Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Salmon with Creamed Leeks and Cabbage

Leeks and cabbage are the unsung heros of the vegetable world. Cabbage normally gets lumped into the smelly and disgusting vegetable category, and leeks are known mainly for the elegant vichysoisse cold soup and ignored the rest of the time.  This is a shame because both vegetables are really tasty.  Leeks have a lovely sweet flavor.  I often just saute them quickly in a bit of butter and then add a tiny bit of water and cook until the leeks is tender.  The leeks make a lovely side dish to chicken or fish. Cabbage can be mild and sweet or slightly spicy, depending on the type.  A quickly sauted cabbage also makes a great side dish, and just needs salt and pepper as a seasoning.

In this dish I combine the two, and add a bit of cream for lusciousness.  It is quick and easy to make and makes a tempting base for a piece of fish. A little chopped almonds gives a bit of crunch and textural contrast.

I have chosen salmon but any fish would taste good here, or even chicken.  Cod would be especially delicious and I probably would have chosen it, but they didn't have any at the store yesterday!  A fresh fillet of salmon is a delicious thing but if it is not fresh, it can have a strong "fishy" flavor that I do not like.  I always ask when I buy the fish if it was delivered that day.  If it was not, then I don't buy it.  However, you never know if they are telling you the truth, so what I really recomend is finding a fishmonger that you like and going to them often.  If you are a good customer, they will let you know what is really fresh. Here in Sweden, I often buy Salmalax, which is a brand that advertises that they process the fish within 4 hours from catching.  You can find it in many of the regular grocery stores. It is a bit more expensive, but it does give perfect results, every time.

Serves 4
4 skinless fillets of salmon
3 medium to large leeks
1/2 head of a smallish cabbage
3/4 cup cream
handful of roasted and salted almonds
salt and pepper
a bit of butter for frying the fish

First prepare your vegetables.  Cut the cabbage into quarters.  Cut out the core.  Slice thinly crosswise.  Cut off the ends of the leeks. Cut in half lengthwise.  Wash the leaves carefully to remove any dirt and grit that might have lodged there.  Slice crosswise.Take the almonds and roughly chop.  Set aside.

Put a pot on the stove on high heat and pour in 1/2 cup of cream. Add in the leeks and cabbage, a half teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground pepper.  Put the lid on the pot and bring the cream to a boil.  Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat to low, give the vegetables a good stir, and put the heat back on.  Let cook for a few minutes, until the vegetables are tender.  Pour in the remaining 1/4 cup cream and give a good stir.  Put the lid back on and take off the stove.  It can sit while you cook the salmon.

While you are waiting for the leeks and cabbage to get tender, prepare the fish.  Salt and pepper each fillet.  Heat a frying pan on high, with a knob of butter.  Put the fish into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes until it is nicely golden brown.  Flip the fish over and cook on the other side, until that side is nicely golden brown.  The fish is cooked through when you see it begin to "break" in the middle of the fillet where the spine of the fish was.

Give the creamed cabbage and leeks a stir, then spoon a nice helping onto each plate.  Top with a salmon fillet and sprinkle with some of the roasted almonds.  Enjoy!


medi volpe-ayres said...

this looks great! I can't wait to try it!

LL Fredell said...

Hope you enjoy it Medi!