Salmon has become sort of the steak of fish over the past ten years in the U.S. I have no data with which to prove that statement, but offer it up only from my own cooking, teaching, and eating experience. And how that happened is only your good guess, but I’d say it didn’t happen by itself.
Easy Baked Salmon–Irish Style (yourirish.com)
Health Benefits of Salmon (Livestrong.com)
Here at More Time at the Table, I’m pretty embarrassed at how often salmon recipes appear–compared to those for other fish. It’s just so…available. So yummy. And we are supposed to eat it often because besides the heart health Omega 3 fatty acids and titanic amounts of protein…
Salmon provides a good source of some essential vitamins you need for a healthy lifestyle. A 3-ounce baked fillet will give you more than 40 percent of your daily intake of vitamin B-12; over 30 percent of niacin; over 25 percent of vitamin B-6 and more than 10 percent of thiamin and pantothenic acid. Vitamin D promotes healthy bones and teeth, and may help decrease your risk of developing multiple sclerosis and certain types of cancer.Livestrong.com
I’ll admit I live in Colorado and, if you’ve been here, you know how little water there is in the state. Some years the few lakes we have are dry. As in D-R-Y. We fish for trout in the mountains, though, in my experience they’re on the small side and pretty d_ _ _ _ _ bony to eat (turn up the lights in the dining room and pass the bread in case of choking), but there are other fish available in a place or two other than the rivers. There just aren’t many. This isn’t Minnesota, land of 10,000 lakes. So cooks are pressed into buying fish at grocery fish counters. When folks on tv cooking shows talking about “your fishmonger,” I know who they mean, but in Colorado Springs, you’re probably talking those couple guys who yell over the counter at Whole Foods where fish and seafood is often above my pay grade. I’m over at King Soopers (KROGER) and by golly, the fish counter at 19th and Uintah rocks.
So when it’s FRIDAY FISH time at my house, I’m grateful for my local market (as well as COSTCO) and its trusty staff. Yesterday, I had a young woman who sheepishly admitted, “Today’s my first day. I’m so glad to have this job.” She was still stellar. I bought her fish and if you’re needing fish for this Friday — or any day –try today’s recipe!
For a few days, with FRIDAY FISH perking in my head, I kept dreaming about salmon on cabbage. How, why, what…I wasn’t really sure. I had to think about it. Over the years, I’ve cooked a lot of salmon — or other fish — on vegetables. (Scroll down for a couple of recipes similar to this one.) Without question, there’s little simpler than sauteing a big pan of veggies and laying a few fish fillets on top. Add a lid to the pot, pour the wine, and dinner is served. It couldn’t be easier or faster. I first began fixing fish this way in graduate school at the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN) when I had so little time to make dinner that it all had to go in one pan or not get done. Still, it’s now totally in tune with today’s sort of cooking–quick, uncomplicated, tasty, and low-carb.
I chose a rather traditional approach to the cabbage with a nod toward Ireland as this Sunday is St. Pat’s Day…apples, onions, apple cider vinegar, and even threw in caraway and celery seeds for the spices, though you could use thyme or marjoram instead. After the cabbage cooks down just a few minutes, the salmon is laid on top, wine is poured into the pot, the lid goes on, and dinner is just about done. Yep, that’s all in one pan. Make sure you set the table and pour the wine before you begin, because even with chopping the few vegetables, this is a fast meal. If you need carbs, I’d go with buttery mashed potatoes, which you would have to make ahead out of necessity. The horseradish sauce is made of easy pantry ingredients, but a dab of sour cream and a few flakes of crushed red pepper work just as well.
These fillets, with skins, are about 4-ounces each-– a generous portion for this fatty fish. If there are only two of you, go ahead and make the whole panful. Leftovers are good things. Try this:
salmon on caraway cabbage with horseradish sauce
- Horseradish Sauce—recipe below
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- Small head cabbage, trimmed and cored, shredded into ¼-inch pieces Approx. 6 cups
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1 apple cored and diced (unpeeled)
- Kosher salt,fresh ground pepper, and crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 salmon fillets, about 4-ounces each
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup dry white wine – can sub water
- Minced red onion and capers–garnishes
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees and place plates or bowls inside to warm.
- Make horseradish sauce and set aside.
- In a large, deep non-stick skillet or 5-quart sauté pan, melt the butter over medium flame and tip in the cabbage, onion, and apple. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Stir, cooking, 5-8 minutes or until softened. Stir in the apple cider vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Lay salmon fillets evenly on top of the cabbage mixture and drizzle each piece of fish lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper. Pour wine over all. Cover and cook about 6 minutes or until salmon is just firm, but tender and juicy at the center. With a large spatula, divide the cabbage mixture and fillets between four warm plates. Spoon on a tablespoon or two of reserved horseradish sauce onto each piece of fish and top with garnishes.
- HORSERADISH SAUCE: In a small bowl, mix together ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard, 2 teaspoons horseradish, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.
TIP: Don’t overcook salmon. That’s all she wrote.
WINE: Salmon usually calls for a bright medium-bodied red wine, but I like my own adage, “Pair the prep, not the protein.” Here, I will go with a northwest Riesling for every day and a top-drawer German halbtrocken (half-dry) Riesling for date night as that slick edge of sweetness will compliment the apple cider vinegar rather than get into fisticuffs with it.
If you liked this, you might also like…
Want traditional Irish fare for the weekend?
No time to get the book? Check out Ballymaloe’s cookery school website for authentic Irish recipes for St. Patrick’s Day. Skip the corned beef and cabbage this year!
Even if you’re not fasting from meat, salmon is so good for you. Buy wild salmon whenever you can and enjoy cooking fish; there’s no need to be afraid. I hope you’ll do it!