It’s the season of hot sun, dry air, beach hats, sunburns, thirsty throats!
It’s the season of long days and vacations!
It’s the season of BBQ and beers
It’s the season to meet old friends, have fun over laughter and make new memories!
It’s also the season when you can get your hands on wild salmons!
My theme for foodbuzz 24×24 June edition is to comeup with a party that had seasonal ingredients. So I wrote a proposal creating a meal with salmon,salmon and more salmon. Gladly my proposal got accepted this time and I am inviting you all for this virtual party. Come and join me to see what we made with salmon! Thank you foodbuzz for making it happen. I couldn’t be thrilled more to host this meal as there are so much fun with summer around.
Salmon is high in omega 3 fatty acids, high in protein, and incredible in flavor. I love the lush, smooth flavor and texture of salmon, especially the summer salmon that comes from Alaska. I have been a fan of salmon, which are in season for only a few short months, May – September. This means that it is a sustainable fish, and that we must enjoy its freshness this summer. There are views about mercury and pesticide contamination in salmon habitats but wild caught Alaskan salmon falls under low-risk category. Fresh salmon from Alaska is a sustainable fish, and when we buy it fresh, it supports local fisherman. I am a huge believer in supporting small farmers fishermen and in eating sustainable seafood.
There are three factors which define that:
1. The inherent vulnerability of the fish,
2. The effects of fishing on the overall habitat,
3. Status of wild stocks
Everybody knows about the amazing omega-3 benefits of salmon, but there are so many other good things that have gone unnoticed. One such factor is the high amount of protein and amino acid in salmon. Several recent studies have found that salmon contains small bio active protein molecules (called bio active peptides) that may provide special support for joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness, and control of inflammation in the digestive tract. Since we love salmon so much that I couldn’t resist accepting the samples from Copper River salmon team. You can read more about my experience and what I have cooking with wild caught fresh salmons from Alaska here.
My most preferred way to cook salmon would be by using methods that will keep it moist and tender. Salmon can be easily overcooked and become dry, so be sure to watch your cooking times. I generally cook a flavorful sauce and bake the salmon with it until tender and flaky. Even broiling is a good option. Eating salmon at the right season is a pleasure to the taste buds. Creating an entire meal with salmon as the key ingredient is the unique part of this meal.
Benefits of eating salmon:
1. Good for the heart and eyes
2. Improves mood and cognition
3. Protects bones, cartilage and joints
4. Decreased cancer risk
For June’s foodbuzz 24×24, I had my bunch of lovely friends for dinner. I created an Indian inspired menu keeping everyone’s likes and dislikes in mind. I added a pasta-salmon salad because that’s my son’s favorite finger food. Just cook, mix, buckle him up in his high chair and place the pasta in his tiny plate. He will be busy for next one hour and I can hang out with my friends peacefully. We paired the dinner with some exotic white wine we bought from our trip to Napa recently.
I decided to make the base sauces the previous night and baked them with salmon fillets around the time the guests start arriving. For starters, we had salmon cakes. Since one of non-Indian friend insisted on teaching her the recipe. I made a set up like I do it for my cooking class. I displayed the spices on my kitchen island and we worked together to make the salmon mixture for the cakes. She offered to shape and cook the salmon cakes. I served it over my homemade apricot chutney. Oh! They were so delicious. The savory, meaty salmon paired beautifully with the sweet-spicy chutney.
I cooked lots of white rice as that would be three different sauces to taste – my mint-cilantro or tangy tamarind or Malabar curry sauce. Dinner was set like a buffet where all the foods were placed and everyone walked around, helped themselves and ate where casual conversations and laughter filled the air. We wrapped the meal with more wine and for dessert I served pecan ice cream over fresh fruits. My friend was kind enough to bring a chocolate cake which my son will be relishing over the next few days.
Menu (Indian cuisine)
1. Salmon cakes with garam masala served with my homemade apricot-ginger chutney
2. Salmon baked with mint-cilantro sauce
3. Spinach pasta with cold salmon salad
4. White rice with salmon baked with Malabar curry sauce (recipe below)
5. Salmon baked with savory tamarind sauce
6. Salmon baked with dill-sour cream sauce
7. Summer fruits salad with ice cream
SALMON BAKED WITH MALABAR FISH CURRY SAUCE
Source: Suma aunty
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 10 curry leaves
- 1 small onions / shallots – thinly sliced ( I used red onion)
- 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic paste
- 2 green chillies – minced
- 2 small red tomatoes – chopped
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 4 cups water
- 2 tablespoon tamarind pulp
- 3 tablespoon unsweetened dessicated coconut – ground to a smooth paste
- 1/4 cup thick coconut milk
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon edible coconut oil (+ more if needed) – I added little more before serving.
- 4 salmon fillets – clean and pat dry, set aside.
- Heat oil in a large cooking pan. After couple of minutes, once the oil is hot, add the curry leaves and let it flavor the oil.
- Add the onions and little salt. Saute to mix and cook covered for 8 minutes.
- Now add ginger, garlic and green chillies paste and saute till the raw smell disappears, about 2-3 minutes. Throw in the tomatoes and add the turmeric, chili and coriander powder. Saute for 2 minutes.
- Pour enough water to cover the onion-tomato mixture. Cook covered for 20 minutes until the onions soften.
- Then add the tamarind pulp, coconut paste and cook for further 15 minutes. Finally add the coconut milk and switch off the flame. Cover and let the heat cook the coconut milk.
- Drizzle coconut oil on top and season for salt.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Place the salmon fillet over a aluminum foil. Spoon the Malabar curry sauce on top and warp the foil around the fish to form a rectangular pocket. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes. Remove and serve hot over a bed of steamy rice and pappadom/ fritters.