Monday, January 7, 2008

Fish for My Taco

I started my period yesterday, which must explain my massive craving for protein over the past few days. Even though it's TMI, a good thing has come from it:

Lemon-Caper Spaghetti with Seared Salmon

4 oz. Whole Wheat Spaghetti or Linguine

2 - 4 oz. Portions of Salmon Filet (preferably with the skin on)

3 Tbsp Capers, from a jar

1 c Grape Tomatoes, quartered

The Juice of 1 Lemon

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

3 Cloves Garlic, minced

Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper Flake - To Taste

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with a little nonstick spray, if you don't trust your pan. While your pan heats up, sprinkle the skin side of the salmon with salt and pepper. Add salmon to the hot pan - skin side down - and do not move it once it's there. You should hear a good sizzle. After 4-5 minutes - or when the skin is crispy - turn the salmon over and cook for another 4-5 minutes. After that, cook on each of the smaller sides for 1-2 minutes each. Make sense? In other words, cook the fish on all four sides, spending less time on the smaller ones. It's okay if the middle is a little rare. If it's too complicated, use chicken...ya bum.

Prepare pasta according to package directions. In mixing bowl, combine garlic, oil, lemon juice, capers & tomatoes. Add salt, pepper and red pepper to taste. When pasta is cooked, drain quickly and add immediately to mixing bowl - it's okay if the noodles are still really wet with pasta water . Toss with ingredients, then add back into hot pasta pan to heat through for a few minutes. You can omit this last step, but my tomatoes, lemon and capers were ice cold, so I wanted to heat them up. Divide pasta onto two plates, top with a touch of parmesan cheese and your seared fish.

It takes less time than it sounds. I almost didn't make dinner last night, but I needed leftovers for lunch. I dragged myself to the kitchen to cook up this business, and it took - i swear - less than 20 minutes. My favorite part? The crispy salmon skin. I could go Buffalo Bill on that stuff. When I was packing away the second serving for today's lunch, I took the skin off that piece and ate it, because I knew it would just be soggy when I reheated it today.

And now, I am enjoying a fantastically decadent yet light lunch that my cubemates envy.

Don't feel bad about eating the skin, and don't worry about the "fat" in salmon. Yeah, it's a fatty fish, but it's chock-full of that Omega-3 fatty acid - the kind that's supposed to be perfect for your heart, hair, skin, nails and flat stomach. It's so good for you that the American Heart Association stated that we should try to work in 1-2 servings of fatty fish each week - including salmon, tuna, mackerel and Dad's favorite...herring. Check it out:

So there's that,



mkieper said...

I love most fish, but I've never like salmon. It's a bit to "fishy" for me. People just tell me I've just not had it cooked right. I would eat seafood every other day, but there are 3 reasons why I don't. #1 besides tuna fish (which I do buy) it's a bit pricey. #2 Mike doesn't like seafood. #3 it makes my pee stink. Seriously...when I look at a menu when I can have the chance to eat seafood...I think to it worth having stinky pee for a day...usually the answer is yes.

Laura said...

I just don't think you've had good salmon. Since the frozen stuff is tricky to mess with - it's either just okay or really fishy - I splurge at the fish counter. I have them portion it for me, too, plus they can tell me which is freshest (Thought that's pretty relative consider our landlubbing midwest geography. Oh well, they can do wonders with shipping fresh food). If you cook it right, it's not so much fishy as it is hearty - but lemon does cut that fishy taste. I'll have to make it for you sometime.