Tag Archive | "salmon"

Ask a Foodie: Low-carb Salmon Ideas?

Enjoy two low-carbohydrate ways to prepare salmon fillets.

Q. The doctor just put me on a strict low-carb diet, and he told me to eat more fish. Any ideas? I like salmon.

— William G.

A. It’s easy to cut carbohydrates down in many savory dishes without losing flavor (desserts are another matter).  One place to look for low-carb ideas is cookbooks that cater to diabetics. That’s where the two salmon recipes below originated. They are from the new “The Diabetes Seafood Cookbook” by Barbara Seelig-Brown (American Diabetes Association, $18.95). But beware: Not all of the recipes are low-carb, so read the nutritional analysis before cooking.

The two recipes were chosen from an entire chapter on salmon because they are made in two different ways. One is grilled, the other is poached. That way, you can vary your method and still keep your carb count low.

Grilled Salmon and Asparagus

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Juice of 2 lemons
1 pound thick salmon fillet, skinless, cut into 4 portions
2 teaspoons salt-free lemon pepper seasoning
2 pounds thin asparagus, ends broken off and placed in a bowl of water

Place olive oil in a small sauté pan. Add garlic and heat until garlic becomes fragrant, about 2 mintues. Add basil and turn heat off. Whisk in lemon juice. Set aside.

Sprinkle salmon with lemon pepper seasoning. Set aside.

Preheat grill pan for a few minutes. Drain asparagus and place on grill pan. Cover and roast asparagus for 3 minutes, shaking occasionally. Remove cover. Brush salmon with lemon garlic bath. Place ont he grill pan. cook first side until a nice crust forms. Turn and cook second side. if you want your salmon well done, the lid can be placed on the grill pan.

Place asparagus on a serving plate. Top with salmon. Drizzle with lemon garlic bath. Additional lemon garlic bath can be stored for future use.

Makes 4 servings.

Approximate nutritional value per serving: 300 calories, 17 g fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, 3 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugars, 29 g protein.

From “The Diabetes Seafood Cookbook” by Barbara Seelig-Brown

Lemony Poached Salmon with a Fennel, Onion and Olive Salad

1 pound salmon fillet, skin removed, cut into 4 portions
Juice of 1 lemon
Water to cover salmon

1/2 cup thinly sliced fennel tops
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pitted olives
1/2 cup sliced cucumber
4 cups red leaf lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 lemon, sliced for garnish

Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon capers

Prepare pan for poaching. Place salmon in pan. Add lemon juice and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until it flakes with a fork.

Place fennel tops, onion, olives, cucumber and lettuce in a large bowl.

Whisk together lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Add capers. pour half of the dressing over the salad greens. Toss. Save the rest of the dressing to use with another salad.

Place salad on plate and top with salmon. Garnish with lemon slices.

Makes 4 servings.

Approximate nutritional value per serving: 230 calories, 12 g fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 310 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar, 25 protein.

From “The Diabetes Seafood Cookbook” by Barbara Seelig-Brown

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GMO Salmon — Food for Thought

By Chris Dunn

If the FDA and AquAdvantage have their way, you’ll soon be eating genetically modified salmon — and very likely, without knowing it.

What’s the big deal, you say; all these philanthropic people (who only have our best interest at heart) are doing is genetically modifying salmon to grow twice as fast as a normal salmon.  And the FDA says they don’t even have to confuse the public by acknowledging it.

All these scientists have done is to help nature out a tiny bit, one might say, by tweaking salmon DNA with a gene from an ocean pout, a fish that grows at the same prodigious rate as Pinocchio’s nose when he (or the FDA, for that matter) speaks.  And to be fair, the good folks at AquAdvantage tossed in a growth hormone from the Chinook salmon just to keep it all in the family.

Admittedly, people have been genetically “modifying” food for thousands of years.  That’s how corn and wheat, as we know them today, were developed.  The difference is those products were developed by careful natural breeding within a species.  The problem here is there is no, I repeat, no empirical research to predict how the human body (and the ecosystem) will react to this little prank on nature.

