Salmon and Cucumber – Good Eating!

Awoke this morning to a few, wet inches of April snow.  It was a delightful scene, but somewhat unsettling for the middle of April.  No need to panic, it should disappear in the next day or two.

I am working to incorporate more protein into my diet, so I cooked an Atlantic salmon fillet today (0.73 lb raw with skin).  I purposely cooked it late this morning, so it would be ready when I was hungry for it and wouldn’t have to wait.  I recommend this tactic for people with limited time and a desire to eat more healthy.  So many negative food choices are made when a person is really hungry and feels desperate.  I know, I’ve been in that place more times than I can count.
 
I coated a pan with a thin layer of olive oil and made a small bed of coarse sea salt for the salmon.  I placed the fillet skin side down on the salt, seasoned with ground pepper, a bit of salt, and dried dill weed.  [It impresses me that the dill plant offers its seed and foliage and flowers for culinary use – quite efficient.]
I then used an olive oil mister (required kitchen tool) to give the fish a light top coating of olive oil.  I cooked the salmon at 350°F until I was able to flake it with a fork – about 25 minutes.

I had a few midday nibbles on the fish, but separated the flesh from the skin and put most of it (the flesh) in the refrigerator.  As I went about daily tasks, I thought about what I would do with the salmon.  I considered a salmon and cream cheese dip, which is delicious, but would tempt me to pair it with a sumptuous French bread or gourmet crackers.  Breads and baked goods are my food weaknesses.  I find them difficult to limit.  I decided upon a fresh and Spring-like combination of salmon, cream cheese (fat free, in this case), and cucumber.  It was definitively satisfying with no bread-guilt.

For the rest of the meal, I wanted something a bit more substantial, so I made Creole-seasoned baked sweet potato fries.  Incidentally, there is confusion in the USA about the difference between a sweet potato and a yam.  They are not the same and my mother had an amusing story about just this subject last year.  I admit, I’m not sure which one I actually cooked.  The root was definitely firm, but the cooked product was soft.  Here is a Library of Congress link that explains the mystery.
http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/sweetpotato.html

The Creole seasoned sweet potatoes were not an original idea, as the local co-op makes and sells them in the deli.  Again, I used a light coating of olive oil in a pan, cut the orange sweet potato in strips, seasoned with Tony Chachere Creole seasoning and ground black pepper.  I baked them at 375-400°F for about 45 minutes.  I prefer more crunch than mush.

It was a great meal, but I did consume the entire salmon fillet in a single day!  Oh, well, it is certainly better than consuming an entire loaf of French bread in a single day and I believe I have met my omega-3 oil target values for the day.  I partnered the salmon and sweet potato fries with a Sauvignon Blanc from Nova Wines – Marilyn Sauvignon Blonde.  It is moderately priced and quite good.

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