Sunday, March 4, 2012

Salmon with Lemon Zest & Thyme

Brace yourselves, I have an abundance of both salmon and walleye in my freezer, so there is going to be a lot of fish recipes coming up. In an effort to add more fish to my diet, I gladly accepted some walleye that my dad, brother and boyfriend caught while ice fishing and I also split a wholesale share of wild sockeye salmon with my cousin. In this post, I am focusing on salmon.

I love salmon, but eating it regularly is hard on the budget since I do not eat farm-raised salmon (PCBs, unnatural dyes, etc). My parents order salmon from a fisherman who spends part of his year commercial fishing in Alaska and the other part of the year in Duluth, Minnesota. I decided to see if my cousin wanted to order a wholesale share and split it with me, since I do not have room for 22 lbs of salmon in my freezer. I ended up taking 7 lbs of it, and at about $10 a pound, I am saving nearly $5 a pound, as the very same fisherman also supplies the co-op down the block from me, but it is more than $15 a pound!

The salmon comes in huge fillets, which are all over a pound each. It could easily feed a family of four, but since I was sharing it with only one other person, I needed to figure out what to do with the leftover salmon. I ended up baking the whole fillet and then using the rest to make salmon chowder. Both recipes are below.

Slow Roasted Salmon with Lemon Zest & Thyme from Epicurious

1 fillet of salmon (over a pound)
1 ½ Tbs of EVOO
Zest of one lemon
1 Tbs of fresh thyme
Salt & pepper to taste

1)      Preheat oven to 275. Cover a baking sheet in tin foil and spread ½ Tbs of EVOO on the foil. Lay the salmon fillet on the foil.
2)      Combine the lemon zest, thyme and remaining EVOO in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Spread the mixture on the salmon and let it bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven.

Spicy Salmon Chowder from an Alaskan friend
3 Tbs. of butter divided
2 Tbs. of flour
2 1/2-3 cups of milk
2 ½ cups shredded sweet potatoes
¾ cup half & half
½ bag of frozen corn
1 bag of chopped frozen broccoli
One yellow onion, chopped,
2 carrots, chopped and peeled
2 stalks of celery, chopped
About ½ pound of cooked salmon (I used the leftover fillet)
1 Tbs of chopped fresh dill
1 jalapeno, chopped and sautéed in a bit of EVOO (you can do this separately or with the other veggies, but if you do it with the other veggies, the whole soup will be spicy)

1)      In a large stockpot, melt 2 Tbs of butter and then add the flour. Blend together well, until the mixture is golden and bubbly (use medium-low heat). Slowly add in the milk and half& half, whisking regularly. The mixture should get nice and thick. Add the sweet potato and let it simmer.
In the meantime, sautee the remaining vegetables in 1 Tbs of butter. Once they are soft, add them to the milk/half & half mixture. Add the salmon and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Right before it is done, add the dill. Garnish with the chopped and sautéed jalapeno (if you did not cook the jalapeno with the other veggies).

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