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I just love this preparation of salmon in the winter months. It is so delicious and yet, so easy to make.
The combination of flavors in this recipe for Salmon with Lentils and Bacon are out of this world. Smoky bacon, the essence of orange, the earthiness of the lentils along with with the fatty mouthfeel from the fish…what more could you ask for? Be sure to use a wild, or sustainable raised salmon. Better flavor, better for you, and better for the world we live in. And don’t overcook your salmon, you want it slightly rare inside, or at the very least, opaque.
For more information about fish and sustainability, click here.
Combine the lentils, onion, carrot, orange peel and water in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid; discard the orange peel. Return the lentils to the pan; season with salt and pepper. ( Can be prepared day ahead. Cover and chill the lentils and reserved cooking liquid separately.)
While the lentils cook fry the bacon until crisp. Remove, drain and chop into pieces. (Hint: I like to have uniform pieces of bacon in my dish, so I slice the bacon first into uniform pieces and then fry them.)
Place a frying pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of oil; heat until shimmering. Season the fish with salt and pepper and place in the frying pan. Cook until just opaque, turning once. (to really impress…if using salmon steaks, cut out the center bone and separate each half. Starting at the thickest part; roll the salmon to form a circle; tie with kitchen string. After cooking, remove the string and you have a nifty little salmon circle.)see video for technique
Meanwhile, add enough reserved cooking liquid to the lentils to moisten them; mix in the cream, parsley, chives and tarragon; bring to a simmer. Add the bacon. Spoon lentils onto warmed plates; top with the salmon and serve.
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