Starting today, fish and shellfish get top billing in home kitchens and on local menus as we embark on 40 days of beautiful, seafood-centric self-denial. It’s a great excuse to get out of your cooking rut with all those fresh possibilities from the Gulf and elsewhere.
This week, we venture outside local waters for a taste of salmon, one of the most reliable fish around. I like it because it’s big and meaty, cooks easily and can take all sorts of different flavor profiles. Moreover, it’s easy to cook. Grill it, sauté it or wrap it in parchment paper and steam it in the oven. It provides good nutrients and has a lush, buttery taste. While pricey, it’s less expensive than fresh tuna, and you can often find it on sale.
I love using fresh, cooked salmon as an appetizer. Blend the tender flesh with a little sour cream, vinegar, fresh herbs and fresh lemon juice. Serve on toast points, good crackers or slices of fresh, crisp cucumbers. Finish it with dill, salmon’s favorite herb, and enjoy!
Salmon and Cucumber Canapés
Servings: Makes 2 dozen
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 6-ounce fresh salmon fillet
¼ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
Juice of half a fresh lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 whole firm cucumbers, peeled and cut into discs or squares
Fresh dill for garnish
In a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Place the salmon fillet in the skillet skin-side down and cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn the fillet over and cook for 3-4 minutes more. Test for doneness. The salmon should be just cooked through. Remove the salmon from the pan. When cool enough to handle, gently flake the fish into a medium bowl. Add the sour cream, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper and blend until combined. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Add a scoop of the salmon mixture to the top of each cucumber slice. Top with fresh dill.
Maggie Heyn Richardson is a regular 225 contributor and the creator of “Spatula Diaries.” Reach her at hungryforlouisiana.com.