Monday, October 10, 2011

Broiled Salmon with Mustard Dill Sauce

They had beautiful wild-caught salmon at the store today that I just couldn't resist so tonight for dinner we are having Broiled Salmon with Mustard Dill Sauce. I love this recipe - it is deceptively easy to make but can be a real show stopper if you are looking for a nice "dinner for the boss" meal. I am serving it with a basic risotto and green peas. Simple clean flavors that taste good any time of year. To be honest I am not sure where this recipe originated from. It is one of those that I have been carrying around for years, written on a page torn out of my Daytimer - so that means I have had it for a really long time! It also means I probably saw it in a magazine at the doctor's office or at a friend's house, so my apologies to the original author. You are a genius whoever you are!

Couple of notes: Try and get as even a thickness as possible of fillet. I asked my fish guy to trim down a slightly larger piece for me to just get at the center of the fillet. If you don't you will almost definitely overcook the thinner pieces to get the thickest part the right temperature. For me If your fish counter at the market won't trim it for you it is worth it to buy a little extra, trim it up and have salmon that you can grind up for salmon cakes or some other application where it doesn't matter what the fish looks like.

The sauce makes way more than you will need/want unless you want to slather your salmon in sauce. That being said, it is very tasty and goes well with other fish and chicken. The recipe calls for heavy cream - I have used low-fat milk when it was all I had with less creamy and luxurious results but if it is just family dinner it will be fine. (If you are making it for the boss, pull out all the stops and use the heavy cream - it is worth it!) You can substitute dried dill for the fresh but the sauce will not have as nice a flavor. Worth it, I promise.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Broiled Salmon

21/2-3 pound salmon fillet, preferably wild caught
Low-sodium soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh thyme sprigs for garnish

Preheat broiler.

Rinse salmon and pat dry. Arrange salmon, skin side down, in a foil-lined pan and rub thoroughly with soy sauce. Season salmon with salt and pepper and broil about 4 inches from heat 12 to 15 minutes, or until just cooked through. Transfer salmon to a platter and garnish with herbs.

Serve salmon warm or at room temperature with mustard dill sauce.

Mustard Dill Sauce

1/2 cup coarse-grained mustard
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup olive oil
4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill, or to taste

In a bowl combine well all ingredients and season with pepper. Sauce may be made 1 day ahead and kept chilled, covered. Let sauce come to room temperature and whisk before serving.

Monday, October 3, 2011

This dinner meal brought to you by the letter H: Healthy Halibut with Horseradish

Quite a few of you asked for healthy, quick dinners that don't skimp on flavor, so I did a little research and here is the first of hopefully many tasty options. This was a hands-down winner at the table, even tempting The Pods. In total, with prep time, the recipe took about 20 minutes to make, but you would never know from looking at it once it's plated.

The original recipe comes from one of the first cookbooks I bought as an adult, "The Golden Door Cookbook" by Michel Stroot. I am not sure if it is in print anymore. I tried to buy it for a friend a few years ago, without success, but if you come across it in a used bookstore or online somewhere grab it. Michel is the original chef at the Golden Door Spa in Southern California - the zen oasis of healthy living and good food where you could go to work out and realign your life while still eating well. I will be honest and say that I bought the book for all the wrong reasons. I remember browsing in a little independent bookstore in Del Mar with a roommate and coming across this cook book on the sale table. I flipped it open to the center of the book and came across a photo of "Lobster-Filled Papaya". It is this saliva-inducing photo of a full lobster claw practically toppling off this mountain of large chuck lobster meat, balanced in a papaya half that compelled me to buy the book. I wasn't even really all that in to cooking yet, but that picture called to me - aspirational I guess. Anyway, I bought the book and have since then found a ton of really yummy things in it to make.

Couple of notes: If you can get fresh halibut great, but I used frozen steaks from the commissary and it was wonderful. I served the halibut with 5-minute couscous but I think it would also be really tasty with steamed red potatoes with parsley.

The recipe calls for savoy cabbage leaves to be steamed in a bamboo steamer but to expedite things I just julliened the leaves and steamed them in a little bit of veggie broth over medium low heat while the fish cooked in the oven. Keep an eye on the cabbage when you are cooking this way - you want them to wilt but not get soggy. If you can't find savoy cabbage, use what you can find fresh in the veggie section - it isn't as important to have the pretty frilly savoy leaves if you are going to cut it up.

The sauce will make way more than you need but I saved it and used it with a beef recipe a couple of nights later and it was delicious.

You will need a pan and cover that you can take from stove top to oven. I use All-Clad pans and they work beautifully. If you don't have a pan that you can do this with the alternative is to cook the fish, covered on the stove top for about 15 minutes, until the fish is opaque and cooked through. You will need to keep an eye on it on the stove to make sure that there is enough liquid in the pan and add more if needed. I used vegetable stock to refresh the pan once, on the stovetop.

Let me know what you think. I am still working on vegetarian recipes as well as adding more photos to the blog. Enjoy!

Baked Halibut on Savoy Cabbage

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup thinly sliced red onion (about half a small onion)
4 (4-oz.) halibut steaks
1⁄2 cup dry white wine
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 sprigs fresh lemon thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme with 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
Vegetable stock
3 savoy cabbage leaves per person, julliened
1⁄2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 lemon, quartered

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In small bowl, combine yogurt and horseradish; mix well. Set aside.

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion; cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes or until translucent and softened. Arrange halibut steaks in single layer over onion; add wine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; place thyme sprigs or dried thyme and zest on fish. Cover and bake about 10 minutes until fish is opaque and cooked through.

While fish is cooking place sliced cabbage leaves in a pan with a 1/4 cup of vegetable stock. Cover and steam 8 to 10 minutes or until leaves soften.

To serve, arrange cabbage on each plate. Place fish and onion over leaves; ladle some of the cooking liquid evenly over fish. Spoon dollop of yogurt mixture onto each fillet. Garnish with lemon wedges.

Per Serving: 190 calories, 4.5 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 26 g protein, 6.5 g carbohydrate, 40 mg cholesterol, 175 mg sodium, 1.5 g fiber.