For the Love of Salmon

Okay, so I bought a chest freezer about two years ago. My thought was that I could fulfill my crunchy-granola desires for grass-fed beef, pastured poultry, wild-caught fish, etc by buying in bulk and still give my pocketbook a bit of a break.

Little did I know, I bought a magic freezer. Yes, that’s right, magic. Almost two years later and the thing is still as full as when I first stocked it. I’m not complaining, mind you. I love not having to buy all things protein. But just how does this happen? I swear, I can take anything out and the next time I open it, it’s still just as full. I’m not sure whether to be frightened or extremely thankful…

The one downside to the magic freezer (apart from wondering if the food I’m feeding my family is really coming from some supernatural underlord of the deep-freeze) is that I recently felt the need to go through it to see how the amazing masses of food were holding up. Despite my best intentioned, chamber-vac’ed efforts, it turns out there were some things thinking about freezer burn. So I unloaded everything on the garage floor (dear gracious – how many pounds of ground beef DID that cow make???) and restocked putting what needed to be used first on the top. And there, my friends, is the beginning of our journey to deliciousness…

Japanese Salmon over Linguine.

But not just any salmon. I’m talking take the two-year-old-beginning-to-show-its-age-in-ice-crystals-salmon and turn it into the most umami bundle of joy your face has ever seen. I’m talking stand-over-your-counter-and-dangle-the-noodles-in-your-gaping-maw-while-feverishly-avoiding-the-glances-of-your-kids-’cause-you’d-never-led-them-do-it kinda recipe.

Yes, my friends, this is what your mouth has been waiting for.

But there’s more! First, it’s salmon, which means you can get all righteous with your “I ate my omega-3’s” self. Second, serve it with whole grain linguine and you can feel good about getting those whole grains in there (despite the kids’ complaints that it’s not the linguine GRANDMA serves.) But really, let’s be serious – what we care about is the time factor. We work. We need to sleep. Somewhere in between, food needs to happen. That is where the beauty of this recipe shines though – five minutes to prep, ten minutes to cook. Fifteen minutes to all-out food-hero-mama deliciousness.

I’m good with that.

Japanese Salmon Over Linguine (adapted from Foodie With Family)

1/3 cup olive oil
4 skin-on salmon fillets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 cloves of garlic, mashed to a paste
2-inch piece of ginger, mashed to a paste
1/2 bunch green onions (scallions)
1/4 cup light shoyu (can use regular soy sauce or tamari)
1/4 cup sake
1/2 pound linguine, cooked according to package instructions and drained

Instructions

In a 4-cup measuring cup, combine the shoyu and sake. Set aside. Trim the hairy ends from the green onions and slice the green onions quite thinly on an angle. Add the green onions to shoyu and sake and use a spoon to toss them, making sure all of the onions are evenly wet.

Pour the olive oil into a 12-inch high-sided skillet with a tight fitting lid. Blot the salmon fillets with a paper towel and then lay the fillets skin side up in the olive oil. Flip the fillets skin side down divide the garlic and ginger evenly among the fillets and rub them gently. Spoon about half of the shoyu/sake/onion mixture over the fillets, place the lid on the pan and turn the heat on to medium under the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the fillets are cooked most of the way up the sides. Gently flip them, add the remaining shoyu/sake/onion mixture, replace the lid and continue to cook for another couple of minutes: just until the salmon is opaque all the way through.

Remove the pan from the heat and pull the skin off of the fillets. It should come away quite easily. Discard the skin. Break the salmon up into large pieces and arrange them over the cooked linguine in a serving bowl. Pour the pan juices over the top of the salmon. Serve hot alongside a romaine or cabbage salad dressed with a ginger-miso dressing. Or serve room temperature. Or cold. Or just eat it all the first night because decisions are hard.

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