Smoked Salmon Alfredo

Smoked Salmon Alfredo

This week I had a taste for lox and all of the typical accompaniments – tomatoes, cream cheese, onions, etc.  But instead of making a breakfast spread, I turned it into a Smoked Salmon Alfredo. 

Smoked Salmon Alfredo

The cream cheese was blended into a smooth sauce for spaghetti, which served as the base for my other mix-ins.  The star of the entree is the smoked salmon, which is broken into chunks and scattered through the dish. Even my husband (who isn’t super fond of a pasta-seafood combo) loved it. I hope you enjoy this spin on a classic just as much!

smoked salmon alfredo


Smoked Salmon Alfredo

8 ounces cream cheese
4 ounce half and half
1 lb spaghetti
8 ounces baby tomatoes
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup diced green onions
½ cup diced red onion
6 ounces smoked salmon, broken into chunks

 

In a small sauce pan, place the cream cheese and half and half and simmer over medium heat until the cream cheese is melt; stirring frequently.  While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to package directions. During the last minute of pasta cooking, add the tomatoes to the water with the pasta.  Drain the pasta and tomatoes and add to a large bowl.  Stir the salt and pepper in to the cream sauce, and pour the sauce over the pasta and stir to coat.  Add the green onions, red onions, and smoked salmon to the pasta, stir to evenly mix and serve.

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Apricot Ginger Salmon

Apricot Ginger Salmon with Poblano Cauliflower Puree, and Wilted Watercress

I couldn’t wait for The Saucy Mama blogger challenge to open this year.  I absolutely fell in love with the Saucy Mama products when I entered my Baked Tarragon Lemon Sea Scallops in last year’s contest and I must admit I trolled their website the weeks leading up to this year’s contest to make sure I didn’t miss it.  The products I chose to experiment with in the kitchen were:

  • Saucy Mama Poblano Ranch Dressing
  • Saucy Mama White Balsamic & Honey Dressing
  • Saucy Mama Parmesan Marinade
  • Smoky Garlic Mustard
  • Champagne and Honey Mustard
  • Apricot Ginger Mustard

 Saucy Mama

Once I tasted the Apricot Ginger Mustard I just knew I had to build a recipe around it.  The sweetness of the apricot and zing of the ginger are perfectly balanced, which I thought would make an excellent topper for salmon. I complimented the Apricot Ginger Mustard with a bit of Saigon cinnamon and I divided the cooking time of the salmon between searing for a textured crust and baking for even tenderness.

Apricot-Ginger Salmon

Even though the Apricot Ginger Salmon is the main attraction, I utilized two other Saucy Mama products in the equally as tasty accompaniments. A cauliflower puree with the consistency of mashed potatoes earns its flavor from the Poblano Ranch Dressing, and the watercress that has been wilted to tame its spiciness (and pack in more servings per plate) is tossed with a bit of White Balsamic & Honey Dressing.

Apricot-Ginger Salmon

The plated dish, which was garnished with a dusting of kumquats, blackberries, and pistachios, made my husband utter an audible “wow”, which is always a welcome compliment to any cooking contester.  Even better, he said he felt like he had dined in a fancy restaurant – I just hope the judges agree with his review!

Apricot-Ginger Salmon


Apricot Ginger Salmon with Poblano Cauliflower Puree, and Wilted Watercress

2 tablespoons crushed pistachio meat
4 blackberries, diced (~ 2 tablespoons)
2 kumquats, diced (~2 tablespoons)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
2, 6-7 ounce boneless, skinless salmon filets
8 ounces frozen cauliflower
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons Saucy Mama Poblano Ranch Dressing
2 tablespoons Saucy Mama Apricot Ginger Mustard
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces fresh watercress leaves
2 tablespoons Saucy Mama White Balsamic & Honey dressing

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

In a small bowl, stir together the pistachios, blackberries, and kumquats; set aside.

In a separate small bowl, stir together the salt, pepper, and Saigon cinnamon; set aside.

Place the cauliflower and water in a microwave safe bowl with a lid and microwave for 6-8 minutes, or until cooked throughout.  Drain the cauliflower than add to a food processor. Process the cauliflower until rice sized chunks are formed, pour in the Poblano Ranch dressing and then process again until smooth; keep warm.

Place a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the salmon filets dry, then sprinkle the salt mixture evenly over the top side of both filets, spreading with your fingers to cover the entire top evenly. Once the cast iron skillet is hot, place the salmon filets in the pan, salted side down, and sear for 3 minutes. Turn off the stove, flip the filets over, top each filet with 1 tablespoon of the apricot-ginger mustard, spreading evenly over the entire surface, then transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 6 minutes.

While the salmon is baking, melt the butter in a large saute pan.  Add the watercress and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until watercress is just wilted.  Add the Saucy Mama white balsamic & honey dressing and stir to coat.

To plate, divide the watercress between two plates, top with even amounts of the pureed cauliflower, then place one salmon filet over each pile of pureed cauliflower.  Evenly sprinkle the kumquat relish over both filets and serve immediately.

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Cedar Plank Salmon with Spinach Chimichurri

If you haven’t done so already this year, why not fire up the grill to celebrate the start of summer? Making an easy and delicious cedar plank salmon with spinach chimichurri is just the way to kick-off days filled with warmth and sunshine.

Cooking fish on a wood plank is a foolproof, yet impressive way to prepare a meal. You get a wonderful, smoky flavor without the worry of your meal falling through the grate and it saves on mess and extra heat in the kitchen. Triple win!

Simply soak the cedar wood plank in water for 1 to 2 hours, then pre-heat the grill to medium heat (~350 F).

Lightly coat the deboned and deskinned fish with a bit of olive oil and place on the soaked plank. Then, set the plank directly on the grill. I prefer to use direct grilling since it produces the right amount of smolder to flavor your fish. By pre-soaking the plank, you shouldn’t have any issues with spontaneous flames, but keep a spray bottle of water handy just in case.

cedarPlankSalmon1

Close the lid of the grill and let cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through.

In the meantime, prepare the chimichurri sauce.

Chimichurri is an Argentinean green sauce, typically consisting of parsley and garlic plus some spices, that is served with grilled meat. For this recipe, I decided to make spinach the main ingredient in my chimichurri, with pimentos, lemon zest, garlic, and parsley to round out the flavors.

chimichurriBefore

All the sauce ingredients get added to a food processor and blended until smooth – done!

spinachChimichurri

Once the salmon is cooked, remove from the plank and plate, topping with a generous amount of the chimichurri and serving with rice to soak up any of the extra sauce.

SalmonSpinachChimichurri

You will barely be able to keep yourself from licking the plate clean.

salmonGone


Cedar Plank Salmon with Spinach Chimichurri

(2) – 6oz salmon fillet
1 cedar plank, soaked for at least 2 hrs

2 cups fresh baby spinach
½ cup fresh curly parsley
½ cup chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon diced pimentos
2 cloves of garlic
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Place the cedar plank in a large bowl of water and let soak for 1-2 hours.

Puree all of the spinach, parsley, onion, pimento, garlic, oil and vinegar in a food processor until a smooth sauce is formed; transfer to a small bowl and stir in salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve; at least two hours.

Once plank is well soaked, preheat a grill to medium heat. Lightly brush the salmon with olive oil, then place the salmon on the pre-soaked plank and place plank on grill. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until salmon is just cooked through.

Remove salmon from grill, transfer to plate and drizzle with a generous amount of chimichurri.

You should have plenty of extra chimichurri sauce – it is actually enough for about two more fillet, but I like to pour the extra sauce over my rice!

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