Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pan Seared Salmon with Creamy Leeks

Wasn't it just a moment ago that I extolled the virtues of whole fish? Hadn’t I declared my love for whole fish over fillets? I am no inconstant lover to be sure, but every girl needs variety don’t you think? :) Especially when buying a whole salmon on these shores would cost one very pretty penny! We also can’t discount the fact that fillets are definitely more convenient. And let’s face it; most of us do need a little convenience once in a while – especially when juggling baby, work, and a household…plus a life outside of that (some quality alone time with the hubby, time with friends, ME time…blogging!)!

Having a few fish fillets in your freezer (ooh, say that 10 times, fast!) means a quick supper is never far away, even on days when you don’t have the time or the energy to think past finishing that last report. They are especially handy when the only time you can make it to the market (because really, some of the “fresh fish” that is in the supermarket these days are a tad worrying) is on the weekends.

So, anyway, this is all to say that, yes, there is a space for fish fillets in my heart and on my table.

Pan Seared Salmon with Creamy Leeks
  • 2 x 160-180 gram fillets of salmon
  • Olive oil
  • 6-5 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced diagonally (about 2 cups sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Heat a swirl of olive oil in a pan. When the oil is hot add the leeks and sauté until they start to soften. Add the cream and let it bubble a bit until the leeks are tender, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add the dill, toss, and take off the heat. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and stir. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
- In another skillet heat a couple of glugs of oil. Sprinkle salmon fillets with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot add salmon to the pan skin side down (my fillets here were already skinned but I still cook the side where the skin was first). Cook for a couple of minutes and flip to cook the other side. Cook for a couple of minutes more until done to your liking.
- Place each fillet on a plate and divide the creamy leeks between the two.
- Serves two.

Salmon is nice when it’s a little rare in the middle, but cook it all the way through if that’s how you like it. The great thing about fillets, as opposed to steak cuts, is that you can actually see the fish cooking on the sides (as the fish grows opaque from the bottom up). This makes is easier to predict when the fish is done.

Since neither salmon nor creamy sauces make it to C’s list of favorites this is something I often enjoy when he is not around. I actually love these little meals made solely for my enjoyment. Brings me back to the early days of my cooking --- when I cooked only for myself, and ultimately fell in love with it. Which brings me to another nice attribute of the fillet…it lends itself perfectly to the single serving!

Note: I am trying to groom little C to be a creamy-salmon-dish-eater just like her mama. To make a baby friendly version just steam the salmon and leeks, cut up/mash when cooked (leeks should be soft and salmon cooked through), and mix with a dollop of yogurt (instead of cream). I’ve also done a version with the salmon steamed with cilantro and onions, then mashed with yogurt when cool. Definitely thing I would eat myself!


Maria @ ScandiFoodie said...

Oh yum! This looks absolutely delicious! I love leeks!

veron said...

This looks absolutely delish!!! I love the flavor of leek and I bet it was just perfect with the salmon!

Barbara said...

Sounds delightful Joey and a lovely photo.

Iska said...

I cook salmon at least twice a month, my son's favorite! Pan-seared is the easiest way to do it but always YUM :-)

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

I gasped when I saw this post! I absolutely love salmon dishes; and your combination of leek and a creamy sauce sounds delicious. Perfecly thought out and a beautiful snap.

Ling said...

Delish! And lucky Little C!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Maria! I love leeks too :)

Hi Veron! They went really well together :)

Hi Barbara! Thanks!

Hi Iska! I like it steamed and baked too…I guess I just like it all ways, heehee :)

Hi Brittany! Thanks for your kind words!

Hi Ling! It’s a snap to make too!

Anh said...

The salmon dish looks lovely! I like to cook with fillet better since my husband can’t take bones!!

Midge said...

Oh, the salmon looks like a beautifully hewn chunk of coral! I can imagine how heavenly it must've tasted!

Marketman said...

That looks delicious. I have been trying to eat less meat and carb lately so this is a perfect dish for me if I can resist the urge to have starch with it... potatoes, bread, etc. And your photo is gorgeous!

Dan said...

Yum! Too bad I just used the last of our salmon from the freezer...We had a record sockeye run here in BC and it was all salmon all the time! I'll definitely try this next time I have salmon in the house!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anh! Thanks! My hubby and I both love whole fish but fillet is good too! :)

Hi Midge! You made my salmon sound so poetic!

Hi MM! Thank you! You can have it with more vegetables ;)

Hi Dan! Wow! Would love to have a surplus like that :)

Eating With Hudson said...

Looks amazing, yummy. I love your blog!

Tv Food and Drink said...

Three things:
1.) I don't think I've ever had a leek in my life.
2.) I fell in love with cooking when I was cooking only for myself as well.
3.) FANTASTIC picture!


ChichaJo said...

Hi Eating with Hudson! Thanks for your nice comment :)

Hi Gary! How could you never have had leeks?? They are wonderful! Cooking for oneself is highly underrated I think :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Oh, I'm sure little C. will be a foodie in the future! :D

I love simple, healthy food like this dish, Joey - you're making me crave fish at 9:15 in the morning, sweetie!

Carlos said...

Wow great I stumbled unto this blog! Really awesome recipes and very well told! Great photos! Nice to see someone who appreciates the art as well!



ChichaJo said...

Hi Carlos! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment :) Glad to meet another breakfast lover!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Patricia! I love food like this too...and I hope one day little C follows in my footstepd :)

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you could use Greek Yogurt instead of cream to make it healthier.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anonymous! I am sure you could :)