Tropical Salmon {In the Kitchen}

 

Tropical Salmon {In the Kitchen}

I have loved most types of seafood since I was a kid.  Clams, shrimp, lobster, fish, squid…I loved it all.  But for years I believed that I hated Salmon.  I never even tasted salmon until some point during the early years of my marriage.  I had always heard that salmon was good for you an finally decided to order a Cedar Plank Salmon in a restaurant we were visiting.

Having grown up near the coast of Maine I was used to seafood and fish being relatively fresh.  Many times what we ate had most likely been pulled from the Atlantic that morning.  We had an amazing fish market in our town and while seafood was a treat we didn’t have often when we did it was always excellent quality.

I took for granted the availability of great seafood and when I moved to Arkansas I quickly realized that this wasn’t always the case.  Arkansans make great catfish and can boil crawdads and fry frog legs like nobody else but when it comes to  Atlantic and Pacific coast staples they are lacking.

So when I ordered the salmon in that restaurant many years ago I took a gamble and I didn’t win.  The flavor was OVERLY fishy and it was overcooked until it was dry and crumbly.  It was plain old GROSS.  I avoided salmon like the plague for years and curled my nose at it when I saw it on a menu.  Even a trip to Alaska couldn’t convince me to try it again.

As silly as it sounds, Richie and I love to go to Sam’s Club.  It’s a big date night activity for us.   We like to look at the books and the clothes and occasionally pick up meat, cheese or fruit that is an especially good buy.  But what we LOVE most is the food samples!  We have had the opportunity to taste so many different products through their sample program.  The samples combined with a $2.00 hot dog and drink combo makes for a really CHEAP dinner!  And don’t forget the .89 cent ice cream cups for dessert!

So…one night we were wandering around Sam’s Club and a women offered us a sample of the salmon she had just baked.  I politely declined but Richie tasted it.  He finally convinced me to try it and I was amazed to discover that I loved it.  It was delicious and flavorful and not at all fishy! I couldn’t believe it.

We didn’t buy any salmon that day but I kept thinking about it and when we returned to Sam’s Club several weeks later the salmon was the first thing I put in my cart.  I cooked it the same way the sample lady had.  A little olive oil, some light seasoning, bake it in the oven.  Add some wild rice and a green vegetable and dinner is done.  Simple, healthy and tasty.

I love to experiment with food so I began thinking about what we could do to make a simple fish dinner a little more exotic.  My mom sent me a link to this recipe by Paula Deen.  It sounded great but Teriyaki sauce has gluten in it and I wasn’t sure about all the sweetness of the maple syrup and the added sugar.  I found links to this Pioneer Women recipe and this Epicurious recipe on Pinterest.  I was intrigued by P-dub’s cooking method and the lime-flavor imparted in the Epicurious recipe.  So I did what I do best and I took elements of each, made a few tweaks and changes and came up with my own Tropical Salmon recipe.  It turned out great!

Tropical Salmon (with Lime Butter and Pineapple Salsa)

1 whole side of salmon (2-3 pounds)
1 stick of butter, melted
2 whole limes (small)
2 Cloves of Garlic
1/4 of a FRESH pineapple (please avoid canned if possible!)
1 jalapeno
2 pieces of jarred roasted red peppers
1/4 of a red(purple) onion
Salt and Pepper

Lime Butter Sauce
(Note: This recipe makes 8 tablespoons.  You will only be using 1 tablespoon so please freeze the rest for use the next time you enjoy this delicious dish!)

In a blender zest and juice 1 1/2 small limes.  Add one clove of garlic and blend.  While the blender is running slowly pour in the butter until the sauce is combined.  Set aside.

Pineapple Salsa

Cut the pineapple, red onion, and roasted red peppers into tiny, bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl.  Remove the seeds and the veins from one jalapeno, chop finely and add to the bowl.  Add the zest and juice of half a lime, stir and set in the fridge until ready to use.

Salmon

Place your salmon in a large baking dish.  Pour 1 tablespoon of melted lime butter over the top of the salmon.  Use a pastry brush to spread it around and cover the fish if needed.  Then add salt and pepper to taste.  Place the salmon into a COLD oven.  Turn the oven to 400 degrees and set the timer for 25 minutes and walk away!  When the timer goes off the fish should be opaque, moist and flaky. Squeeze a little fresh lime juice over the top of your salmon after you remove it from the oven.

That’s it!  Serve the salmon topped with some of the pineapple salsa.  A baked potato or wild rice and a green vegetable or small salad makes an excellent addition.  Enjoy!

 
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