Besides seasonal + simple, I emphasize healthy dishes here at She’s Cookin’ – and, the older we get the more important this becomes. This isn’t a new thing for me, it’s always made me feel good to prepare a delicious meal for my family and know that they are filling their tummies with foods that fuel their mind and body. Plus, seeing and hearing others enjoy the fruits of your labor is the most rewarding part for any cook.
If you have the desire to eat healthier (you have to want to do it), there are five simple methods or techniques that will help you prepare delicious, heart-healthy, lower-calorie, nutritious meals and allow you to mix it up and keep it interesting for everyone. Being in southern California, I tend to grill and broil frequently, some of you may rely on stir frying several times a week. This is all good, but can get boring. Today’s Poached Salmon recipe was me reminding myself to change it up and step away from the grill and broiler. Plus, since I misunderstood September’s 5 Star Makeover Challenge, I wanted to prove that I know how to cook with wine, not just drink it In this dish, bright caramelized citrus pairs with rustic autumn flavors to express the transition from the light of summer to brisk days of Fall and satisfying comfort foods.
Moist, tender and flavorful – go ahead, take a bite!
Poaching is an excellent way to keep fish moist and tender. You can use any combination of chicken, seafood, or vegetables; simply place ingredients in a pot and cover with water or broth, or in this case clam juice and wine. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until cooked. Then use the nutritious, flavorful liquid for a sauce or save it for use in soup. The four other techniques that are part of a healthy cook’s repertoire are Steaming – excellent for retaining vital nutrients, Stir-Fry – loads of flavors and texture, Roasting – comforting and rich flavors in caramelizing meats and vegetables, and En Papillote (Cooking in Parchment) – a fun and delicious meal in a packet! You can get the recipe for my Sesame Salmon En Papillote (yes, I love salmon and it’s loaded with healthy Omega 3 oils) and I’ll be featuring each one of the other techniques in the weeks to come, so check back
Poached Salmon with Citrus, Crispy Skin and Caramelized Grapefruit
Bright caramelized citrus paired with rustic autumn flavors express the transition from the light of summer to brisk days of Fall and rich, satisfying comfort foods.
1 pound wild salmon*, skin on
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 bottle clam juice
1 cup dry white wine*
½ lemon, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled, sliced in half
sprinkle of crushed red pepper
Garnish: crumbled crispy salmon skin and sage leaves
For caramelized grapefruit:
1 Ruby Red grapefruit, supremed
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Supreme the grapefruit by first cutting the ends off. Set on a cutting surface and, using a sharp paring or fillet knife, cut down the sides of the grapefruit to remove the peel and trim off all of the white pith. Working over a bowl, cut along the membranes to release the grapefruit segments. Reserve grapefruit juice.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the grapefruit and the sugar. Cook until each segment is caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
For the Fish:
1. Rinse fish, pat dry with paper towels. Cut crosswise into 3 equal size pieces. Using a sharp fillet knife, hold fillet with one hand, insert knife between the flesh and skin, press down and move knife along the skin to separate. Place skin on a pan covered in aluminum foil, brush with olive oil and place under broiler until crispy, about 5-6 minutes – watch closely. Allow to cool and crumble with your fingers or wrap in plastic wrap and crush it with the back of a spoon.
2. Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place salmon fillets (top side down) in the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes. Browning the fish gives it a more attractive look and deepens the flavor.
3. Combine clam juice and next four ingredients in a heavy, large saucepan. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Using a spatula, place the salmon gently in the poaching liquid, add the accumulated pan juices as well. Cover, and simmer gently for approximately 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove salmon and transfer to a platter, tent with foil to keep warm.
4. Remove the garlic and lemon from the poaching liquid, and boil until reduced to about ½ cup.
White Bean and Sage Salad
1 can No-Added Salt cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 T. meyer lemon olive oil
1 T. lemon zest
1 T. fresh sage, finely chopped
Mix together in a small bowl at least half hour before serving to allow flavors to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To plate: Spread a spoonful of the cannellini beans on a plate, surround with grapefruit segments and juices, place a salmon fillet on top of beans, drizzle with wine reduction sauce, sprinkle with crushed salmon skin and garnish with sage.
*Note: I used wild troll-caught Coho Salmon from Santa Monica Seafood and a Dry Muscat wine. Whole Foods 365 brand has a variety of No-Added Salt beans.