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Thursday, April 24, 2014

pan salmon and veg

I love fish. I don't eat it nearly as often as I would like, given the availability of fresh fish in the Arizona desert. Many fish have been fished to a state of compromise in their numbers, so I don't feel too badly about eating it only once or twice a year. However, there is just nothing quite like a lovely piece of fresh, wild ocean salmon for dinner, so I like to keep an eye out for the sales that come on a rare but welcome occasion at my local supermarket.

Today, I brought home this gorgeous piece of salmon. And then looked at it and pondered for a moment, feeling mildly adrift by my dismal failures at making homemade, sugar-free, soy-free, vinegar-free mayonnaise or alioli, which would have mixed up with a little dill as perfection for a sauce on the side. So, I dug through the vegetable drawer and pulled out all the veg I had. Suddenly, easy peasy.

My husband approves this meal on the list of man food. It has the stamp. We polished off the entire pound of fish in one dinner. It was gorgeous! The chard brings a healthy dose of green healing nutrients, but it's flavor is almost entirely hidden, for those who are not a fan of chard. It will merely taste of salmon and onions by the time it reaches your plate. The red pepper lends a sweetness to the meal that compliments salmon very well. For the sweetest pepper, choose one that has three bumps on the end, not four.

1 lb fillet of salmon
1 red pepper, sliced very thinly lengthwise
2 cups chopped red chard
6 large cloves garlic, flattened and chopped
1 large white onion, sliced in half and then into slivers

1-2 tsp dill
salt and pepper
1 Tb lemon juice

Begin by adding a healthy glug of olive oil to a hot pan, and chasing the garlic and onion quickly into it. Turn down the heat to medium or medium-low and cook the onions until tender, sweetened, but not browned. I love cast iron for this type of frying as it seldom ever sticks to food. If using stainless steel, keep the pan closer to medium-low heat and keep an eye on the oil at all times. No smoking.

While this is happening, place the fish skin side down on a plate and pour the lemon juice over it. Sprinkle on dill, salt, and pepper.

Once the onions are ready, add the chard and stir until just beginning to wilt. Bring the pan heat up to high, but not smoking.

Add the red peppers and mix together.

Right away, make room in the center of the pan for the fish, add another tsp olive oil or a small knob of butter and place the fish, skin side down, on top. Fry until the skin blackens somewhat and the fish is about half cooked through. Flip over. Peel off the skin, which will be easy to remove now, and sprinkle again with dill, salt, and pepper as desired.

Once fish is cooked to the tenderness you prefer, serve with the pan veg along with sides of steamed vegetables.

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