Slow Cooker Salmon

Slow Cooker Salmon
1-2 lbs salmon fillets, skin left on
Salt & Pepper
Spices, optional
Sliced lemon, optional
Sliced aromatic vegetables, like fennel, onions, or celery, optional
1 to 1 1/2 cups liquid, like water, broth, wine, beer, cider, or a mix

Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper: Be generous! Sprinkle on any other spices you’re using and rub them in with your fingers.

Line the slow cooker: Cut a large square of parchment or aluminum foil and press it into the slow cooker. This makes it easier to lift the delicate salmon out of the slow cooker later.

Place aromatics over the bottom of the slow cooker: If you’re using them, place a layer of lemon slices and sliced aromatics on the bottom of the slow cooker. This adds flavor, but isn’t strictly necessary.

Place one layer of salmon in the slow cooker, skin-side down. Top with more slices of lemon and aromatics, if using.

Add another layer, if needed: If you’re cooking more salmon than fits in a single layer, you can add a second layer. Place a piece of parchment over the first layer, lay the rest of the salmon over, and top with aromatics. (I don’t recommend adding a third layer.)

Choose your cooking liquid: The liquid helps to poach the salmon gently. It can be as simple as plain water, or as complex as a cup of amber beer with soy sauce and fish sauce mixed in. My standby is half water and half white wine. You’ll need between 1 and 1 1/2 cups of liquid.

Pour the liquid over the salmon: If cooking one fillet, add enough water to just barely cover. If cooking two layers, add enough water to come partway up the side of the top fillet.

Cook on LOW for 1 to 2 hours: The exact cooking time will vary based on your particular slow cooker, the number and thickness of your fillets, and how “done” you like your salmon. Check the salmon after an hour and continue checking every 20 minutes until it’s done. If you prefer fully cooked salmon, check it with a thermometer in the thickest part — the fish is done when it reaches 145°F.

Remove from the slow cooker: Lift the salmon from the slow cooker using the parchment or aluminum foil. Tilt the paper slightly as you lift to drain off the liquid.

Serve immediately, or cool and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days. Store leftover salmon in an airtight container.

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Green Bean & Penne Pasta Salad

Green Bean & Penne Pasta Salad
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

1 lb tomatoes, chopped (about 2c)
1 lb fresh green beans
8 oz Spinach Penne Pasta
4 oz Aged Feta, crumbled

In a large owl, combine 2 cloves of minced garlic with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, a handful of chopped basil, and the chopped tomatoes. Set aside so flavors can marry.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Wash, trim, and rinse your green beans. When water boils, toss in green beans. Let cook for 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove green beans. Add pasta to the boiling water. Let boil for 3-5 minutes. When pasta is almost done, throw beans back into water for just a minute. Strain beans & pasta into colander. Run under cool water to stop cooking.

Toss penne & green beans into bowl with tomatoes. Mix all together. Top with crumbled feta. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Grilled Fava Beans

Fava beans have a rather short growing season, so when you see them, definitely snatch ’em up. Fresh fava beans are a treat not to be missed. Now, what to do with these tasty legumes? We’ve got a few ideas. See below.

Grilled Fava Beans
2 pounds of fava bean pods
1 lemon, halved
1 small block of parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
Heat grill on high heat.Rinse fava bean pods and pat dry; coat in extra virgin olive oil.

Grill fava beans for about 3-4 minutes on each side until charred and soft. Grill lemon, cut side down until it has grill marks and is juicy.

Remove beans from the pod; bean should slide out easily from skin.

Drizzle good quality extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh shavings of parmesan cheese, and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!

Pasta: Toss beans with your favorite dish.

Hummus: Mash beans, then mix in a little sour cream or greek yogurt along with fresh chopped herbs like mint or dill. Fantastic with crackers when pureed until creamy or as a spread on bruschetta when left chunky.

Succotash: Sure, corn is traditional (do you have frozen summer corn in your freezer? you should.), but don’t limit yourself to just corn. Throw thin slices of zucchini, fresh peas, chopped asparagus, or any other seasonal vegetable into the pan along with those fava beans. Toss over high heat with some olive oil until everything is bright and crisp-tender, and you’ll have a side dish to remember.