…When I came across a recipe by Tyler Florence called Peppered Salmon with Creamy Chickpea Dressing and Fresh Greens it looked and sounded good so I thought I would give it a try. It was so good!!
As a little girl and beyond I did not like any kind of fish or seafood. I have, however, over the years tried and liked things like flounder, shrimp and tuna. There was one fish food that I really liked as a child. The local fish store in my neighborhood in Brooklyn would make these amazing fish cakes. At least my memory tells me that. My mom would fry them in a little oil, just until they were crusty and oh, so good. Of course, they were oh, so good because one the the main ingredients in the fish cakes was mashed potatoes. Good Irish girl that I am, I love any food that includes potatoes.
One of the reasons I did not like fish when I was a very young girl, I don’t know perhaps five to seven, the man who lived in our house used to catch Blue fish and bring them to our apartment on Pacific Street and one of my jobs was to help clean the fish. It was a smelly and very messy job. I hated that job. But there I would be sitting at the kitchen table with newspaper spread over it, a small knife in hand and trying my best to do a good job without getting sick. I could not stand the smell of the fish on my hands. My mom would then fry the fish. The apartment would smell for what seemed an interminable amount of time. I just plain did not like it.
But let us get back to the recipe in hand. This was an easy meal to prepare. It did not take very long at all. As most good recipes do, this recipe called for ingredients that most people would not keep in their cupboards or refrigerators. I needed to get coriander seeds, fresh dill, fresh mint, and baby spinach.
As in other Tyler recipes it called for 2 rounds of extra virgin olive oil to be placed in the pan. I suppose if you watch Tyler on the Food Network you would know what a “round” is.
Now I know that Randy and I have different tastes so I also knew that this recipe would be somewhat questionable to make. I love spicy food Randy does not. So, the first word in the recipe caused me to pause before making the decision to make it, peppered.
When Randy and I first started dating seriously I offered to cook him a nice meal. I chose Beef Paprika. For me perfect because it is spicy but because I did not know how he liked his food I actually cut back on the spices in the dish just in case. He took his first bite and cried out, “What are you trying to do burn my mouth?”
Well, I decided to press ahead anyway. Preparing the fillets was easy and uneventful. I loved the salmon! The salmon was crunchy on the outside and perfectly moist and pink on the inside. The recipe said to pan sear for between 4 to 5 minutes on each side. I chose to do the 5 minutes. I looked at the picture in the cookbook and felt that the salmon had a raw look to it in the center. The 5 minutes on each side was perfect.
The vinaigrette was a little different. After pureeing half the ingredients for the puree I decided it was a little too loose and added a few more chickpeas to thicken it up a bit. In the end I wish I had pureed the entire recipe for the vinaigrette. I really did not like the cold chickpeas along with the salmon. However, what I did like was the puree. It had a wonderful flavor and texture. I liked the puree with the salmon and as a dressing for the spinach.
I also added a helping of Jasmine rice to the dinner. I like Jasmine rice because it is very light and fluffy. I felt that it rounded out the meal better. And, by the way, the puree was great with the rice too.
As I thought Randy had a different reaction to the peppered crust on the salmon. I noticed that he was eating everything on the plate but taking his time with the salmon. And, as I expected, he was having difficulty with the pepper and coriander crust. In the end he said that he really did like the salmon and ate it all and even said he would eat it again. So we talked about it and decided that when I make this dish again I would, after rolling the salmon in the mixture, scrape some of it off his salmon before searing. I think that is a good compromise.
I will defintely make this recipe again but pureeing all the chickpeas. Much better!!
Nutritional inforamtion based on 4 servings: Calories 505.14 (Calories from fat 299.32); Total fat 33.93g (saturated fat 5.13g); Cholesterol 71.44mg; Sodium 162.04mg; Potassium 1153.97mg; Total Carbohydrates 31.89g; Fiber 18.69g; Sugar 3.48g; Protein 30.96g.