Salmon with Avocado-Mango-Lime Salsa

Becky's Salmon with Avocado-Mango-Lime Salsa

Growing up, the only salmon I knew personally came from a can.  My mom would mix it with crackers and egg, fry it and serve it as salmon patties. Then we kids would  drown these little fish-fried hockey pucks in as much ketchup as possible, picking at them, eating a little bit of the edges hoping this would satisfy our mom so we could simply move on from this so-called dinner, and get to dessert.

I never made a single salmon patty for my children. Never served them salmon at all. Felt that I was doing them a huge favor.

Then, eight years ago I married Greg, an Oregonian and Lover of All Things Salmon. It was then, in my forties, that he gently let me know I’d not only never eaten salmon the way it was intended to be served, but I’d mispronounced it all my life.  Who know that there is such a thing as a silent “l” in the middle of a word?  It took me a full year to stop saying “SaL-mon” and start saying “Sah-men” as they do in the Great Northwest.  About that time my eldest son left Texas to hop on an Alaskan fishing boat and has been catching fresh salmon every summer ever since, living for 4 to 5 months at a time on a boat full of stinky sailors and fresh fish.

I figured, at this point, that I owed it to both my husband and son to learn how to cook salmon correctly.  I stumbled along, trying out recipes, eating salmon at restaurants and just sort of tolerating it.  Then one evening, I was out with a friend who encouraged me to order the salmon on the menu and let the chef cook it his way.  I took one bite of this chef-prepared salmon and said, “Oh. My. Gosh. This is the best meat I’ve ever tasted! But it doesn’t taste like salmon. Or fish. It tastes like crispy butter,  crunchy out the outside but moist flakes of soft yumminess on the inside. How did the chef make this?”

What the chef did was cook the salmon on a searing hot grill and left the middle of the fish still slightly moist and opaque.  He did not roast it. He did not cook it to death.  And this made all the difference.  He also served it with a fabulous lime-garlic-tomato salsa.

Now, I hate to brag,  but these days I make the best salmon you’ve ever tasted.  You need to start  with a good fresh piece of salmon, of the milder tasting variety.  Since Denver is not near an ocean,  the best catch of the day around here is at Whole Foods.  The Norwegian salmon is the mildest. I like the fish guy to cut  one big slab of it, enough for two to three people, and leave the skin on.   But I’m getting ahead of myself!  Here’s the recipe.  You will love it!

Seared Salmon, crispy outside, moist and flaky inside. Perfection!

Becky’s  Salmon with Avocado-Mango-Lime Salsa

Serves 2 to 3

Ingredients

Norwegian salmon, skin on, cut it one slab, enough to serve 2 to 3 people (Fresh wild caught salmon is also delicious, but not as mild as the Norwegian at Whole Foods)

1 -2 T. olive oil (enough to coat pan and keep fish sizzling)

1 – 2 t. grill  or steak seasoning (enough to lightly sprinkle on both sides of your fish)

1 avocado

1 small mango

1 small tomato

1/2 clove garlic grated fine

1 T. fresh lime juice

dash salt

dash sugar

Directions:

Using a grill pan preferably (or a large flat skillet that will take high heat) pour olive oil to coat the bottom and let it get “screaming hot.”  Put salmon skin down onto grill pan.  In about 30 seconds the skin will start to loosen, turn the salmon over and remove the skin with flat spatula, scrapping off any of the grey stuff on top of the pink fish.  (Toss the skin in the trash.) Sprinkle lightly with 1/2 t or so of grill seasoning. Flip back over and cook this side of the salmon on high heat until it is seared and beautiful rich golden brown.  In the meantime, sprinkle the other side with 1/2 t. of grill seasoning.   Flip and cook the other side on high heat until it is a rich golden brown.  Remove from heat.  Let sit a few minutes while you make the relish.

Dice tomato, mango and avocado and mix together in a medium sized bowl.  Add lime juice, fresh grated garlic, a dash of salt and a pinch of sugar.  Gently toss, taste seasonings.

Using two spatulas move fish to large serving plate (pour any pooled juices atop) and garnish with the avocado-mango-tomato salsa.  I like to serve this family style, letting every one at the table gently pull of the amount of salmon they want with a big serving fork and spatula.  Serve any remaining relish in a bowl and allow guests to add more if they like.

