CAJUN PECAN-ALMOND CRUSTED SALMON

This Cajon Pecan-Almond Crusted Salmon is so yum, and that’s saying a lot since I’m not big on seafood. Was it the cajun seasoning? The pecans? The almonds? Regardless, it really lit up the tastebuds.

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1/2 cup flour

1-1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning

2 eggs

1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped

4-6 oz pieces salmon, skin removed

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp parsley, chopped

1) Mix flour and Cajun seasoning in a shallow bowl; beat eggs in a separate shallow bowl; mix pecans and almonds in a third shallow bowl

2) Dip both sides of salmon in flour, then egg, then nuts; set aside on a plate

3) To an oven-safe skillet (I used cast iron), add olive oil and butter and heat over medium-high; add salmon to skillet and cook each side 4-5 minutes; squeeze lemon juice over salmon, sprinkle with parsley, and serve

Servings: 4

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SALMON WITH CUCUMBER SALAD

Though, in my opinion, salmon isn’t the tastiest fish, it certainly is among the prettiest to land on a plate. However, add a refreshing cucumber salad and a yogurt-based sauce and you will have some happy eaters. This recipe is an adaptation of  Sunset Edible Garden Cookbook’s “Grilled Salmon with Herbed Cucumber Salad.” Yummer!

Salmon with Cucumber Salad

6 oz plain fat-free yogurt

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

3 tsp fresh lemon juice, divided

sea salt

ground black pepper

1 large cucumber, sliced thin (I used a potato peeler)

1 tbsp chopped parsley

2 tsp minced shallot

4 salmon fillets (about 5 oz each)

1) In small bowl mix: yogurt, 1 tbsp olive oil (reserving 2 tbsp), 2 tsp lemon juice (reserving 1 tsp), 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/8 tsp pepper; refrigerate

2) To medium-sized bowl, add cucumber, parsley, shallot, 1 tbsp reserved olive oil (reserving 1 tbsp), 1 tsp reserved lemon juice, 1/8 tsp sea salt, and 1/8 tsp ground black pepper;  toss to mix and refrigerate

3) Rub 1 tbsp reserved olive oil over both sides of salmon fillets and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper; add fillets to large skillet over medium-high heat and cook each side 4-5 minutes until done in center; transfer fillets to plates, top with cucumber salad, and add a dollop of yogurt sauce; serve

Servings: 4

TUNA STEAKS WITH PEACH SALSA

I was on a roll writing today–1,500 words of The Kindling: Book Four, which is a big deal for un-prolific me–when dinner time rolled around. So I extricated myself from the middle ages and hung up my pen and paper (or something like that) to make dinner for my guys. Though I overcooked the tuna a bit, the peach salsa made up for my wandering mind that couldn’t fully shake free of the sticky situation in which I had placed my poor hero and heroine. But after dinner…

Tuna Steaks with Peach Salsa

1 large peach, pitted and diced

1 large tomato, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 tbsp minced jalapeno

1 tbsp minced cilantro

1 tbsp honey

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

4-6 oz tuna steaks (or other fish)

1) 30 minutes prior to preparing fish, combine peach, tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and honey in a medium-sized bowl and refrigerate

2) To shallow bowl add cornmeal, salt, and pepper; set aside

3) To large skillet, add olive oil and butter and heat over medium-high; dredge tuna steaks in cornmeal mixture and place in skillet; cook 3-4 minutes each side or until fish is just cooked through; remove from heat, top each tuna steak with peach salsa, and serve

Servings: 4

ALMOND-SCATTERED SCALLOPS OVER CORN-TOMATO RELISH

I don’t always get scallops right, but more on that in a moment. This dish is perfect summer fare–tasty, light, and quick and easy to prepare. As for getting scallops right (a lovely sear), the trick is to remove excessive moisture before cooking by setting them on a paper-towel-lined plate in the fridge for an hour or so. It makes all the difference. So yum!

Almond Scattered Scallops over Corn Tomato Relish

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

3 scallions, sliced thin

1-1/2 cup frozen kernel corn, thawed (or fresh, of course)

1/4 cup white cooking wine (or non-cooking wine, naturally)

1 tbsp butter

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1 cup diced tomatoes

sea salt

ground black pepper

12-16 extra-large scallops, patted dry

1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)

lime or lemon wedges

1) To large skillet, add 1 tbsp olive oil (reserving 1 tbsp); heat over medium-high; add scallions and corn and cook, stirring a time or two, 3 minutes; add the cooking wine and, when it boils, reduce heat to low; stir in butter, parsley, and tomatoes and lightly season with salt and pepper; let simmer while preparing scallops

2) To large skillet, add 1 tbsp reserved olive oil; heat over high, add scallops, and cook 2-3 minutes each side (to achieve a good sear, move only when flipping to opposite side); remove from heat

3) Divide corn-tomato relish between 4 plates; arrange 3-4 scallops on top and scatter with almonds; serve with lime or lemon wedges and enjoy!

