School started! Wow, and it’s cool to boot, what a wonderful week. The only reason I am glad school started is the fact that I needed quiet time. I’m trying to wrap up the new cookbook and I have a hard time when the swinging door at our house just keeps a ‘swingin’. I saw so much work accomplished in a 12 hour period, it was just remarkable. It was hard to pull myself away to do some canning, but I did get it done. This week about 22 pints of fresh salsa with smoked jalapenos added.
There’s just something so rewarding about canning and preserving for your family. I compare it to the feeling some people get when they get their hands in the dirt. It’s fulfilling, gratifying and reassuring to my soul. Sometimes I even think it’s something that’s passed down from generation to generation. Many times I hear people say: ‘Well, since the kids are grown I just don’t can any more.’
In this day and age what better time to preserve our foods. I know its work, but knowing how much salt and additives are put in food are important to me. Writing about it convinces me that as long as it’s an option, I’ll be canning products for my family. What’s next? Thought you would never ask. I’m waiting on a good ‘sale’ before I venture into canning beef stew. Southern Gospel also has to get wrapped up at Silver Dollar City, and a certain cookbook sent to the publishers.
Last night I was visiting with a very good friend about the need for fish in our diets. Fish twice a week can reduce the risk of dying from heart disease. The benefits of eating fish twice a week by far outweighs the concerns over excessive mercury and other contaminates. The Omega-3 also reduces inflammation throughout the body! (I didn’t realize this!) Your triglycerides will decrease, your blood pressure will drop, and the chances of blood clots lessens substantially right along with the possibility of a stroke. In children it has even been found to improve their learning ability. Well this seems like a no-brainer to me.
Let me help you choose the best ones for Omega-3 content: salmon, lake trout, herring, sardines and tuna are the most beneficial. I love Blue Hake, which is a member of the Cod Family and it’s actually from the leanest part of the cod. Tilapia and catfish both contain higher levels of unhealthy fatty acids. This is all a result of the food chain effect. So let me make a few suggestions as to how you’re going to bring in more fish. I know, try the recipe I have attached this week, or just jump to the bbq and start grilling. Another fun way to enhance salmon is to smoke it. This does not add extra salt unless it’s done with artificial methods.
Tuna Salad: Use only the white of the egg, use water packed tuna, (I know grin and bear it!) and purchase Hellman’s cholesterol free mayonnaise. The body of the mayo is the same as regular mayonnaise and I really can’t taste that much difference. With light dressing, the structure of the mayo is more broken down. Use fun spices to kick up the flavor, dill, onion, leek, a bit of pickle. Plan this for lunch a couple times each week.
For times when you’re in a rush purchase salmon burgers. I’ve even seen them in the past at places like Aldi’s. Don’t know about presently, but it’s worth checking out.
I am fortunate in that I live near a trout farm and beautiful Table Rock Lake, fresh unpolluted fish are at my fingertips. When I lived in the city I purchased lots of seafood and fish from ‘Schwann’ company. It’s dependable and very good quality, they stand behind their products.
Another place you could put whitefish is in a creamy pasta dish. Ah ha, you’re thinking fatty, nope, we can control that too. Choose Dreamfields pasta as it’s better for the glycemic index, higher protein, and more fiber. Makes you feel full longer. The ONLY product that I use that is No-Fat is fat free half and half. I promise you with a ‘pat’ of butter, a bit of garlic, fresh vegetables, salmon, Fat free half and half and a conservative portion of parmesan cheese, I can make you a succulent salmon/vegetable primavera. Personally an asparagus/salmon creamy pasta sounds yummy.
I am getting so dog gone hungry writing this column I’m about ready to go to the kitchen and start cooking!!
As you look at my simple recipe, I’d like for you to consider ‘not’ turning the fish over. You could always do more of a blackened/poach style by just putting a lid over the skillet. I enjoyed a recipe similar to mine at a high-end restaurant. I loved how they sautéed finely cut cabbage and placed it under the salmon. Instead of the extra carbs from the rice we get the cancer fighting benefits of the cabbage.
Have an outstanding week my friends. Go well, and go safely. Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Blackened Salmon with Avocado Salsa
2 salmon filets or other Native fish
Seafood seasonings of your choice
1 medium sweet onion
2-3 chopped roma tomatoes
1-2 fresh avocadoes, chopped
Optional Cilantro chopped
1/8 cup dry white wine
In a cast iron skillet heat a light covering of olive oil over medium heat. Place 2 large servings of salmon, skin side down in the pan and cover. Cook for about 4-6 minutes. Lift lid and sprinkle your favorite seafood blend over the fish and flip the fillet over. Continue cooking another 4-6 minutes with a lid. (Times will vary depending upon the thickness of the fillets.) Check the fish for doneness. When thoroughly cooked remove from the skillet to a platter. At this point I sometimes peel away the skin, or you can leave it on. Check the skillet for any pieces of skin or undesired debris. At this point pour in a bit of dry white wine and bring in the onion and peppers to sauté. Next add the chopped tomato and lastly the avocado. The avocado just needs to get warm. Serve over the top of the Filet or on the side. This is good to serve with stir fried cabbage or a nice rice medley.
The salsa amounts will vary for each cook.