonnaise.  Loved doing it, but I don't make ribs for me.  And it's not because they're time-consuming.

Here's my streamlined Beef Burgundy
Vegan-GF Vegetable Soup a la Provence, 0 Points WWatchers
I think I just enjoy eating light most of the time (why aren't I Skinny-Minny?) and love the sensuous-creative feel of lots of vegetables.  Color, texture, taste, aroma, crunch...  Meat is meat.  It's inevitably white or brown  (rarely red--ha) and...oh, you get the point.  There are only so many kinds of meat and fish (at least here); the varieties of consumable plants on earth go on ad forever.  How many varieties of apples are there?  Peppers?  Herbs?  Tomatoes?  It may also be because I grew up in a house with an immense vegetable garden.

Back to the salmon.  I'll try a picture-recipe for this because why should you try to read anything so simple in prose?   You're throwing fish and vegetables in a pan is about all.   If you want two servings, you'll need an extra-large skillet (or a big electric skillet if you happen to have one?) or-- just use two skillets on two burners.    Try this:

In a large skillet* heat over medium-high heat 1 tablespoon olive oil with a pinch of crushed red pepper. Add salmon fillet**, 1 sliced red pepper, and 1 sliced onion.  Salt and pepper all generously and drizzle a bit more oil over salmon.  Let cook about 5 minutes, stirring the vegetables once or twice.

Push aside the vegetables and add a minced garlic clove and a cup of salted and peppered fresh spinach.  Cover and let cook another 3-4 minutes...

...until salmon is firm, but moist, and vegetables are tender.  Serve with a 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt mixed with 1/2 teaspoon grated horseradish.  If desired, squeeze 1/2 lemon over all.

*My pan is a #26 (about 11 inches)  Le Creuset enameled cast iron I brought at the French commissary is southern Germany in 1987, I think.  It photographs beautifully, but is pretty ugly up close.  Only one small chip, though.  Any skillet would work, but a heavy material like cast iron would give you the best sear and the most even cooking.

**I often buy frozen wild salmon at Whole Foods or another excellent market.  The price is about 4 and change per serving and the quality is excellent.  I actually cooked this fillet from an almost frozen state, which works perfectly well.  I threw it in the microwave first for 30 seconds only (you don't want it to begin cooking; that's another blog) before searing as I hadn't taken the time to put it in a bowl of water for 30 minutes or in the frig overnight.





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Living in Saint Paul, Minnesota:

I am lucky to be sitting here blogging.  Unbeknownst to me, a freezing rain covered nearly every inch of my back steps and walkway to the backyard last night.  Attempting to take my doggies out for their first pee early this morning, I slipped and bumped, flying my way down all five concrete steps.  I had to crawl, holding onto the picket fence to get them to the yard and then crawl all the way back up the walk and up the steps onto the back porch.  You know how people say, "It's an ice skating rink out there?" I could not gain purchase anywhere with my feet. There was a little bit of the bruised ego on that slippery slope.

And, oh, by the way:  thanks a lot to the drunk who knocked down my fence in December so that I cannot just open the door and let the dogs out; I must go out with a leash every time.  (Pity party pity party pity party pity party--say it four times fast.)  Just sayin'   ...

 Have fun cooking and taking care of yourself,

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