Servings: 4

AMAZING GRILLED SALMON

If there’s any recipe that could turn me into a regular fish eater–especially of the salmon variety–it would be this one. Granted, my portion was a third the size of my guys’ and my salad three times as generous, but I truly enjoyed my meal. Thumbs up!

Amazing Grilled Salmon

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

2 tbsp Worcerstershire sauce

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp ketchup

2 tbsp olive oil

1-1/2 lb salmon fillet (with skin), cut into 4 pieces

sea salt

ground black pepper

2 tbsp chopped parsley

1) To small saucepan, add butter, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, and ketchup; stirring often, heat over medium-high until butter melts and sauce starts to boil; reduce heat to simmer

2) Brush olive oil over surface of large grill pan and heat to medium-high; add salmon fillets to pan, skin side down, and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper; cook 4 minutes; remove 1/4 cup of sauce from saucepan (the remaining sauce will be served with fish) and brush sauce over tops of fillets with a basting brush; reduce heat to medium and carefully turn fillets; cook 4-5 minutes until salmon is just cooked through; remove from heat, sprinkle with parsley, and serve with reserved sauce; enjoy!

Servings: 4

GRILLED TUNA STEAKS WITH ASPARAGUS AND TOMATO-BALSAMIC SAUCE

I’m not a fish fan, but if I’m going to eat it, tuna is one type of fish that sits well with me–especially paired with asparagus and a tomato-balsamic sauce that’s good all on its own (i.e. by the spoonful). Best of all, despite how gorgeous it presents, it doesn’t take much to pull it all together. Though I used a grill pan, you can certainly pop the asparagus and tuna on an outdoor grill if you want to keep your kitchen cool. Delish!

Grilled Tuna Steaks with Asparagus and Tomato-Balsamic Sauce

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tsp basil paste (in produce aisle and great for when you don’t have fresh basil; of course, you can always use fresh minced basil instead of paste)

2 tsp Thai Chili Sauce (I used Kikkoman brand)

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 cup finely chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp butter

16-20 spears asparagus, tough ends removed (gently bend and the tough ends will snap right off—toss ’em)

4 tuna steaks, about 3/4″ thick

1) Preheat oven to 200 degrees (for warming)

2) To small bowl, add: 2 tbsp olive oil (reserving 1 tbsp), lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, basil paste, Thai Chili Sauce, and sea salt; mix well; stir in tomatoes and set aside

3) To large skillet (I used a grill pan) over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp reserved olive oil and butter; when butter melts, add asparagus and cook 5 minutes, turning often; remove from heat, place on oven-safe plate, and put in oven to keep warm

4) In same skillet (you may have to add a bit more oil and butter) over medium-high heat, cook tuna steaks 3-4 minutes each side until just done (mine was slightly pink in the very center); remove from heat

5) Divide asparagus spears between 4 plates and top with tuna steaks; give tomato-balsamic sauce a stir and pour over tuna steaks; serve immediately (perhaps with a side of cheesy ciabatta bread); enjoy!

Servings: 4

TILAPIA AMANDINE (for un-aFISHianados)

This Tilapia Amandine was delish! And that’s high praise coming from un-aFISHianado me. Unfortunately, this was not my plate. Believing I would be ho-hum about this dish, I gifted half my portion to Senior and Junior Too, the fish lovers in our family. And once it was off my plate, it was gone. Senior said it’s the best fish he’s ever had–even better than lobster. I don’t know about that, but I certainly felt well and truly patted on the back. And my taste buds were quite happy too 🙂

Tilapia Almondine

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

2 eggs, beaten

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

4-6 tilapia fillets (depending on size), patted dry

1 tbsp dried chopped shallots

3/4 cup white cooking wine

juice of one lemon

1/2 cup minced parsley

2/3 cup sliced almonds

1) Preheat oven to 200 degrees; place 4 oven-safe plates in oven to warm

2) Combine flour, salt, and pepper in shallow bowl; pour beaten eggs into a second shallow bowl

3) To large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and butter; stir to combine

4) Dip both sides of tilapia fillets in flour, followed by egg; place in skillet and cook 2-3 minutes each side until cooked through and golden brown (if you have to make in 2 batches, keep the first batch warm in the oven); divide fillets between 4 warmed plates

5) Immediately add shallots to same skillet and cook 2 minutes to soften; add cooking wine, lemon, and parsley and cook 2 minutes; remove from heat

6) Sprinkle almonds over fillets and pour wine-lemon sauce over all; serve immediately with wedges of lemon (mostly for looks since the sauce is sufficiently lemon-y); eat it up!

Servings: 4