Here are two easy and salmon recipes I made yesterday and today, all from one four-pound $20 whole salmon. If you can learn to fillet and debone your own fish, you can save so much money on seafood dishes. So here is Pistachio Crusted Cedar-Plank Salmon, and Salmon Leek Chowder.
We had 10 people over for Mother's Day Dinner, and prepared a whole salmon so we could cedar-plank the fillets and added chopped green onion and pistachio crust topping prior to grilling. For a topping, I also made my Basil-Yogurt topping, but this time I used actual sour cream and lime juice, instead of lemon. I made some minor alterations to it, just because of what I had on hand.
Anyway, when we filleted the salmon, I set the tail, spine & other random scraps in a big ziplock bag back in the fridge, intending to make soup from it today. The chowder was completely "off the cuff" and I made it for lunch and I only took a few photos, and can't remember exactly what went into it, but I will say that it was really good! My husband raved about it being so fancy for a Monday lunch.
3/4 - 1 lb of salmon (depending on if you are using the starting point of bone scraps like I did, or using just a frozen fillet, or even canned salmon, you'll have to tinker with your cooking method a bit.)
1 Leek, washed, and cut lengthwise, and then sliced into half-moons
2-3 medium potatoes, such as red or Yukon Gold, peeled and cubed
Ground White Pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
3-4 basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 lime, or 1/4 lemon, juiced
The first step was that I boiled 6-8 cups of (filtered, because I have an aversion to chlorinated) water in a big stock pot, and popped the salmon bones & fins in the water. I added about 2 tsp of sea salt, and 1 tsp of ground white pepper. I let this simmer on medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. These remnant pieces are not very thick and the fish cooks very fast. I pulled out all the big pieces and set them on a plate and used the tines of a fork to flake off the meat from the bones and tail. Inspect it all carefully for stray bones. I was very cautious and still ended up finding a few bones in my soup later when I ate it.
|Yeah, I know, it looks grotesque, but makes a good seafood broth!|
Once you've gotten all the meat off (and we also happened to have one left over piece of fillet from the night before) set it aside for a little bit. Add the bones and scraps back into the pot of water, and keep simmering it for another 15 or 20 minutes. Strain it all out through a sieve, into a clean pot, and add 2-3 peeled and cubed potatoes, and one whole leek, sliced into chunks.
|Just a few taters, and a leek... you could add other veggies too.|
|Check out how much salmon came off the spine & tail!|
Reduce heat on burner, and wait until simmering nearly stops, and slowly stir in cream, sour cream, lime juice, and minced basil. (As you can probably deduce, I added the remaining basil-sour cream topping from the previous day's dinner to incorporate that brightness and tanginess to my chowder.)