One thing for sure; if history repeats itself, the human race and nature are in for a rough ride.  For example, the much less invasive experiment scientists of the 20th century performed on unsaturated fats by artificially hydrogenating them created (Bwah, ha, Ha!) transfat, which turned out to be far worse for a human being than lard or butter.  Interestingly, in an unsettling way, transfats were promoted to the public as a “healthy” alternative to that bad, awful natural stuff.

But let’s be optimistic.  Let’s say this time the scientists got it right and the only consumer problem with these fish is they won’t fit in a 10-inch skillet.  But what about the inevitable? — and it will happen.  Some of these genetically modified organisms (GMOs) will end up in the ocean. GMO corn, banned for human consumption, somehow ended up in Taco Bell products. And guess which species will out-eat, out-mate, out-produce, and ultimately, destroy all the other salmon?

Let’s be clear.  This is less a decision of whether or not to allow a GMO salmon to be marketed than it is whether or not to protect and preserve all the other species of natural salmon on earth.

Chris Dunn is a San Antonio-based food writer. The opinions expressed here are his own.

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Hazelnut-encrusted Salmon with Cilantro-Lime Crème

Hazelnuts are used in the crust of this salmon dish.

“A coating of toasted hazelnuts encrusted on a fresh, sweet fillet of salmon adds a buttery, smoky flavor,” Robert M. Landolphi writes in “Gluten-Free Every Day Cookbook.” “The Cilantro-Lime Crème adds the perfect bit of tang.”

Hazelnut-encrusted Salmon with Cilantro-Lime Crème

Cilantro-Lime Crème:
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/2 cup tapioca flour
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup hazelnuts, ground
1/3 cup gluten-free dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
2 large eggs
Olive oil, for pan-frying
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skin and pin bones removed

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

For the crème: In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lime juice and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate until needed.

For the salmon: In a shallow bowl, combine the tapioca flour and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Set aside. In a 9-inch pie plate, combine the hazelnuts, breadcrumbs and rosemary; stir to blend. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until pale and frothy.

In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 1/4 inch olive oil over medium-high heat. Dredge both sides of the salmon fillets in the tapioca flour, then in the eggs, then in the hazelnut mixture. Place the salmon fillets in the skillet and cook until lightly browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the salmon over and repeat on the other side. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the salmon is flaky and slightly translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve with a dollop of Cilantro-Lime Crème.

Makes 4 servings.

From “Gluten-Free Every Day Cookbook” by Robert M. Landolphi

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Ask a Foodie: What to Do With Salmon?

Salmon can be prepared in many wonderful ways.

Q. What’s your favorite way to cook salmon?

— Janet U.

A. Salmon can be enjoyed in many different ways, from smoked to cooked on a cedar plank. I generally search out wild-caught salmon when I go to cook it, because the flavor is stronger and brighter than the farm-raised. If that’s too fishy for you, then seek out the farm-raised.

I once tried a recipe of Jamie Oliver’s that had you wrap salmon in slices of prosciutto, before popping them in the oven. Then you topped the fish with lentils before serving. I’ve done several variations on that since, because I’m one of those who rarely makes a recipe twice. It’s the thrill of finding or tasting something new that usually interests me.

That said, here’s the next salmon recipe I’ll be trying. It’s from Rick Bayless’ “Everyday Mexican” (W.W. Norton & Co., $29.95), and it sounds perfect for a summer picnic. The salsa can be used in a variety of dishes or by itself.

Pasta with Roasted Tomatillos and Salmon

Tomatillo Salsa:
4 medium (about 8 ounces) tomatillos, husked, rinsed and halved
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
Hot green chiles, to taste, stemmed and roughly chopped (Bayless likes 2 serranos or 1 jalapeño)
About 1/2 cup loosely packed, roughly chopped cilantro
1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
Salt, to taste

12 ounces pasta
2 cups coarsely shredded salmon or cooked chicken (see note)
1 generous cup grated queso añejo or Parmesan, plus more for garnish
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Wedges of lime, for garnish

To make the salsa: Set a large (10-inch) non-stick skillet over medium-high heat (if you don’t have a non-stick skillet, lay in a piece of foil). Lay in the tomatillos, cut side down, and garlic. When the tomatillos are well browned, 3 or 4 minutes, turn everything over and brown the other side. (The tomatillos should be completely soft.)

