During our trips to Mexico, we have always enjoyed having seafood cooked with local preparations. Not all food in Mexico is spicy and this recipe isn’t overly spicy, but it does have a little bit of heat. Although you can certainly use a fish other than salmon, we found that salmon was able to hold up to the bold taste of the creamy pepper sauce. We have often made a hollandaise sauce to go with salmon, but using the peppers provides a different alternative. With the summer months coming, the salmon could also be grilled instead of pan-seared, but pan-searing it does create a nice and crispy skin. We found this dish to be extremely delicious and relatively simple to make. It is also the type of dish that can be made for a more formal occasion or a simple weeknight dinner.
2 Salmon Filets – about 5 ounces each
3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 Fresh Anaheim Peppers
2 tbsp Corn Taco Shells – ground (or 2 tbsp of Masa Harina, which is a corn flour)
1 1/2 cups Milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
Either by heating the peppers on the open flame of a gas stove or on a grill, cook the peppers until the skins are blistered and black. While still hot, put the peppers into a bowl and cover them with plastic wrap so that they steam. Once cool, you can use a knife or a paper towel to remove the charred skin of the peppers. Roasting the peppers gives them a nice, smoky taste. Roughly chop the peppers and set them aside.
Season the salmon filets with a half a teaspoon of the garlic powder as well as a generous amount of salt and pepper. Heat a large sauce pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is fully heated, place the salmon skin-side down into the pan and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes and the skin is nice and crispy. Flip the fish and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. If you are going to put the fish into an oven to stay warm while the sauce cooks, simply cook the fish a minute or two less before putting them into the oven. Otherwise, simply cover the fish and set aside and let the fish rest while the sauce cooks.
Add the peppers, remaining garlic powder, ground taco shells or flour, milk, and some salt and pepper to a blender (works better than a food processor for this sauce) and mix until smooth. Pour the pepper mixture into the same pan that the fish was cooked in while the temperature is still at medium-high. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until the sauce thickens. Be sure to taste the sauce and add additional salt or pepper if necessary. Plate the fish and serve with the sauce over top.
Pairing fish with a white wine sauce is quite common as they naturally compliment one another. It also works great with clams, mussels, or scallops, but we chose Tilapia as it takes on the flavor of whatever it is cooked with. We did it as a weeknight meal for two, but it certainly can be done for a larger group, although pan frying fish filets for more than four or five would require cooking them in batches. We have certainly had seafood with white wine sauce in many different European countries as well as in cities here in the United States. Any time you cook with wine, it is always important to cook with a wine that you would want to drink on its own as, even the alcohol will cook out, the flavor of the wine will clearly remain and intensify.
2 Tilapia Filets
1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Paprika
2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/3 cup Shallots – finely chopped
1 cup Dry White Wine (we used a chardonnay)
1 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1/3 cup Heavy Cream
1 tbsp Dried Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Place the flour on a shallow plate, mixing it with salt, pepper, and the paprika. In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat and sauté the shallots for 2 to 3 minutes until they are translucent. Add the wine and vinegar and simmer until reduced by half and the alcohol has cooked off, about 6 minutes. Add the cream and cook for another 5 minutes and then add the parsley, salt and pepper. Pour the sauce into a bowl and then add the remaining butter and oil into the pan. Dredge both sides of the Tilapia with the flour and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes per side until browned and flakey. Place the fish onto serving plates and spoon the white wine sauce over top.
Salmon is a wonderful fish to have throughout the year. It is strong enough to hold up to a variety of flavors, so we decided to do a variation of a sauce that we saw on a cooking show. We had so many similar style dishes when visiting the Mediterranean regions, we only wish that we could have been sitting on a beach while we ate. It is a combination of sweet and savory and can be used on a variety of proteins from chicken to other types of fish. Having salmon with a light and refreshing sauce such as this makes for a wonderful weeknight dinner or it can be dressed up for a special occasion. We decided to bake the salmon, but you could just as easily pan fry it if you would like to create a crispy skin. It certainly made for a wonderful meal and is something that we will likely make again and again. This recipe is for two, but can easily be adjusted to serve more.
1/2 lb Salmon – cut into 4 oz filets
1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar
2 tbsp Capers – rinsed
2 tbsp Honey
2 tbsp Dried Dill
2 tbsp Dried Tarragon
1 tsp Garlic Powder
2/3 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Brush the flesh side of the salmon with olive oil and then sprinkle them with salt, pepper, the garlic powder, and a pinch of the dill and tarragon. Place skin side down on a pan that has been covered with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes for medium-well or cook to your desired temperature. In a blender, add the vinegar, honey, capers, and remaining dill and tarragon. Blend while slowly adding olive oil until it reaches the desired thickness (you may not use all of the olive oil). Remove the salmon from the oven and drizzle with the desired amount of sauce, about 2 to 3 tablespoons per filet.