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!