Amy Sherman

Salmon Leftovers = Super Simple Meals: Easy Does It

salmon: easy does itHealthy, light-and-lovely salmon: That’s pretty much what fish meant when I was growing up on the West Cost. I’m sure in other parts of the country people ate plenty of catfish and cod, but my dad fished for salmon, and we happily ate it fresh and smoked. Summer is prime time for wild Pacific salmon, which is truly a superfood, a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and protein as well as Vitamin D, B12, niacin, B6, and magnesium.


Best of all, you can grill salmon one night (click for Perfect Grilled Salmon: What’s the Secret?) and use the leftovers in easy, completely different dishes — eggs, tacos, chowders, healthy summer salads —for nights to come.


Unlike Pacific salmon, Atlantic salmon is almost always farmed. It’s less expensive, and readily available, but its production poses threats to wild fish and the environment. Wild salmon is healthier and more delicious than farmed, thanks to diet and a lack of antibiotics and contaminants. Wild salmon also has more protein, less fat yet more healthy omega fatty acids. Salmon is not high in mercury.


To master the art of cooking perfect salmon, be sure to follow these no-fail tips.  As for the easy recipes that follow, they’re no-brainers. But when the recipe calls for canned salmon, why not use leftovers instead from a great night of grilling salmon? It will make your dinners as delicious as they are simple. And remember: It’s easy to overcook fish. While some recipes recommend cooking salmon until it flakes, I prefer it a bit undercooked and still moist and almost creamy.


• Gentle: Try Jacques Pepin’s method of placing salmon on a plate and baking it at 200 degrees until it’s cooked to your liking, about 40 minutes for a large 3 pound fillet.


• Crisp: f you like eating crispy salmon skin (I do!), pat the fish dry before cooking, cut a few slits in the skin, then sear skin side down in a very hot pan. You can still finish the fish in the oven after crisping up the skin.


• Simple: Wild salmon doesn’t need fancy marinades. Try seasoning it simply with salt and pepper or a spice rub and then serving it with a fresh salsa of tomatoes or tomatillos, chile peppers, avocado, and lime. It can also stand up to a sauce of ginger-spiked fresh fruit such as blackberries or grilled peaches. (Try this great recipe for Fresh Peach Salsa.)


• Safe. The FDA recommends cooking fish until it reaches 145 degrees. But remember, the temperature will continue to rise 5 – 10 degrees after it’s removed from the heat, due to carryover. Previously frozen salmon is safe from parasites and can be cooked to a lower temperature if desired.




Salmon Hash with Poached Eggs

salmon recipes: easy does it

What a great idea for a morning-after brunch with house guests who loved your grilled salmon the night before!




Salad Nicoise

salmon recipes: easy does it

This is one of those “why didn’t we think of this before?” Salmon instead of tuna, just for fun.




Crunchy Salmon Cakes

salmon recipes: easy does it

Same thing here: Salmon replaces crab in this tried-and-true winning dish.



Salmon Tacos

salmon recipes: easy does it

Fish tacos by any other name. No need to cook the fish when you’ve already got leftovers.



Great Lakes Salmon Chowder

salmon recipes: easy does it

Quite simply, the best seafood chowder we can think of. And so easy with your leftover salmon. Add some bread, and you’re all set with a light summer lunch of dinner.




Easy dishes are a cinch with leftovers from a great night of grilling salmon!




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