Friday, March 11, 2011

Meatless Meals: Fish

I've always felt awkward and nervous in fancy restaurants. Surely they can all tell that I don't belong there, and don't even want to be there! But in grad school I started dating a guy who liked to take me out to nice places, and I didn't feel like I could say "Can't we just hit up a burger joint instead?" So I would swallow my discomfort and order whatever food seemed safest, cheapest, and most familiar.

One evening he took me to a trendy new Asian fusion restaurant. I ordered an old standby: chicken fried rice. My new beau ordered apple-glazed salmon. I was intrigued. The only salmon I'd ever eaten had come from a can. I was from the midwest after all; the extent of fresh fish I'd eaten was the catfish and trout that my grandpa had caught.

When our food arrived, the handsome man across the table pronounced his fish delicious and encouraged me to try a bite. It wasn't just delicious - it was divine! And being the ladylike date that I was, I promptly scarfed down his entire meal.

It must have been true love, because he still married me, despite being relegated to a boring meal of rice that night and countless more instances of meal swapping. And since then I have searched for an apple-glazed salmon recipe to serve him in atonement for that fateful night. These recipes tended to call for things I don't keep on hand, like apple cider or bourbon, so I finally came up with the recipe below. It's easy and delicious, and most importantly the perfect amount for both of us!

That Married Couple's Apple-Glazed Salmon

2-3 salmon fillets (boneless, skinless, my grocer sells 6 oz portions)
1 apple
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp syrup
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp Balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line pan with foil to make cleanup easier. Spray with non-stick spray.

2. Core apple (I don't bother peeling it) and slice up apple into thin slivers.

3. Melt butter in small saucepan and add apples and cinnamon. Cook for a few minutes to start softening apples.

4. Add remaining ingredients and cook for a few more minutes.

5. Put salmon on pan. Cover fish with apples and half the sauce.

6. Cook for about 20 minutes or until done. In the meantime, let remaining sauce simmer and thicken on stovetop.

7. Serve with extra sauce and enjoy!

Do you have any good fish recipes to share?


  1. Elizabeth,
    I don't usually comment here, but since I know you and the way you cook and eat, I think it should be pointed out that you mean white CORN syrup, right? In my family, we use the general work "syrup" to mean fake maple syrup, but your family means Karo, if I remember correctly!


  2. Thanks Brookie! Actually, here I actually do mean fake maple syrup, although I imagine the real stuff would be even better :)

  3. Best phrase in this recipe: "Line pan with foil". I always forget this sort of stuff when I'm cooking! I loved the backstory, although I chuckled about the canned salmon bit. I grew up in Washington State, so wild Pacific salmon was a regular guest at the dinner table growing up! I will have to try this recipe once I'm actually living near a real body of water and not having to deal with the scary Midwest fish. :-P

  4. This is Vijay's and my favorite fish recipe:

    I just made it this week. I actually made the full recipe of sauce, but for only half of the fish because I used the extra as a creamy topping for roasted asparagus (both go into the oven at the same temp!). Yummy!

    It's super easy and it's delicious. The creme fraiche is usually near the sour cream/cottage cheese at the grocery store, but ours is actually just with the other cheeses. I promise that's it's worth the search for it!

    We've never used red snapper for the recipe - we've used a variety of other white fish though: swai, tilapia, catfish, etc. Also, I've used fish with and without skin - it's tastier without, I think, and I always cook mine in a ceramic casserole dish.


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