Thursday, December 3, 2009

Salmon or Barramundi with Winter Greens, Apple & Leeks

I listed 6 ways to incorporate wilted, winter spinach or winter leafy greens into your meals in yesterday's post.

And today, I have two delicious meal ideas to share using wilted spinach (above) and wilted chard (below).

Both these leafy greens are available through the fall and winter and often on sale "two bunches for the price of one."

I discussed the merits of this kind of deal yesterday, including the importance of wilting (or slightly cooking) extra greens, portioning them into containers, and freezing them, before they deteriorate.

Recently, someone made the comment that it appears I post mostly recipes and meal ideas with fish as the main protein item. Noting that today's two recipes include fish, I'm aware that it would be easy to assume that I'm a vegequarian.

However, that's not the case. I eat a variety of protein each day, and some days that doesn't include animal protein, but instead vegetarian protein such as nuts, seeds, beans and or pulses (I'm not a big soy-protein fan).

I do eat fish at least twice a week -- sometimes 3 times -- stretching a 6-ounce fillet into two meals, eating 3 ounces at dinner and the remaining 3 ounces at lunch the following day.

I find 3 ounces of fish like salmon, tuna, mahi mahi, and barramundi, to be substantial, since these are all dense and meaty fish.

Speaking of barramundi, I confess to doing something locavores would frown upon. Barramundi is an Australian fish; I purchased it at Whole Foods in Boulder, which means it traveled a great distance to get to my plate and that's not in-keeping with my desire to be a sustainably-aware, eco-friendly consumer.

However, we all act contrary to our values periodically and apropos this story, it's the holiday season and I'm far from home in the middle of America with a hankering for the food of my country.

So I bought the barramundi because it's Australian, and at around $8 for two, 6-ounce fillets it was priced competitively -- what can I say; I couldn't resist!

Barramundi with Sweet Potato & Chard Mash

1) Boil, and then mash sweet potato with a little butter; season to taste.
2) Into the mashed potatoes, toss washed, chopped, and wilted chard (pic to left). Stir together with a little more butter.
Note: This was tip #5 in yesterday's list of ways to make the most of wilted, winter leafy greens.
3) Line a skillet or pan with equal amounts oil and butter, saute washed and chopped leek with washed and chopped celery.
4) As the vegetables begin to soften, add barramundi fillets (or your choice of fish) to the pan, placing them on top of the vegetables.
5) Pour either white wine or lemon / lime juice diluted with water over the fish and veggies.
6) If you have any herbs on hand, like thyme or dill seed, sprinkle over the fish.
7) Cook on low for about 10 mins. Don't overcook the fish, so check it at around 7 mins, perhaps adding a dash more liquid (if veggies are sticking); turning the fish over for another 3 mins if you think it needs more cooking.

To Serve: Spoon a portion of sweet potato mash onto a plate (pic above), followed by a spoon of sauteed leeks and celery. Gently place a whole 6-ounce fillet, or half a fillet of barramundi, onto the vegetables. Squeeze some lime or lemon juice over the lot (pic to left).

Salmon with Wilted Spinach and Buttered Apple
1) Wash, drain and wilt spinach as per instructions in yesterday's post.
2) Place salmon into a hot skillet lined with olive oil, turn heat to low, squeeze lemon juice over fish, and gently cook with lid on.
3) Meanwhile, wash and slice an apple, and if there's room, toss it into the pan with the salmon. If not, saute the apple in a separate pan with some butter, allowing the apple to soften and brown slightly. You might like to add a rasher of sliced, smoked bacon, in which case, saute the apple in the bacon fat, leaving out the butter.
4) Test salmon at around the 7-min mark. You want the flesh to be firm to touch, but inside, still slightly pink and juicy. There is nothing worse than dry fish, so don't overcook it.

To Serve: Spoon a portion of wilted spinach onto a plate. Place either a whole or half fillet of salmon over the spinach and top with sauted apple and bacon (pic above); drizzle with lime juice.

No comments: