Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tuesday Food Corner: Salmon

This week's spotlight food is salmon, a food that tastes fantastic AND packs a huge nutritional punch. Salmon is a recent addition to my healthy kitchen. I had ordered salmon in restaurants before, but I had never actually cooked it at home until a couple of weeks ago. We enjoyed the delicate flavor so much that I decided to put salmon into regular dinner rotation in the kitchen at Casa Garcia!

Salmon is as nutritious as it is tasty!! A six-ounce serving contains 242 calories, 10 grams of fat, and a whopping 34 grams of lean protein. Yes...that's more fat than most seafood, but the fat in salmon is unsaturated and heart-healthy. Salmon is also high in Vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids. According to the Mayo Clinic, "There is evidence from multiple studies supporting intake of recommended amounts of [Omega-3s]...lowers triglycerides, reduces the risk of...heart attack, dangerous abnormal heart rhythms, and strokes...slows the buildup of..."hardening of the arteries", and lowers blood pressure slightly." That's a lot of health benefits for something that tastes so good!! 

A lot of people are afraid that salmon will taste "fishy," but I haven't found that to be the case. It stands up well to seasoning and breaks into large flakes with a fork. Last Friday, I tried a KILLER glazed salmon from Cooking Light. This is seriously the BEST recipe that I've tried in recent memory. It has a bit of heat from the Cajun spice blend, and the marinade makes a delicious glaze as the salmon cooks. The glaze is tangy and sweet, and it compliments the spice blend very well. I served this salmon with lowfat cheese grits and a strawberry/feta/field green salad. So...go buy some salmon and give this recipe a try!! My personal modifications to the recipe are noted below.

Bourbon-Glazed Salmon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon (I used Wild Turkey)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, grated with a microplane
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
1/2 tbs. olive oil (I added)
Chef Paul Prudhomme Seafood Magic (I added)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (I omitted)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted (I omitted)
(1) Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large Ziploc bag. Add fish to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator, turning occasionally. I marinated the fish for about 6 hours, but the recipe says 1.5 hours is sufficient.

(2) Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish liberally with Seafood Magic on one side. Add fish and marinade to pan, seasoned side down. While fish is cooking on the first side, sprinkle more Seafood Magic on the side that's facing up. Cook fish 4-5 minutes per side, or until the fillets flake easily when tested with a fork. 

(3) Place 1 fillet on each of 4 plates. Drizzle each serving with about 2 teaspoons remaining sauce in pan. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon green onions and 3/4 teaspoon sesame seeds (if using).

CALORIES 353 (36% from fat); FAT 14.1g (sat 3.2g,mono 6g,poly 3.6g); IRON 4.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 87mg; CALCIUM 41mg; CARBOHYDRATE 13g; SODIUM 281mg; PROTEIN 37.4g; FIBER 0.3g 
Weight Watchers Points = 7 

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