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Pear and pepper salsa spices up salmon dish

Juicy pink salmon is topped with a sweet and spicy pear and red pepper salsa for a meal that takes only minutes to make. The salsa gives just the right sparkle to the rich salmon.
Picking a ripe pear, or one that will ripen, can be tricky. Here are some hints. Always ripen pears in a bowl at room temperature. This will take 4 to 6 days for a hard, green pear or 2 to 3 days for yellow pears. Once they are ripe, place them in the refrigerator.
The recipe gives the cooking time for a 1-inch thick salmon fillet. Reduce the time by 1 minute per side for a thinner piece; increase it by a minute or two per side for a thicker piece.
The salmon is cooked when the fish is no longer translucent. It will continue to cook in its own heat for a few minutes after it is removed from the skillet. Fresh fettuccini is available in most markets.
Miami Herald wine columnist Fred Tasker’s wine suggestion: Salmon with this sweet, juicy salsa would go well with a fruity Beaujolais.
Helpful Hints: A sweet apple can be substituted for the pear. Thinly sliced zucchini can be substituted for the spinach in the fettuccini dish. Add it to the boiling water with the pasta and cook both together for 3 minutes.

SAUTÉED SALMON WITH PEAR PEPPER SALSA
Serves 2
1 small ripe pear (about 1 cup cubed)
½ red pepper (about 1 cup cubed)
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil spray
¾ pound wild-caught salmon fillet
Core pear (do not peel) and cut into ½-inch pieces over a bowl to catch the pear juice. Add pieces to the bowl. Seed bell pepper and cut into ½-inch pieces; add to bowl. Add the jalapeño pepper, cumin, lime juice, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well and set aside.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and spray with olive oil. Add the salmon fillets. For a one-inch thick fillet sauté 4 minutes, turn and sauté 4 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste to the cooked sides. Remove to dinner plates and serve salsa on top.
Per serving: 351 calories (32 percent from fat), 12.6 g fat (2.4 g saturated, 4.8 g monounsaturated), 78 mg cholesterol, 38.7 g protein, 21.2 g carbohydrates, 5.0 g fiber, 87 mg sodium.

FLORENTINE FETTUCCINI
Serves 2
¼ pound fresh fettuccini
1 package (8 to 10 ounces) washed, ready-to-eat baby spinach
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large saucepan filled with 3 to 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add the fettuccini and boil 3 minutes. Add the spinach, stir and drain. Return the fettuccini and spinach to the pan and add the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well. Transfer to dinner plates.
Per serving: 279 calories (19 percent from fat), 5.8 g fat (0.9 g saturated, 3.4 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 10.9 g protein, 46.9 g carbohydrates, 4.6 g fiber, 99 mg sodium.

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