Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Post Mardi Gras Rx

Did you party yesterday like it was Fat Tuesday? You should have because it was. To those not familiar with this day, it's another name for Mardi Gras. The tradition is to eat rich and fatty foods in abundance before Lent begins the following day on Ash Wednesday. While "way back when," the start of Lent brought fasting, now it usually means giving up something for 40 days. I've noticed some of my friends are giving up Faceback, while others are giving up some type of pleasure, like their daily Starbucks or dessert. I actually once had a friend (cough, Terry) who gave up dark-colored alcohol, which I thought was a hilarious loop hole. His rational was that he didn't care much for the "white versions," so if he drank during Lent it would really be punishing. Well, the punishment did indeed come one night when someone encouraged him to drink sake and he imbibed to excess. Nothing like puking at a dinner table with customers. 

Pan-Seared Salmon over Warm Winter Slaw

Anyway, if you're trying to clean up your act for Lent, are still trying to stick to your New Year's resolution of eating healthier, or are just looking for a tasty new recipe, I think this will do the job. It's pan-seared salmon served over a warm winter slaw. It's incredibly easy to pull together, looks fancy, tastes rich and happens to be less than 300 calories per serving (in case you're counting).

Fresh rosemary and red cabbage
Red onions sliced and then chopped
Balsamic vinegar and maple syrup provide the perfect punch of acid and sweetness

It starts with a caramelized mess of red onions and red cabbage enlivened with some rosemary, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. I probably cooked my slaw longer than necessary but I love that sweet, roasted flavor. You really can't overcook it, but you may like it a bit brighter in color and a little firmer to the bite. 

A gorgeous piece of salmon
Pan-seared perfection
The salmon is pan roasted to get that beautiful crusted skin but you could also bake the fish the oven at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. It's fail-proof and my "go to" method of cooking salmon. But I do appreciate a perfectly seared piece of fish.

Walnut and feta topped slaw

Although I love feta, it seemed like a weird accompaniment to salmon. But I can see how it adds a needed note of salt to the dish and is a wonderful companion to the earthiness of the fish and the toasted walnuts. The final dish comes together in a delicious concert and serves as the perfect post Mardi Gras remedy. 

Pan-Seared Salmon with Warm Winter Slaw
from Fitness Magazine

2 12 tsp olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 lb center-cut salmon filet, pin bones removed and cut into 4 pieces
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts, toasted
2 oz feta, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

1. Heat 2 tsp oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and rosemary; saute 5 minutes or until onion is browned. Add cabbage and cook until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and cover. 
2. Meanwhile, heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat. Rub top of salmon with remaining oil and place in skillet, skin side down. Cook 6 minutes; flip and cook 2 minutes more or until just opaque. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Pull off skin. Serve slaw topped with walnuts, feta and salmon. 

1 comment:

  1. ok so i can't speak much for fat tuesday or lent, for that matter, but seared salmon, balsamic, maple syrup (which i would double), and red cabbage?? that's a total home run! and i do appreciate knowing about the 300. yes we are all counting whether we admit it or not. lent (and its many loop-holes) notwithstanding, its time to indulge.