Scrape the tomatillos and garlic into a blender or food processor. Let cool 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chiles, cilantro and 1/4 cup water. Blend to a coarse purée. Thin with a little additional water if necessary to give the salsa an easily spreadable consistency.

Scoop the chopped onion into a strainer and rinse under cold water. Stir into the salsa. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. Keep warm if using with pasta.

For the pasta dish: Put on a pot of water to boil, then make the salsa, without letting the ingredients cool. Boil pasta (fusilli or shells are good choices) in salted water until al dente.  Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pot, and add the salsa, the reserved cooking liquid and 2 cups coarsely shredded salmon or chicken. Sprinkle on a generous cup grated Mexican queso añejo or Parmesan, toss and serve with chopped cilantro, extra cheese and a few edges of lime for each hungry eater to add to his or her liking. Wonderful at room temperature for a picnic.

Note: Bayless likes to use pepper-coated hot-smoked salmon or rotisserie chicken that’s easy to flake.

Makes 2-3 main-course servings or 4-6 side dish servings.

Source: “Mexican Everyday” by Rick Bayless

If you have a question for Ask a Foodie, e-mail

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Broiled Seafood Steaks With Basil Butter

Top your seafood steak with basil butter, then rub in bread crumbs.

Try this recipe with a 1 1/2-inch thick halibut steak or 1-inch salmon or swordfish steaks. Be prepared for your fire alarm to react to the broiler.

Broiled Seafood Steaks With Basil Butter

4 (6- to 7-ounce) seafood steaks (halibut, swordfish or salmon)
Coarse salt, to taste
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
Olive or vegetable oil
About 4 tablespoons Basil Butter, at room temperature
About 4 teaspoons fresh bread crumbs

Basil butter:
1 cup fresh basil
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 garlic clove, minced to a paste with a touch of salt
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Once the skillet is hot, add the seafood, butter side up.

Season the seafood with salt and white pepper on both sides. Pour a little oil on a plate and set the fish on top. Smear the top of each piece of fish with about 1 tablespoon of the butter, then sprinkle on about 1 teaspoon bread crumbs and pat them into the butter. You can prep the fish well in advance and refrigerate it until you’re ready to broil.

Set an oven rack in the top position, slide in a cast-iron griddle, and turn on the broiler. Let the griddle heat for 15 minutes.

Se tthe fish onto the griddle, buttered side up. You’ll hear an immediate and very satisfying sizzle. Broil for 6 1/2 to 7 minutes if using halibut, 3 minutes for salmon or 4 1/2 minutes for swordfish. If you’re unsure about the doneness, poke inside with a knife. If should look slightly rare in the center; the carry-over heat will finish the cooking.

Remove the fish with a spatula and let rest for several minutes before serving.

To make the basil butter, blanch the basil for 30 seconds. Drain, then shock in ice water to retain color. Drain again and squeeze the basil dry.

Give the basil a rough chop. Combine the basil, butter, garlic paste and pepper in a food processor until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate until firm.

Makes 4 servings.

From “Fish Without a Doubt” by Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore

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Seafood on Christmas Eve Saves Time

Rose colored fish with a lemon wine marinade

It’s Christmas Eve, and you haven’t a moment to spare. That’s why seafood for dinner makes so much sense.

In Italy, seafood dishes on Christmas Eve are a must. For Catholics, serving seafood was a way of avoiding red meat on a holy day.

There is a more practical reason to continue this tradition: Many seafood dishes are easy to prepare.

Oyster stew comes together in a matter of minutes and is best eaten as fresh as possible. Every time I make it, I’m surprised at how quick this treat is. Though oyster crackers are a popular choice for sprinkling over the stew, I prefer a rustic bread, like a crusty sourdough rye, slathered in butter. Rich and hearty don’t begin to describe its wonders.

