Tag Archives: fish

Saucy Salmon for Dinner

22 Jul

With blackberries hitting the peak of their season, I couldn’t resist going picking. It’s amazing how satisfying it is to pick your own produce and then cook with it. Unfortunately, as usual, I got carried away. I pick way too many berries and was on the verge of blackberry overload. Literally, the berries were overflowing out of the container. I managed to get them home, but now I had the challenge of making them into something even better than they already were.

Something that I love doing is pairing fruit and seafood. To me it seems like when you have to fresh things they are destined to be together. This dish was Walnut Crusted Roasted Salmon with Blackberry Sage Sauce. I know it sounds fancy, but it’s very simple. The flavor finds its perfection in the balance of sweet and savory.

Why does this dish work? The fat in the salmon is cooked down slowly, which means the fish won’t dry out, even if you overcook it. The walnuts add crunch and texture. If you’re not a fan of walnuts, sliced almonds would taste great as well. The sauce is the sweet part of the equation. It’s easy to over do when it comes to sweeter fruit sauces. You want to enhance the natural sweetness of the fruit without the sauce tasting like you just poured jelly on your fish. By adding in a woody herb, like sage, you can mellow the sweetness and accentuate the berry flavor with a contrasting earthy flavor.

Bake the salmon in a 350 degree oven with the walnuts on top of the fish. Use a light egg wash to get the walnuts to stick to the fish. Because of the lower temperature the fish will take 20-25 minutes cook to a temperature of medium. The sauce can be made ahead of time and held warm or reheated as necessary.

Blackberry Sage Sauce

1 cup blackberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
1 tablespoon butter

Combine all ingredients except for the butter in a sauce pan and cook on medium for 15 minutes. Right before serving, add in the butter and re-season with salt and pepper.

Keep in mind that salmon is full flavored fish that can standup to a big sauce. If you prefer a lighter white fish such as tilapia or cod, this sauce would overwhelm the fish. Depending on the season, you could serve the sauce with scallops, arctic char, or swordfish. If you are not a seafood lover, try the sauce on chicken or as a condiment to use on cheese.

Always thinking of the next meal,


Rockfish dinner

19 Nov

Tonight, the game plan was to pick up some mussels and try to recreate one of my favorite dishes from Bonefish, their version of mussels. When I arrived at the seafood counter after work, I was told that mussels would not be coming in until tomorrow and that the one remaining bag had been in the store since November 8. Ok, next choice, little neck clams. I thought I would make the same sauce recipe, but just use clams. Seemed simple enough, however, the clams were $10.50 for 24 clams. That seemed pretty high for a dinner for one, so what now?

I noticed that they had a beautiful looking piece of rockfish. I have never had rockfish, but I thought what the heck. I picked up a 6 oz portion for 6 dollars and felt like I could still make the sauce work.

What I wasn’t expecting was one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. The dish wound up being seared rockfish with buerre blanc over roasted asparagus. Seriously, it’s not often that I toot my own horn, but are you looking at the picture? It was amazing!

Want to give this one a try? It is actually very simple. First, you don’t have to use rockfish. You can use any fish that you like including shrimp or scallops. Simply season and sear in hot oil. For the asparagus, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. The coup de grace, the sauce.

Buerre blanc is classic French butter sauce. It’s made by reducing shallots and wine together and then slowly wisking in small pieces of cold butter until the sauce is thick and flavorful. Traditionally, white wine is used in the reduction, but you can really use any wine that you like. If you like a red, then the sauce becomes, buerre rouge. It’s the same concept just a different color. Buerre blanc does take a little practice to perfect. You don’t want the sauce to break and just become melted butter. The consistency should be nappe or thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

I garnished with diced tomatoes and basil chiffonade. But again, you can use whatever you like.

Always thinking of the next meal