Sunday, February 26, 2012

Guilt Free Fridays

Despite the fact that this Tuesday was known for its fat intake, it is really Fridays that Catholics need to worry about during Lent.  Coming from a city predominately founded by German Catholics, I can tell you that over the next 7 weeks, we will be bombarded with signs advertising local church fish fries (but our favorite fish is probably from Mueth’s tavern). 
My husband is not a huge seafood fan, and frankly he would run away from me screaming if I suggested vegetarian food, but we have found a few meals that answer the meatless Friday dilemma.  Some of our go-to dinners during Lent include meatless mostaccioli, Margherita pizza, potato soup, tortilla soup, and breakfast for dinner.  (I’m still working on a few others though.)  In the meantime, we’ve decided to switch up our grilled salmon recipe a bit by swapping our favorite salmon glaze (Daddy Sams) with a sour cream dill sauce.  (This is actually the same recipe I use for the dill dip I serve with rye bread at parties.)  Ironically, sour cream is usually another food the hubby isn’t a fan of either…
We decided to serve this dish with Mrs. T’s potato and cheddar perogies.  We like to bake ours, but you can also pan fry or boil them. 
(I have to make a confession here.  We are fortunate enough to have family and friends who enjoy our presence so much that we were unable to make this meal until tonight.  This was a bit of a disappointment though because I was dreaming about this dish all week!)
So without further ado, here’s the recipe:
Grilled Salmon with Dill Sauce
*2 salmon fillets
*Butter or margarine
*Lemon juice
*8 oz. sour cream
*Minced onion flakes
Preheat your grill to between 400 and 500° (every “expert” will tell you something different).
Meanwhile, combine the sour cream, dill, minced onion, and salt.  (Hint: I use 8 shakes of each spice and taste until I get to the flavor I'm looking for.  You will need much less salt than dill and minced onion.)
When you start the cooking process, be ready to roll because this will only take 6-8 minutes.
Lay a sheet of tin foil over the grill and coat liberally with cooking spray.
Lay the salmon on the grill skin side down.  Season the top with a dollop of butter or margarine and a few conservative squirts of lemon juice.
Close up the grill and cook for 3-3 ½ minutes depending on the heat of your grill.
When this time has passed, salt and pepper the salmon and flip it over, cooking for another 3-3 ½ minutes.
When this time has passed, flip the fish back over and use a meat thermometer to check its internal temperature (it should be at 135°).  If it's not quite there, close the grill back up and cook for 1 minute increments until the fish has reached it's optimal temperature.
After transferring to plates, top the fish with the dill sauce or serve it on the side.  (I would recommend plating the salmon with the skin still on.  This will keep the salmon from falling apart in the transfer.)  Feel free to garnish with scallions/green onion if you have them too. 
And viola!  You should wind up with something that looks like this:
And since I watched Julie & Julia again this week, I have to give credit to Julie Powell for making me feel like it’s okay to say “Yum” about my own food (despite proper etiquette) because dinner was definitely an experience tonight!
It’s still early in the year, but as the grilling season picks up, I think a Woodchuck pear cider would be the perfect complement to this meal, as would Lipton island mango and peach white tea.
I guess if I have to give something up for Lent this year, it might as well be fried fish.  It might be a challenge to pass up the fish and chips at one of our favorite Irish pubs on St. Patrick’s Day, but I think it will be worth the sacrifice to incorporate more healthy dishes into our diets.

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