Tuesday, April 28, 2009

salmon with ginger lime butter

As we've discussed on here previously, we're trying, for various reasons, to eat less meat. However, the millions of years of human evolution that made us omnivores are not so easily undone, and sometimes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. We're trying to get more of our animal protein from fish. We love fish, but rarely have it at home because of the freshness factor... I don't like buying fish if we aren't going to eat it that day.

Nature's Bin carries some fresh-frozen fish that helps a bit with that problem. I know, frozen isn't ideal, but we don't plan out our meals to the point that buying fresh makes sense. The frozen usually comes out just fine, if thawed properly... I prefer running the package under cold water. Seafood tends to thaw more quickly than poultry or meat.

At the Bin, tilapia, tuna, catfish, and swordfish are usually available. This time we chose salmon. I love salmon. It's so meaty, and versatile... you can cook it any way you can imagine, with limitless possibilities of glazes, sauces, and sides. Besides being delicious and healthful, it's just a lot of fun to cook with.

Everyone knows about overfishing, the dangers of mercury and other toxins, and non-ecofriendly fishing practices. If it's something that bothers you, check out http://www.seachoice.org/. It's a good resource, and you can download a little guide to choosing seafood; I carry it in my wallet. It tells you, for example, that farmed clams are best, dredged clams are worst. The best choice for salmon is wild-caught Pacific, as opposed to farmed Atlantic.

Salmon with Ginger Lime Butter
1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon minced seeded chilli pepper
1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (or other firm fish)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray
Lime wedges (optional)

Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and chill. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of fish with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add fish to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Place 1 fillet on each of 4 plates, and top each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons butter mixture. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

NOTE: You could use this butter mixture on just about anything. The little we had left over I mixed into some rice. Very tasty.

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