Thursday, October 29, 2009
Perfect pairing: salmon & potatoes
Salmon is a fantastic source of Omega-3s, and it's also something I happen to love. I am particularly partial to smoked salmon since it satisfies my "salt tooth" and doesn't require any preparation, except to cut open the package. Another favorite of mine is canned salmon. Like smoked salmon, it's convenient, and it is also affordable and typically wild caught (If you want to read up on wild caught salmon vs. farm raised, I found an informative post here)
One of my fondest salmon memories is of an appetizer I had at Spago (a Wolfgang Puck restaurant) at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. My husband and I were enjoying a romantic dinner, and we ordered a salmon appetizer to start. I don't remember every detail about the dish, but I remember it was composed of a small, crispy potato pancake topped with a slice of lox and a dollop of a sour cream-based sauce.
I thought about that dish long after I'd eaten it. What was so appealing about it was the blend of those three different, but complementary flavors and textures - the crispiness, saltiness and slight greasiness of the fried potato, that distinct smoked salmon flavor & smoothness, and the creamy tang of the sour cream.
Feeling adventurous one night, I tried to replicate it. It actually came out quite close, although my potato pancake wasn't as crispy as Wolfgang's...probably because I used a skillet instead of a fryer. Since then, I've concocted a few other versions of the salmon and potato theme.
Here are some of my favorites:
Chop some lox and put it in a bowl. Add some chopped green onion, some capers, and a few squirts of lemon juice. Put a spoonful of the mixture on top of a sturdy, decent sized potato chip (I like Ruffles) and top with a small dollop of sour cream.
Fry up some shredded potatoes in a skillet (I like the convenience of the bagged frozen hashbrowns, but you can also shred Russet potatoes). Once they're browned and slightly cooled, put them in a bowl and mix in some drained canned salmon and possibly some chopped onions and/or spinach (I buy the frozen chopped spinach, thaw in the microwave, and squeeze out as much water as I can).
Add as many beaten eggs as you'd like, and some salt and pepper. Pour the concoction into a skillet and cook into an omelet. Or, you can make scrambled eggs and then add the mixture at the end and you'll have a salmon, potato, and spinach egg hash. The key is having the potatoes IN the egg mixture instead of on the side - it's delicious!
Use the same ingredients in the post above, but add just enough egg to hold the ingredients together. Form into patties and cook in a skillet. This has become a favorite at our house - I love that it's an "all in one" healthy meal that contains a vegetable, carb, and protein. These also freeze pretty well if you want to make a big batch.