I know, I know – “Tales from the Great Adventure” is supposed to feature “inspirational” posts, hooking in with the “adventure” lens through which I’m viewing (and experiencing) 2017. But believe me when I tell you that great food is most definitely inspirational, and taking food preparation beyond the mundane and uninteresting is always a creative adventure. So, Bon appetit, vive la appetit, and “long live dinner” (à long dîner en direct).
Vive la Nosh!
So here is the promised “foodie” post. If you haven’t read this morning’s “Prayer – Beyond a Casual Relationship,” then don’t miss it. Otherwise, here’s an impossible to foul up baked salmon recipe I know you’re going to rave about long after you prepare, serve, and enjoy.
First, it’s important to remember that not all salmon are created equal. Cold water salmon, caught in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, have a much richer flavor than their run-of-the-mill Atlantic cousins.
There are many ways to prepare fish, but this weekend I decided to go the extra mile, and the result was more than a step above. What I’m suggesting takes a little more effort, but the return is more than worth the investment of a little time. Note: don’t forget to remove the skin from your fillets before cooking.
Wrapped in Flaky Goodness:
In the past I’ve taken the time, gone to the trouble, and made the mess to work with phyllo dough. It always turns out wonderful, but this time I simply took a pop-can of Pillsbury crescent roll dough, and rolled it out to about half the thickness. Line the insides of a shallow casserole dish with the dough, lay the salmon on top, season to taste, spritz with lemon juice, cover the salmon – liberally – with the filling (next), enclose with the remaining dough, then lightly brush with butter.
For the filling: First, cut six ounces of Gouda cheese into small cubes and place in a mixing bowl. Then, sweat ten ounces of fresh spinach with a tablespoon of olive oil and a crushed garlic clove. Add the warm spinach to the cheese and stir together, adding a half teaspoon of sea salt. Spread on top of the salmon as described above.
Preheat the oven to 375-degrees, then bake the salmon – covered – for 15-20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another five to ten minutes, uncovered. (total cooking time can range from 20-30 minutes, so monitor for best results.)
Meanwhile, prepare two baked potatoes and a side of artichokes. Bread is not recommended, as the salmon is already wrapped in pastry. This dish serves well with Merlot or a light red wine blend.
This recipe is an excellent “bang for your buck” crowd-pleaser, without requiring all day in the kitchen. It looks good, it tastes even better, and it’s something I plan to serve at one of our upcoming dinner parties.
Enjoy – DEREK