Variations: add minced red onion, chopped jalapenos, and/or chopped fresh herbs like cilantro or mint or flat leaf parsley or basil to the salsa

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Salmon with Avocado-Mango-Lime Salsa
The URL: https://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/04/20/avocado-mango-lime-salmon/

Becky’s Salmon with Avocado-Mango-Lime Salsa

Sesame-Pecan Salmon with “Avocado Goddess” Salad

If I were to find out this morning that I had to host a dozen execs for lunch today, this is the recipe to which I’d turn. It makes a beautiful and amazing-tasting one-bowl dish. Served with some warm crusty bread, it is all you need to impress your guests.

I invented this recipe when I married my husband eight years ago.  Greg is from the great Northwest and adores salmon. I grew up in Texas cattle country with a mother who thought all fish tasted like cat food. Needless to say, I never developed a fondness for food with fins. If I were served fish sticks as a kid at school,  I’d peel the breading off, eat that, leaving the meat for the disposal. Sad, I know.

It was for the love of Greg, and Greg only,  that I determined to figure out how to cook, eat, and hopefully, love fish.  This is the recipe that started my love affair with salmon. I served it to my pastor, Hugh Halter,  and he scraped his plate cleaning, calling it “praline fish.” The coating isn’t quite like candy, but it is just as hard to resist. Truly this recipe was my gateway drug to the pleasures of fish, and as I continue to blog my favorite recipes, you’ll discover this landlubber has come to embrace the fruit of the sea with gusto.

The salad is easy, too, with a dressing that just adds 3 ingredients (avocado, fresh lime juice, pepper) to your favorite Ranch salad dressing.

Becky's Sesame-Pecan Salad with "Avocado Goddess" Dressing

Becky’s Sesame-Pecan Salmon

Serves 2

2 pieces fresh salmon, skin removed

1/2 c. thick teriyaki sauce  (teriyaki sauce often has soy sauce in it that is made from wheat. Gluten free folks may want to make their own. Here’s one gluten free recipe.)

2 T. sweet Thai chili sauce

1/4 c.  toasted sesame seeds (these are cheaper and come in larger containers on the Asian aisles of most grocery stores)

1/4 c. pecans,  chopped to about the consistency of Grapenuts in food processor or blender

1 T. olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In one shallow wide bowl mix teriyaki and Thai chili sauce.  In other similar bowl, mix sesame seeds and ground pecans.  Coat both pieces of fish with sauce on all sides, then do the same with the seed-nut mixture.  Carefully lay in a square glass baking pan that has been generously coated with olive oil. Pour any left over sauce and nut-seeds over all.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until fish is done.  (I prefer mine slightly opaque and moist in the middle.)  I also like to broil the fish (watching carefully) for just few seconds to give the topping additional thickness and crunch.

Avocado Goddess Salad

Ingredients:

1 bunch Romaine lettuce, chopped

1 avocado, peeled and cut into thirds

1/2 c. Ranch dressing, any kind you like

1 T. fresh lime juice

1 t. pepper

Directions:

Put about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of chopped Romaine into each of two large salad bowls.  (I use big wide pasta bowls.)

Take 2/3 of avocado and cut into slices, arranging evenly on top of the two salads.

Mash the other 1/3 avocado in a small bowl.  Add Ranch dressing, lime juice and pepper to this and stir.

Avocado Goddess Dressing

Using a wide spatula, carefully lay one piece of the cooked salmon on top of each salad. Drizzle “Avocado Goddess” dressing over all.

Vegan Options: You could easily make sesame-pecan tofu with slices of pressed tofu marinated in the teriyaki Thai Chili sauce mixture instead of fish and simply substitute vegan ranch dressing to make the Avocado Goddess dressing. This is a great dish for serving both vegans and non-vegans since it wouldn’t take much extra work at all to make both versions.

Chicken Option:  You can use this same technique with chicken tenders if you prefer.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Sesame-Pecan Salmon with “Avocado Goddess” Salad
The URL: https://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/03/30/sesame-pecan-salmon-with-avocado-goddess-salad
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