Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Not So Single Girl Salmon

Today was supposed to be the first official day of going Montignac Method but given how hard my head is taking the news about no sugar I asked the fella if we could spend the rest of the week easing into it. We also have a handful of food in the house that is sugar free but too high on on the GI to fit the diet but that I'm too thrifty to let go to waste.

Even though the official start of this insanity has been put on hold, the fella cooked our first French recipe last night for dinner. It's a dish that has been one of our favorite go to meals this winter. It is easy, filling, and delicious.

It comes from Amanda Hesser's Cooking For Mr. Latte which is really more of a diary with recipes than a cookbook and the fella mocked me when I was reading such a seemingly silly book. He changed his tune the first time I made this for him.

Hesser calls it Single Girl Salmon because it's the recipe she makes for herself as a special treat whenever her husband goes out of town. I've doubled her recipe so it will serve two, took out the sugar, and changed the name a bit.

My favorite part of this dish is the French lentils, something I had never heard about until this recipe. Hesser is good like that she also caused me to investigate crème fraiche which is now another of my favorite Ingredients. The picture doesn't do the lentils justice but they are the most incredible mottled deep blue and sea green color which is not a color we often find ourselves eating.

The first time we cooked this with regular brown lentils and it was still tasty but missing a little something special. The next time it came into rotation we made a trip to Whole Food's bulk bins and were pleasantly surprised to find the gorgeous blue lentils. I fell in love and fondled our tiny bag full of them the rest of the way through the store, not believing something this pretty could be a part of dinner. They cost a little more than regular lentils but they really make a difference. They have a slightly more solid bite to them so they hold up to the boiling and vinaigrette without going limp. Best of all they have a tangy flavor that compliments the lemon juice.

Try French lentils at least once as a treat, they're worth the effort it takes to find them.

Not So Single Girl Salmon

2/3 cup French lentils
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves

4 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 shallots, diced

2 (7 ounce) salmon fillets

Rinse lentils. Pour into small sauce pan with garlic and bay leaves. Cover with water and bring to boil. Simmer until tender. When cooked to al dente, drain lentils and pour into bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in 2 tablespoons of the oil, the lemon juice, vinegar and mix. Keep warm until salmon is finished.

In skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and shallots. Stir until soft and glazed. Remove from pan to save for later.

Over medium high heat in same skillet place salmon skin side down. Cook 1 minute or until fat starts to escape from fish (this will make sure the skin releases from the fish when you go to flip it.) Use spatula to scrape up skin from off the fish and discard skin. Flip fish and cook until heated through and crisp on both sides.

Serve by placed lentils on plate, placing salmon on top and topping with shallots. Garnish with lemon slices if desired.

Original recipe by Amanda Hesser

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