When I first began to cook, I’ll admit that I was very intimated by seafood. Hell, I’ll admit that I was intimidated by everything. Enchiladas scared the shit out of me, so there was no way I was going to fillet something as expensive and valuable as salmon. In fact, I ate almost entirely vegetarian for the first few months, because I was too afraid to handle raw meat.
Somewhere along the way, that faded. A few chicken recipes here, a steak or two there, and suddenly I realized that meat wasn’t so scary. Especially when you have a meat thermometer to make the process idiot-proof. And yes, I do need things to be idiot-proof.
Now, I experiment with different meats all the time. And lately I’ve even begun to experiment with the more expensive seafoods, as well. But at the end of the day, it always comes back to salmon. It is the lifeblood and cultural icon of my state and my heritage, and it will forever be an important part of my diet.
While baking salmon in foil like I do here is awesome, I also like to add it to other dishes. In this case, I decided to turn my fillet into salmon meatballs that I added to a lemony pasta dish (recipe here). They paired perfectly together, with the lemon in the pasta complementing the zing of the dijon mustard in the meatballs. (As a note to the pasta recipe, I always add twice the lemon zest and the juice of one lemon for extra flavor).
I will say that these meatballs are not a great pairing with red pasta sauces. Either go for pesto or a white sauce with these guys. Also, be sure to make them small. Salmon dries out when it bakes too long, and by keeping the meatballs small it guarantees they don’t need to cook forever.
Here’s how you make them.
1 Pound Wild Salmon Fillet
2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Chives, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
1/4 Cup Plain Bread Crumbs
Preheat oven to 400.
Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Roll little the mixture into little balls between your palms and then set on a cookie sheet lined with greased parchment paper or aluminum. Bake for twelve minutes.
Serve on top of pasta or rice.
What I like about these is that they add a healthier protein to a dish without sacrificing taste. They pair better with pastas that you typically wouldn’t find traditional meatballs in anyways, so I like to think they aren’t a replacement to them, but more like a cousin. You could also toss them in with rice alongside some sauteed veggies and you’d be set for an easy, healthy dinner.
I hope that things are going well wherever you are. On this end, we are in full wedding-planning mode. After a long, rough year, we decided that we needed a little joy in our lives. Ergo, we are getting married June 10th! I know, it’s jumping the gun, but no one could ever say I’m not spontaneous.
In the meantime, we’ve got warmer weather, puddles to stomp in, a dog with perpetually muddy feet, and two families who have been kind enough to step up and make this wedding happen. And I’m content with that.
Until next time, keep jumping the gun.