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Learn to cook seafood yourself for swimmingly simple Lenten-season dinners

McClatchy Tribune News Service
Modified: February 27, 2013 at 4:58 pm •  Published: February 27, 2013

photo - Salmon with creamy mustard sauce makes for a quick dinner with a French-inspired sauce -- what's not to love? (Ellise Pierce/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)
Salmon with creamy mustard sauce makes for a quick dinner with a French-inspired sauce -- what's not to love? (Ellise Pierce/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)

4. Make the Parmesan fries: Place the potato pieces on the large cookie sheet, drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and toss with your hands, making sure to evenly spread out the potatoes. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and bake for about 45 minutes, making sure to check on them frequently and toss them so they brown evenly.

5. When the potatoes are nearly done, put them on the bottom rack of your oven and place the fish on the middle rack. Let the fish cook for 2 minutes; then carefully turn each stick and cook for 2 more minutes. Then remove everything from the oven.

6. Sprinkle Parmesan and parsley all over the fries, and serve on a plate with the fish sticks. I like mine garnished with a handful of arugula and a lemon wedge to squeeze over the top.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 788 calories, 22 grams fat, 102 grams carbohydrates, 46 grams protein, 53 milligrams cholesterol, 584 milligrams sodium, 8 grams dietary fiber, 25 percent of calories from fat.



Makes 2 servings

This is one of my newest favorite ways to eat salmon. The creamy mustard-yogurt sauce is super-easy, and its strong flavor stands up well to salmon. I saw something similar in one of my French cooking magazines and adapted the recipe.

2 (4- to 5-ounce) salmon filets

1 tablespoon olive oil

Sea salt and pepper

5 ounces Greek or plain yogurt

1 tablespoon of your favorite Dijon mustard

2 big handfuls of mesclun

1 lime, cut into wedges

Fresh chives

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a small cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Divide the olive oil between the two pieces of salmon, and rub it all over them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place on the cookie sheet.

3. Bake the salmon for 5 minutes (or less), depending on the thickness of the filets.

4. While the fish is cooking, whisk together the yogurt and the mustard.

5. Put a handful of mesclun and a wedge of lime on each of two plates. Serve the salmon next to the salad with a spoonful of the mustard sauce on top. Sprinkle with fresh chives.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 222 calories, 11 grams fat, 7 grams carbohydrates, 25 grams protein, 57 milligrams cholesterol, 185 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 44 percent of calories from fat.



Makes 4 servings

4 (4- to 5-ounce) salmon filets, pin bones removed

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Sea salt and pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

2 green onions, chopped

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

2 teaspoons capers

Splash of red wine vinegar

2 large leaves of fresh basil, chopped

1. Preheat oven to broil and place a rack to the middle. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Lightly coat salmon filets with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place on the cookie sheet. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

3. To start the salsa: Toss the garlic, green onions and red pepper flakes in a medium skillet with another tablespoon of olive oil and turn the heat to medium-low. Let this cook until you can smell the garlic, 3 to 5 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and capers and let them cook until tomatoes begin to soften, about 10 minutes.

4. When the tomatoes are soft, place the salmon in the oven and set the timer for 4 minutes (this should give you a medium-rare filet). While the salmon is cooking, add a splash of red wine vinegar to the skillet and ½ of the chopped basil. Remove the salmon and serve with a heaping spoonful of salsa on top; garnish with the rest of the basil.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 211 calories, 11 grams fat, 4 grams carbohydrates, 23 grams protein, 59 milligrams cholesterol, 126 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 47 percent of calories from fat.


(Ellise Pierce is the Cowgirl Chef and author of “Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking With a French Accent” (Running Press, $25).; @cowgirlchef.)


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