CREAMY GARLIC AND FENNEL SALMON
**NOTE: Truthfully, I wrote this post before all of the crazy events that have taken place over the past few of weeks. Sure, coronavirus was a concern then, but it hadn't kicked into full gear. I thought about rewriting this to be more appropriate to the time, but decided it best to keep it as is. After all, there was an authenticity to it when it was originally written and why would I want to take that away from it? In all seriousness, I hope this recipe serves you all well while we are quarantining. Stay safe, eat good food, and enjoy.**
When it comes to meat, fish and seafood tend to be my favorite (sorry, pork, you are close but not quite #1). Yet every winter my fish consumption drops as I tend to crave heavier, filling meals. But who is to say I can't enjoy a hearty fish dish? Why does my brain automatically pass it over as if it won't be satisfying?
I made this dish because I wanted to prove to myself that salmon can be just as satisfying in February as it is in July. With the addition of dark leafy greens and the rich silkiness of butter and sour cream combined, I'd say I damn well succeeded.
I don't know why winter 2020 has been so particularly hectic for me, but it has been. Days off are hardly that as they've been full of plans and must-do's. Recently, I finally found myself with a day to myself (well, with plans that didn't start until the evening is more like it). And while I very easily could have just lounged and watched Netflix in bed all day, I decided instead to do what I find most relaxing and rewarding - cook.
This salmon comes together pretty fast. It made for a great filling lunch on a day that I knew there wouldn't be much opportunity for a hefty dinner. So if you are in need of: a) a quick, filling meal b) a recipe to convince you that fish/seafood is meant for cold months or c) some combination of the two - look no further. I assure you this rich and tangy salmon and greens will check all of your boxes.
Creamy Garlic and Fennel Salmon
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
You Will Need:
2) Pat salmon dry, sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
3) In a large pan, add oil and 1 TBS butter. Place on medium high heat and let the pan get hot. (To test if the pan is hot enough, dip a corner of one of the fillets into the pan. If it sizzles, it's ready.) Sear the salmon, skin side down first, until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. (If the salmon sticks to the pan this simply means it isn't ready to flip yet! Be patient, it'll crisp up and loosen off the pan.) Flip and repeat on the other side.
4) Remove salmon from pan and bake for 5 minutes (NO LONGER OR YOU RISK OVERCOOKING). Remove from oven and set aside.
5) Meanwhile, return pan to heat on medium, adding onion and garlic. Sweat for 2 minutes. Add 1 TBS butter to the pan and scrape up any brown bits (brown bits = flavor). 6) Add fennel and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add greens and final 1 TBS butter, 2 TBS water, and 1/4 tsp salt. Scrape any brown bits up again and cook for 5 minutes.
7) Add 2 cups water, sour cream, ground mustard, paprika, final 1/4 tsp salt, and pepper. Stirring all together and letting it combine for 1 minute. Taste and add more salt if desired. Cook an additional 2 minutes on low heat. Remove from heat and nestle salmon in the greens, spooning mixture over top. Serve warm, garnishing with fennel fronds if you so wish. Goes great with rice or quinoa on the side. Enjoy!
Ali is a Brooklyn based blogger and Certified Health Coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, providing you with recipes to inspire you to cook more at home! She is a firm believer in knowing that eating healthy can be made easy and inexpensive if you simply know how to cook and understands that for the average person there needs to be balance between "healthy" and "unhealthy". Whether you are looking for easy weeknight recipes, delicious snacks, or want to try something new, Ali's recipes are easy to follow at all skill levels! For more info about Ali and her offerings, check out the About page.