Saturday, February 27, 2016

Parmesan herb crusted salmon with cheesy creamy polenta

Our salmon dinner nights are by far my favorite.  Not only is it the easiest meal the I make, but it's the most delicious!  It reminds my husband that maybe we shouldn't eat out so much, too. At home you get a much larger portion size AND you feed the whole family for about the price of ONE salmon entree in a restaurant!

First, for the cheesy polenta, you can basically follow the instructions of what brand of polenta you have.  I had a medium coarse corn meal (I guess you are not supposed to use fine corn meal) and that worked great.  I found a recipe, it looked as though all the recipes follow a 1 part polenta to 4 parts water rule, which made about 4 servings.  Normally with a salmon dinner I bake or mash potatoes, the polenta takes a little more work, but so very much worth it. 

Creamy Cheesy Polenta
1 cup polenta corn meal (a medium coarse corn meal)
4 cups water
1 t. salt
3 T. butter
3/4 cup cheddar cheese grated
1/4 parmesan cheese grated

Bring your water to a boil and add the salt.  With a whisk or wooden spoon stir in the polenta.  You want to keep a steady and continuous stream of polenta into the water and stir quickly, keep stirring until the polenta thickens up (keeps its hold instead of settling back down into the pan after being stirred).  On a low heat, cover the polenta.  It's going to cook 30-35 more minutes.  Stir for about a minute, every 5-10 minutes.  At this point it should have a pretty thick consistency but cooked through (soft).  I added water and continued stirring until it reached the creamy consistency I wanted. Then added the butter and cheese, and stirred until combined.  Serve immediately or  keep on the lowest heat until you serve.

Parmesan Herb Crusted Salmon
Salmon steaks or large fillet (I generally have a 2 lb fillet)
Olive oil
4 T. Parsley finely chopped
sprinkle of any herb (I like dried oregano, rosemary and sage; you could use an italian seasoning too)
1/4 c. finely grated parmesan

I use a cookie sheet drizzled with olive oil.  You can you any pan, you can also cover the pan with foil (for an easier clean up), drizzle with olive oil and place fillet on top.  Drizzle the salmon with olive oil, rub to distribute evenly.  Salt and pepper.  Sprinkle herbs and cheese across the top and flatten down/pat with your hands.  Broil on hi (on the 2nd to top rack) for about 10 minutes.  I like my salmon cooked through so completely opaque, and I also like a good crust on the top, so I will cook it for another 5 minutes.  And that's it!!

We love vegetables over here, so I always add a side of veges.  Zucchini sautes up in about 6-8 minutes, and I just season with a little salt and pepper.  Top the meal with any left over grated cheeses or parsley.  So delicious.  One of the best meals I've made this year, and so easy!!
Happy cooking!

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