A Spring Salmon Sensation

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Spring Daffodils

“Tweet tweet!” The voice of a robin pierces the mild air. The snow melts to reveal muddy, thawed earth just beginning to sprout grass. Daffodils have sprung from the soil and are budding, soon to burst into their vibrant yellow. Finally, it is spring! At Atlantic Seafood, spring means that one certain type of fish will be flying out of the cases – salmon.   The various types of super – nutritious and tasty salmon1 can star in a vast assortment of spring meals3.

Best Fresh Salmon in CT - Atlantic Seafood Market

flesh of various types of salmon

Any given salmon is first categorized by the ocean to which it is native. While the Atlantic Ocean is home to one species of migratory salmon, the Pacific Ocean boasts five. These five types of Pacific salmon include chum, coho (silver), pink, chinook (king) and sockeye (red) – sockeye being the smallest and chinook being the largest. Pink salmon, known to have a lower proportion of fat than most salmon types, is usually canned. The fat content of silver salmon is moderate, while sockeye and chinook are the highest in fat and popular in cooking. The rich flesh of salmon can be orange or red but usually is pink1.

Not only is salmon appealing to the taste buds –  it’s also is very healthy. This is doubtlessly another reason behind its popularity. Not only is the fish known to be good for you, but new benefits of eating salmon are still surfacing! Salmon is a fantastic source of minerals, proteins, and vitamins. Probably the most important nutrient that it provides, however, is the omega – 3 fatty acid. We’ve talked in greater detail about how wonderful omega – 3 fatty acids are before (see benefits of omega – 3 fatty acids ), but here’s a quick refresher:1

 

Omega 3 Fatty Acids in Seafood

Oily fish like salmon provide crucial omega – 3 fatty acids – which the body cannot form on its own.

 

Omega –  3 fatty acids are known to be beneficial to the joints, functioning of the brain, the heart, and “general wellbeing (Lewin)”. Eskimos living in Arctic Greenland eat marine animals as a large portion of their diet (therefore likely consuming omega – 3 fatty acids all the time), and have been found to have a very low occurrence of heart disease.  As essential fatty acids, however, omega- 3 fatty acids are not created by the human body. The nutrient therefore must be taken in through what we eat, underlining the importance of eating fish like salmon. The healthiest omega – 3 fatty acids found in fish considered oily (such as salmon) are docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentanoic acid (EPA)1.

Today we are going to walk you through a recipe from Allrecipes.com that partners two spring favorites – salmon and asparagus2. I went to Atlantic Seafood a few days ago to pick up the salmon, and the woman behind the counter enthusiastically helped me to find the type of salmon in the case that was best for this recipe. I would buy and use organic Norwegian Atlantic salmon.

 

Salmon and Asparagus with Penne and Light Cream Sauce2

 

Ingredients

½ cup of penne pasta (can use more if preferred), raw

1 tsp. of olive oilBest CT Salmon Recipes

¼ cup of olive oil

½ lb. fillet of salmon

¼ tsp. of salt

¼ tsp. of white pepper

¼ tsp.  of dill, dried

At least ½ cup of 1” cut segments of asparagus (fresh)

Lemon, fresh, 2 slices

2 cloves of minced garlic, more or less if preferred

At least ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese, grated fresh

Heavy cream, 1 ½ cups

2 pinches of salt, or more if preferred (these 2 pinches of salt can be omitted entirely)2

 

Directions

 

Cooking the Penne

 

Add a pinch of salt to a pot of water. Boil the water, and once water is fully boiling add a teaspoon of olive oil. Then stir in penne. Allow the water to reach a full boil again. Cook the penne in this way for approximately 11 minutes. You will want the penne to be firm when sampled, and yet entirely cooked through. When penne is cooked, drain out the water thoroughly. The best way to do this is using a colander placed in a sink2.

 

Cooking the Salmon, Asparagus, Garlic, and Lemon

 

Starting the Salmon Preparation

Dill, white pepper, salt, and olive oil being heated in the skillet.

 

On medium – low, cook the dill, ¼ teaspoon salt, white pepper, and ¼ cup olive oil within a skillet (for this two – serving recipe I found medium to be the best skillet size). Do this until the oil begins to glisten. Next, carefully add the salmon fillet to the skillet and sprinkle an optional pinch of salt over the fish. Incorporate the asparagus and garlic so that they encircle the fish.

 

Cooking the Salmon and Asparagus

 

Squeeze the juice out of the two lemon slices, onto both the fish and the asparagus mixture. When done, add the lemon slices to the skillet as well. Cook eight minutes, covered, then turn the salmon over to its other side. Continue heating approximately eight additional minutes, until no more translucent flesh can be seen at the core of the salmon fillet2.

 

Preparing the Cream Sauce

 

Separating Out the Ingredients

All of the food aside from the juices needs to be removed from the skillet onto a warm plate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transfer all contents of the skillet to a warm plate, aside from the juices. Using a whisk, gradually blend the cream into the juices left in the skillet.  Also use the whisk to blend in the grated Parmesan cheese until the sauce is thickened to your liking. While allowing the cheese to melt, sprinkle in any additional salt that you would like to add2.

 

Melting Cheese for the Cream Sauce

Waiting for the cheese to melt, to thicken the cream sauce.

 

Serving

Returning to the ingredients on the warm plate, split them onto two dishes.

 

Ingredients Separated Onto Two Plates

 

On each dish the penne should be separate from but sitting next to the salmon. Using a spoon put as much of the cream sauce as is desired over the penne2. Now it’s ready to be eaten!

 

Healthy Salmon Recipe - Ready to Serve

The finished recipe.

 

As already pointed out, salmon can be used to add taste and nutritional value to a wide range of recipes3. If you aren’t fond of cream sauce or asparagus, or if you’d just like to see some other salmon meal options, refer to these salmon recipes. Once you’ve found your favorite meal idea, you can find fresh and high quality salmon at Atlantic Seafood. Atlantic Seafood’s offerings put the salmon of most other seafood vendors to shame. You’ll be able to see this on walking into the store and peering into the case. You’ll be able to taste it tonight.

 

Works Cited

1. Lewin, Jo. “The health benefits of salmon”.
BBC good food, 10 July 2017, https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/ingredient-focus-salmon.

2. “Salmon and Asparagus with Penne and Light Cream Sauce”.
allrecipes, 2018, www.allrecipes.com/recipe/213639/salmon-and-asparagus-with-penne-and-light-cream-sauce/.
Accessed 12 Mar. 2018.

3. Fabricant, Florence. “How to Cook Salmon”.
New York Times.com, cooking.nytimes.com/guides/19-how-to-cook-salmon.
Accessed 15 Mar. 2018.

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