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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Seared Salmon over Spinach, Mushrooms and Panchetta

Last night I was looking for a healthy, simple dinner packed with flavors.  I had bought 3 salmon steaks a few days ago and needed to cook them.  Lucky me!  This dinner was exactly what I felt like and took about 30 minutes to prepare. 
A vote was taken to have pan-roasted potatoes along with the salmon, so I got those started.  Basically, in my pan I add olive oil, new potatoes and sprinkle on basil, fresh garlic, parsley, onion powder, thyme, and salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat with the cover on for the first 15 minutes, long enough for the potatoes to become fork-tender.  Then the cover comes off and I turn the heat up slightly so they will brown up. 
Now for the spinach mixture... here are the ingredients I used:
2 Shallots, chopped
Bella mushrooms, sliced
2 slices of Panchetta, diced
Fresh Thyme
3 handfuls of fresh spinach
a splash of balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Saute the shallots in a little olive oil.  When tender, remove from the pan and cook the Panchetta.  Add the mushrooms during the last few minutes of cooking.  Turn off the stove and add the fresh spinach and thyme, and the cooked shallots.
Cover and let the spinach wilt slightly.  To finish, splash with balsamic vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste.  (I had some leftover roasted green beans that I decided to cut up and add...just in case you were wondering why you saw beans in there!)  Place this mixture in a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.
I used the same pan for cooking the salmon.  Turn the heat up  to medium high.  While it is heating, make sure to dry the fish completely.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Go once around the pan with olive oil and place the salmon in the pan, skin-side down.

Cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, or until the skin is nice and crispy.  You want to do the majority of cooking with the skin-side down, because the skin protects the fish from drying out while cooking.

Lower the heat to medium and gently turn, cooking for another 3-4 minutes.  Check to make sure the inside is pale pink.  If not, leave on for another minute....just be careful you don't leave it on too long.

To plate, place a spoonful of spinach on the plate and lay the salmon right on top.  Add the potatoes, and you have a great meal!


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