Dinners

Recipe—Mexican Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa

The 110º day in Sacramento a couple of weeks ago was a brutal reminder that the summer heat is in full swing! During the hot days I avoid using the oven whenever I can. I’d much rather send the hubby outside to operate the grill allowing me to enjoy a lazy evening. This is a quick and easy, flavor packed, and super refreshing salmon recipe, perfect for these warm summer nights. The salmon is seasoned with some of my favorite Mexican spices giving it a nice little oomph and the avocado salsa is cool and refreshing making this a perfectly balanced dish. It is light in calories and carbs, perfect for anyone looking for a great tasting and healthy meal.

FISH INGREDIENTS
2 lbs salmon filets
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper

AVOCADO SALSA INGREDIENTS
3 tbsp olive oil
2 limes
1 tsp salt
1 avocado, peeled, deseeded, and sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, deseeded, deveined, and chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, deseeded, deveined, and chopped
1/4 yellow bell pepper, deseeded, deveined, and chopped
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

STEPS

  • Pat the salmon dry and rub the meat side of the fish with the olive oil.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the salt, coriander, cumin, paprika, onion powder, and pepper.
  • Season the meat side of the filet with seasoning mix and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • While the salmon is chilling make the avocado salsa by whisking together 3 tablespoons of olive oil, juice from 2 limes, and salt in a small bowl
  • Combine the avocado, red onion, peppers, and cilantro in a medium bowl and pour the juice mixture over the salsa and gently stir to combine.
  • Refrigerate avocado salsa until ready to serve.
  • Preheat the grill to 325º.
  • Grill the salmon for about 4–6 minutes per side or until desired doneness.
  • Transfer the salmon to a cutting board and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Place the salmon steaks on plates and top with the avocado salsa.

Recipe adapted from Laylita’s Recipes. 

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Side Dishes

Recipe—Lemon Chive Rice

Sometimes pairing side dishes with entrees can be a daunting task. If you aren’t quite sure what to serve with a main course, consider rice. Rice is incredibly versatile! Just toss in a couple of ingredients that complement the flavors of your main dish and you’ve got it made! I actually made this rice dish the other night to pair with macadamia nut crusted halibut. I love fish with some fresh lemon! This had just the right amount of zest to it so it wasn’t an overpowering flavor. This rice would also go great with some baked or grilled chicken. I find myself cooking with lots of citrus throughout the warmer months of the year. There is just something so refreshing about fresh citrus of any kind. This is definitely a side dish that the whole family will enjoy.

INGREDIENTS
3 tbsp butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 c rice
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp lemon zest, divided
3 c chicken broth
2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
salt and pepper

STEPS

  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and sauté until transparent.
  • Add the rice and the turmeric and stir until all the grains of rice are coated.
  • Stir in half of the lemon peel and all of the chicken broth.
  • Bring to a full boil over medium-high heat.
  • Cover and reduce heat to low.
  • Simmer for 20–25 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let rice sit covered for 8–10 minutes.
  • Fluff rice with a fork.
  • Stir in remaining lemon peel, chives, salt, and pepper.
Dinners

Recipe—Macadamia Nut Crusted Halibut

One of my all time favorite restaurants in Sacramento is Scott’s Seafood. They are known for stunning presentation and of course their out-of-this-world fish dishes. One of my all time favorite meals that they serve is their melt in your mouth macadamia nut crusted halibut. It is incredible! They take an already awesome piece of fish and seem to make it more awesome then you can possibly imagine. Lucky for me (and you I suppose), they have some of their more popular recipes on their website. The other night I decided to attempt to make their popular halibut dish on my own. It did not disappoint, it was awesome! The brown butter gives the dish a salty and nutty flavor and the macadamia nuts themselves give the fish a mild sweetness and great texture. My husband, son, and I chowed down and we were in heaven! If you have a little extra time and money on your hands, and you want to impress, try this decadent recipe. It is an incredible way to enjoy halibut.

Note: This recipe is written to use an oven safe skillet. If you don’t have one, no biggie. Just use whatever large skillet you have and then transfer the fish to a large baking dish and finish off in the oven.

INGREDIENTS
4-6 oz halibut filets, skin removed
1/2 c panko
1 1/2 c macadamia nuts
1/2 lb salted butter
4 tbsp olive oil

STEPS

  • In a large saucepan bring the butter to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until it just starts to turn a golden brown color. Be sure not to burn it!
  • Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • Place the panko and the macadamia nuts on a baking sheet keeping them separated.
  • Toast both the panko and nuts for 3–4 minutes or until just starting to brown.
  • Transfer the toasted panko to a plate or shallow bowl.
  • Using a food processor, or by hand, chop the macadamia nuts.
  • Add half of the chopped nuts to the toasted panko and mix.
  • Place the other half of the chopped nuts in the brown butter and stir.
  • Turn the oven up to 375º.
  • Coat the halibut filets in the panko and nut mixture making sure to cover as much of the fish as possible and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil over medium high-heat in a large oven safe skillet.
  • One by one add the breaded fish.
  • Cook until golden brown on the bottom and then flip to cook the other side.
  • Once both sides have turned a golden brown place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking, about 5–8 minutes depending on the thickness of the filets. When the fish is cooked through it should flake off easily with a fork.
  • When the halibut is cooked, stir the brown butter and nut mixture and then ladle it over the top of the fish.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Scott’s Seafood Grill & Bar.

