Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fish Friday: Salmon with Lemon Caper Butter, Garlic Asparagus and Basil Couscous

Some point last semester, we decided to eat more fish.  For one, we found that we were eating a ton of beef and chicken, which was getting a little boring.  But also, fish is healthier, and if you saw our earlier series on the cleanse, we begrudgingly care about this.  So we decided, completely coincidentally with Roman Catholic tradition (both of us are Protestants), to make our Friday dinner a fish dish. It was actually the alliteration that berthed Fish Friday; Fish Tuesday just isn't that much fun.

So it's our tradition to go to Whole Foods on Friday afternoons (we're high rollers) to get fresh fish - whatever's on sale - and whip up a new, relatively healthy fish dish. We've had fish and chips, which we pictured earlier, and a whole variet of steamed, grilled, fried, deep-fried fishes, including tilapia, cod, branzini, salmon, tuna and chilean sea bass (for you old timers, the Patagonian toothfish).

This Friday we decided to make some salmon with lemon caper butter, garlic asparagus, and basil couscous.

We bought the couscous in a box and just followed the recipe.  But here's what we did for everything else, starting with the salmon:

2 salmon filets (we used sockeye salmon)
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Olive oil

1. Sprinkle both sides of the salmon filets with salt, pepper, and olive oil.

2. Place a skillet over high heat.  Place the salmon filets skin side down in the skillets and cook until the skin is crispy and golden brown, 3-4 minutes.

3. Flip the filets and cook another 1-2 minutes, until the salmon is cooked to your preference (we prefer our salmon on the rare side).

Next up, the garlic asparagus:

3 tbsp. unsalted butter
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed

4. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When the butter is melted, add the garlic and asparagus.

5. Cook asparagus, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, or until the asparagus is cooked but still crisp. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Finally, the lemon caper butter:

4 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. capers
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
2 tbsp. parsley

6. Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a small pan.  When the butter is melted, add the garlic and cook about 2 minutes.

7. Add the capers, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Bring the sauce to a quick boil and cook for maybe 30 seconds.

8. Stir in the parsley and take the sauce off the heat.  Serve immediately.

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