Salmon is a healthy fish that is best served simply, such as a sauté with cucumber. Cooked cucumber may seem strange to some, but it is a true partner to the fish. Rice or pasta with garlic butter on the side finish off the meal.

Tuna is a fish that shouldn’t be overcooked, so pan-searing it about 3-4 minutes on each side will get you dinner on the table quickly. Tuna Steak au Poivre, a French term referring to the pepper used on the outer skin,  Serve this dish with a salad of mixed greens or arugula.

So, if you’re in a rush to make a candlelight service or get some last-minute packages wrapped, then try a simple seafood dish. You’ll give your family something hearty and get have more time to enjoy the holiday.

Tuna Steak au Poivre Comes Together Quickly

Tuna Steak au Poivre Comes Together Quickly


Serving Oyster Stew Is an Easy Tradition to Follow

Rose colored fish with a lemon wine marinade

Rose colored fish with a lemon wine marinade

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Sautéed Salmon Benefits from Addition of Cucumber

Rose colored fish with a lemon wine marinadeThis recipe comes from an early Christmas present, a cooked called “500 Best-Ever Recipes.” The approach may seem summery, but that may be more than welcome on our cool evenings. Plus, the ingredients are available year-round.

Sautéed Salmon with Cucumber

1 pound salmon fillet
3 tablespoons butter
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 cucumber, seeded and cut into strips
4 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided use
2 tomatoes, peeled seeded and diced
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Skin the salmon fillet, if this has not already been done (see note). Using a very sharp knife, cut the flesh into about 1/2-inch thin slices, then cut across into strips.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the salmon and cook, stirring occasionally for 1-2 minutes. Remove the salmons strips using a slotted spoon and set aside.

[amazon-product]0754816435[/amazon-product]Add the scallions to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the cucumber and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until hot. Remove the cucumber and keep warm with the salmon.

Add the wine to the pan and let it bubble until well reduced. Stir in the cucumber, creme fraiche and half the chives and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Return the salmon to the pan and warm through gently. Sprinkle the tomatoes and remaining chives over the top. Serve immediately.

Note: To skin a fish fillet, place it on a chopping board with the tail end towards you. Hold a sharp knife at an angle down towards the skin. Cut between the skin and the flesh, keeping the blade as close to the skin as possible. As the flesh is cut away, grasp the skin firmly with your other hand and continue cutting. A little salt sprinkled on your fingers makes this task less slippery.

Serves 4 servings.

From “500 Best-Ever Recipes” edited by Martha Day

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Real Ale, Real Fine Food Pairings


Brasserie Pavil, 1818 N. Loop 1604 W., is showing diners that beer is a natural with food, and the rewards can be just as exciting as matching wine with food.

BeerDinner2The restaurant is now offering its first beer tasting menu, with Blanco’s finest, Real Ale Brewing Company, filling the starring role.

A plate with house-made smoked salmon and beef carpaccio are paired with the Fireman’s No. 4 Blonde Ale, followed by the Rio Blanco Pale Ale, a brew with a marked citrus flavor, which gives it enough zing to cut through the richness of chef Scot Cohen’s decadent macaroni and cheese with duck confit and dried cranberries.

It’s followed by littleneck clams steamed in white wine and the spicy, hoppy Full Moon Rye Pale Ale. Braised lamb in a fiery harissa sauce with white beans and roasted pumpkin is just right for fall weather and the dark, roasted flavors of the Brewhouse Brown Ale.

The meal closes out with banana crepes and the matching toffee notes of the Sisyphus Barleywine Ale, an 11-percent alcohol beer with plenty of hops to balance the sweetness.


Brad Farbstein of Real Ale

The restaurant launched the meal deal recently with a dinner that featured brewery president Brad Farbstein.

Except more beer menus in Brasserie Pavil’s future. “Brasserie,” after all, is French for “brewery,” so the two are a natural.

For more on Real Ale, click here. For more on Brasserie Pavil, click here.

The cost of the dinner is $45 a person and is available nightly through the end of the month. Call (210) 479-5000.



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