Archive for the ‘Fish’ category

Salmon with Sour Cabbage and Garlic Potato Cakes

January 3rd, 2011

Salmon, cabbage and potato cakes

I love having a fridge full of leftovers after a big holiday meal.  When you’re cooking for one, having dishes full of bits and pieces in your fridge makes pulling together a post-holiday dinner a fun challenge.  You don’t need much more than a scoop of anything to make a tasty meal.

This meal came about after staring at the fridge, seeing the leftover Christmas mashed potatoes, and thinking how great they would be with a nice piece of salmon and some dill sauce. I’d been reading Barbara Sjoholm’s The Palace Of the Snow Queen so I think the dish also has a bit of a Nordic feel to it.

2 cups cold mashed potatoes
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 egg
salt & pepper

1/4 of a small Savoy cabbage
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper

1 fillet of salmon

1/2 cup yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dry dill

For the potato cakes: combine the first five ingredients in a bowl, shape into patties and fry over medium heat in a bit of olive oil.  Turn once when the bottoms of the cakes start to brown.

For the sour cabbage: toss the next five ingredients into a frying pan, cover and cook (stirring occasionally) until the cabbage has softened slightly.

For the salmon: brush the salmon lightly with olive oil and cook in a hot pan, 3 minutes a side.

For the sauce: mix together the yogurt, lemon and dill.

To serve: Plate the cabbage and potato cakes side by side, then top the cabbage with the salmon and sauce. Or if you’re feeling fancy, and your potato cakes haven’t fallen into small chunks, start with the potato, then the cabbage, then the fish and finally the sauce.

Honey Mustard Salmon

September 27th, 2010

Honey mustard salmon

I keep frozen fillets of tilapia and salmon in my freezer at all times.  They make quick and easy meals for one, served along either a salad or some cooked market veggies.  I like these two types of fish because they’ll stand up to almost any flavouring and don’t take a lot of minding while they’re cooking.  The recipe below makes enough glaze for a single fillet but could easily be doubled or tripled for a multi-person meal.

1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
a generous grinding of black pepper
1 salmon fillet, thawed

In a small microwaveable bowl, mix together the first four ingredients.
Nuke the sauce on low for about 15 seconds, or until the honey has liquefied.
Place the salmon in a glass baking dish and pour over the glaze.
Cook for 15 minutes at 350ºF or until salmon flakes with a fork.

Tilapia with Cumin and Mushrooms

May 28th, 2010

Tilapia with cumin and mushrooms

I was offered a review copy of The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook a few weeks ago.  I found it an enjoyable read, despite many involuntary eyerolls over the title.  The recipes are sensible, easy to prepare and the ones I tried had good solid flavours.  I just can’t get excited over something with this much hype; for a French-based cookbook, I’ll take Laura Calder’s French Taste over this one any day of the week.

One thing about the French Women cookbook – it does have some great recipes for fish.  Here’s my adaptation of one of the recipes, ready to make as a single portion for a chef girl in a rush.

6-8 mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
salt & pepper

1 tilapia fillet, thawed and dried off
1 tsp cumin
salt & pepper
small handful of parsley, roughly chopped
wedge of lemon to garnish

In a large frying pan, melt the butter into the olive oil over medium-high heat.
Toss in the mushrooms, seasoning them with salt and pepper, and fry until golden brown.
Set the mushrooms aside, keeping them warm until you’re ready to plate the dish.
Coat both sides of the tilapia with the cumin, salt and pepper.
Cook the tilapia in the frying pan over medium heat (about 3 minutes a side).
To serve, pile up the mushrooms, put the fish on top and garnish with the parsley and lemon slice.

Spring Veggie Risotto with Spot Prawns and Scallops

May 25th, 2010

Fresh seafood

I love markets.  I especially love springtime farmers’ markets – something that has been lacking in my life since I moved back to Southern Alberta.  While there are plenty of bakers, canners and meat producers who have things to sell in the winter, the Lethbridge market closes between October and May due to a perceived lack of shoppers.  No fresh produce seems to equal no market in these parts.

Appetizer board

When I got out to Vancouver, I spent an afternoon at the Granville Public Market, shopping for ingredients for a “thank you” supper for my sister and her boy.  After a preliminary cruise around the stalls, I settled on a nice springtime risotto with seafood to reflect my stay in the city.  Dinner was preceded by an appetizer board featuring olives, cheese, beer sausage, bread, fiddleheads and smoked mackerel from various stalls around the market.

Spring green risotto with scallops and spot prawns

(the following is the risotto recipe for 3 people)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 cup Arborio rice
3 cloves garlic, crushed and thinly sliced
1 cup white wine
3 cups vegetable stock
1 handful broccolini, tops separated from stems
1 handful asparagus, tops separated from stems
3 tbsp fresh basil, thinly sliced

1 tbsp olive oil
9 scallops, patted dry
6 spot prawns, rinsed and patted dry

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the butter in the olive oil until it melts.
Add the rice and stir until it toasts and turns a light brown.
Add the garlic and cook until soft but not browned.
Pour in the white wine, stirring until absorbed.
Add the first cup of vegetable stock, stirring slowly while it absorbs.
Stir the vegetable stems into the rice with with the second cup of stock.
At this point, heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan, and arrange the seafood in a single layer.
Add the veggie tops and basil to the risotto with the last cup of stock, stirring while keeping an eye on the seafood.
Turn the seafood once after 2-3 minutes – that’s all it should take per side to get a nice sear on the scallops and to make sure the prawns are cooked through but not rubbery.
Plate everything up and serve with the rest of the bottle of white wine.  (I think we went with a bottle of Naked Grape Pinot Grigio.)

Pasta with Scallops and Leeks

March 31st, 2010

Last week, with my outdoor gardening thwarted by winds gusting to 75 km/h, I decided to plant a little kitchen herb garden.  I made a run out to one of the local greenhouses, where their veggie plants were a scant 2 inches high, but their herbs were tall, leafy and ready to plant.

Basil and parsley

I picked out some cilantro, mint, basil and parsley, potted them up and stuck them on my windowsill.  They’re loving the southern sunlight, and I’m loving their bright herby smell.  Since the basil was the most alluring, it was the first to go into one of my dinners.

Scallops with leeks and fresh basil

1 serving of spaghetti
1 tbsp olive oil
1 handul cherry or grape tomatoes
1 leek, cleaned, halved and roasted
1 tbsp capers
8-10 small scallops
salt & pepper
fresh basil, chopped

Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick together.
While the pasta is cooking, cook the tomatoes, leek and capers in the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
Once the tomatoes have softened and are giving off a bit of juice, push them off to the sides and toss in the scallops.
Sprinkle the scallops with the salt and pepper and cook until they are opaque in their centres.
Stir everything together and add the fresh basil just before serving on top of the now-cooked pasta.

I had a leftover roasted leek from a previous night’s supper.  If you don’t want to roast the leek ahead of time, I’d swap it out for some fresh green onions.  Or just plan on frying the leek for a bit longer, adding the tomatoes once it’s almost completely cooked.

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