Dinners

Recipe—Buttery Lemon Dill Salmon

A couple times a year I like to complete an 11-day cleanse. It is just a way to flush out all these impurities and reset my digestive system. The weight loss is a huge perk too (Down 8 lbs! Wahoo!). For some reason during this last round I was craving salmon! And I mean REALLY craving it, like every day! I was daydreaming about a big slab of salmon covered in butter, lemon, and dill. I knew that would be one of the first dinners I would prepare for myself once I was done with the cleanse. This recipe did not disappoint. The fish was super moist and all the flavors and buttery goodness really seeped into the meat. I was shocked when even my 3-year old son devoured a huge chunk of the tasty fish. This recipe for oven baked salmon is ridiculously easy to make and super quick to get on the table. It also makes for a beautiful presentation. This may just be on the menu at my next dinner party.

INGREDIENTS
1 salmon filet (1 1/2–2 lbs)
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 c white wine
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp dried dill
lemon slices (optional)

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 425º.
  • Pat the salmon dry and place it in a greased baking dish.
  • Rub the butter all over the fish.
  • Combine the wine and lemon juice in a small bowl and stir.
  • Pour the liquid over the fish.
  • Sprinkle the salt, lemon pepper, and dill over the fish.
  • If you are using the lemon slices place over the top of the fish.
  • Bake the fish for 20–25 minutes or until the fish flakes off easily with a fork.
Dinners

Recipe—Honey Pecan Crusted Salmon

I remember when I was younger going to a restaurant with my dad and ordering the honey pecan crusted salmon. It was one of those dishes you never forget. It was unlike anything I had ever had before. The pecan crust brings a wonderful texture to the salmon filet, just the right amount of crunch. And that nutty pecan flavor with the sweet honey mustard glaze turns the ordinary salmon filet into something truly wonderful. While this dish may look more complex it actually is a really easy way to prepare salmon. Between prep and baking you are looking at no more than 30 minutes. Thirty minutes for a spectacular dinner, you can’t beat that! I served this with a really simple salad of butter leaf lettuce and red onions and some honey mustard dressing. It was really light and the simple salad was a perfect complement to the savory fish. Even if your family members aren’t big fish fans I’m sure they will love this.

INGREDIENTS
2 salmon filets
salt and pepper
paprika
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c pecans, finely chopped
1/4 c fresh parsley chopped

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 400º.
  • Rinse off your fish filets and pat dry.
  • Season your filets with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  • Place skin side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Whisk together the mustard, honey, butter, and Worcestershire.
  • In a small bowl combine the pecans and parsley.
  • Spoon a tablespoon worth of the sauce in with the nuts and stir to combine.
  • Brush the remaining sauce onto the salmon filets.
  • Press the sticky pecan mixture to the top of your salmon filets.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 15–18 minutes or until the thickest part of the fish flakes off when tested with a fork.
Dinners

Recipe—Shrimp Scampi

I am a girl that loves her seafood. How can you be from California and not love fresh fish? Shrimp scampi is one of my favorite ways to eat these delicious little crustaceans. Not only does it taste delicious, but it also has a very elegant appeal to it. If you are a garlic and butter lover then this is right up your alley. I have been making this for years and I was shocked when I made this last week and even my toddler kept asking for more, and more, and more. The little guy just couldn’t get enough. I think it is safe to say he likes shrimp scampi and thankfully doesn’t have a shellfish allergy. Phew! Shrimp scampi is wonderful served over pasta and is just as good when eaten with a green salad and some crusty bread to soak up all the garlicky buttery goodness. This recipe really is quick and easy. Most of your time will be spent cleaning and peeling your shrimp so to help expedite the process I recommend purchasing shrimp that are already cleaned and out of the shell. You might pay a little more, but in my mind it is so worth it.

Note: Cooking time may vary based on the size of the shrimp you use. If serving with pasta I recommend linguine.

INGREDIENTS
1 lb large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/4 c white wine
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 c butter
3 tbsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp paprika
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp parsley
grated parmesan cheese

STEPS

  • In a large skillet over medium heat combine wine, olive oil, butter, and garlic. Bring just to a boil.
  • Allow sauce to simmer for 3–4 minutes to reduce.
  • Add in paprika, salt, and shrimp.
  • Cook for 6–7 minutes or until shrimp turns pink. Be sure not to overcook.
  • Mix in the chopped parsley and remove from heat.
  • If serving over pasta pour a good amount of the sauce into your pot of cooked, drained pasta and toss to coat.
  • Spoon the shrimp over pasta or onto a serving dish, top with more sauce, and finish off with a liberal amount of parmesan cheese.