I find it very hard to resist a perfect sockeye salmon fillet so yesterday's purchase became last night's dinner. Simply cooked in the bacon leavings in a hot cast iron pan, and brushed with some Kicky Kumquat Marmalade before hitting the broiler the real story of the evening is the bed of lentils.
Simmered with onion, carrot and orange peel, they can be prepped in advance and finished just prior to plating which is what I did just to make life a little easier - plus I had no idea exactly how long the darn things would take to cook. Anyway, after they're cooked, the lentils are spiced up with lots of salt and pepper, chopped fresh parsley and chives along with dried tarragon, finished with a touch of cream and garnished with crispy bacon.
A word to the wise - watch your lentils to make sure you don't over or under cook them because undercooked they're like pellets and overcooked they're mush. Dah - now that's a profound statement isn't it?
If you're interested in the real source, check out the recipe on epicurious.com; however, I made some changes to suit our tastebuds. I'm not a fan of rubbery undercooked bacon, so I cooked it until crisp, crumbled it up and used it as a garnish rather than wrapping the salmon fillets with the rashers. Also, heeding the advice of some of the comments, I ramped up the flavor of the salmon by glazing it with our homemade habanero kumquat marmalade but you could achieve almost the same thing by mixing minced hot peppers into store bought orange marmalade.
Give this one a try next time you've a yen for salmon. I doubt you'll be disappointed.
Salmon with Bacon and Lentils (from JBug’s Kitchen adapted from epicurious.com)
1 cup lentils
1 onion, minced
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
4 – 2 inch long orange peel strips (pith removed)
2-1/2 cups water
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
Salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste
In a medium sized pot, combine lentils, onion, carrot, orange peel and water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until lentils are just cooked. Drain well reserving liquid. Remove and discard orange peel. (May be made to this point, covered and cooled). Just before serving reheat lentils over medium heat. Stir in whipping cream, parsley, chives, and tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add reserved liquid if lentils are dry.
3 slices bacon
1 – 12 ounce sockeye salmon fillet skin on
Salt and coarse ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Kicky Kumquat Marmalade or 1/2 habanero pepper minced and mixed into 3 tablespoons purchased orange marmalade
Cook bacon in a heavy skillet over medium heat until bacon is crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels, then cut into small pieces. Set aside. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat and return pan to heat and increase to medium high.
Preheat broiler. Cut salmon fillet into 2 serving pieces and season well with salt and pepper. Place into hot skillet, skin side down and cook for 2 minutes. Top salmon with marmalade and place under broiler for additional 2 to 3 minutes or until salmon is cooked. Serve on a bed of lentils garnished with bacon.
Two year's ago - Fried Eggplant with Sausage Ragu