May 7, 2010

Salmon with Lentils

Let me share something somewhat biggest gripe about the Food Network website is that it does not have nutritional info for it's recipes. I was trying to calculate calories for a serving of this dish, and not having the nutritional data listed on the website is a total pain. I think I am gonna try and find a recipe calorie calculator to see how the portions tally out, but it would be nice if they did all the work and had it published. Since I have started on my mission to loose my baby weight, I have been fairly diligent about tracking what I eat. It is amazing how fast calories add up during the day; especially when I am not paying attention. Ugh.

Anyway, let me step down from my calorie soapbox for now and share tonight's dinner recipe. This is a Barefoot Contessa dish that has been featured both on her show and in her cookbook, Barefoot In Paris. The reviews are positive and it looks to be fairly healthy. I am going to serve this dish with some sauteed, fresh green beans. As always with new Ina recipes, I am looking forward to trying this out!

Salmon with Lentils
From: 2004, Barefoot in Paris cookbook

1⁄2 pound French green lentils (lentilles du Puy)
1⁄4 cup good olive oil, plus extra for salmon
2 cups chopped yellow onions
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 1⁄2 cups chopped celery (4 stalks)
1 1⁄2 cups chopped carrots (3 carrots)
1 1⁄2 cups homemade chicken stock or good canned broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
4 (6-ounce)salmon fillets, skin removed

Place the lentils in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 15 minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saute pan, add the onions, leeks, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the drained lentils, celery, carrots, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Add the vinegar and season, to taste.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

For the salmon, heat a dry oven-proof saute pan over high heat for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, rub both sides of the salmon fillets with olive oil and season the tops very liberally with salt and pepper. When the pan is very hot, place the salmon fillets seasoning-sides down in the pan and cook over medium heat without moving them for 2 minutes, until very browned. Turn the fillets and place the pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, until the salmon is cooked rare. Spoon a mound of lentils on each plate and place a salmon fillet on top. Serve hot.

The Result:
Oh man, did I have an off cooking night! I burnt my hand, I burnt my tongue, and I turned the salmon into pink charcoal. I waaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy overcooked the fish by mistake. Oops! Despite my screw-ups, this was still a good recipe. The lentils were really tasty, but it wasn't enough to salvage the disastrous result of the fish. I do need to just try this whole dish over again, and revise my review when the salmon does not suck. I will say that I think it would have been a fantastic meal if I wouldn't have goofed it up so bad. Ugh.

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