Friday, November 28, 2008

Salmon a la Vizcaina (Salmon in Vizcaina Sauce)

I got the idea to make this from one of my readers whom calls himself "Mamey" (his name is Omar) he was kind enough to comment my "Boniatillo" and share a recipe he made of Salmon in a Vizcaina type sauce. It sounded delicious, he pan-fried the salmon and added it to a delicous tomato based sauce served over sliced "Boniato" (a type of white sweet potato).

So today I made it, I kind of just followed my instincts and tried to imagine how it was done, and made the type of sauce my grandmother would use for "Bacalao a la Vizcaina" and just replaced the Bacalao with a well seasoned, pan-fried salmon it was wonderful try it you won't regret.

Oh I forgot I had a wonderful Boniato in my kitchen but half of it spoiled as I forgot about it and it was a couple weeks old (ooops) so I used regular brown potatoes instead.

Ingredients for Salmon:

-1 1/2 pounds salmon filets cut into medium large serving pieces
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1 teaspoon paprika (sweet smoked I like)
-1 teaspoon ground black pepper
-1 teaspoon of sea salt (more or less to taste)
-4 cloves of fresh garlic mashed to a paste (more to taste)
Ingredients for Sauce:
-1 small green bell pepper finely minced
-1 small red bell pepper finely minced
-1 medium onion cut into thin rings
-5-6 cloves garlic mashed to a paste (garlic press or mortar and pestle)
-1 cup crushed tomatoes
-1 cup tomato sauce
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-1 cup water
-2 bay leaves
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
-sea salt to taste

Ingredients for "bed":
-2 large Boniatos (white sweet potatoes) or in it's place substitute it for 4 potatoes (boiled, peeled, cut into thin rounds)
(1)In a mortar mash garlic to a paste with sea salt, cumin, paprika, and pepper. Rub it all over the fish filets.

(2)Heat some olive oil on medium high in a pan, brown the salmon filets on both sides. Set aside.

(3)In the same pan let's start making the sauce, sautee onions and minced bell peppers for 5 minutes, add garlic sautee another 2 minutes, add cumin, oregano, bay leaf sautee 1 minute, now add crushed tomato, stir until it mixes well and higher heat, now add tomato sauce, stir and bring to boil, add 1 cup water, and 1/2 cup dry white wine, sea salt to taste bring to a boil and and simmer on medium low for atleast 10 minutes.

(4)Add salmon filets in carefully along with drippings, in a big dish make a bed with peeled sliced into thin rounds potatoes or boniatos and carefully place the salmon filets in the sauce over this bed with the rest of the sauce.

(5)Served it with rice and a wonderful salad my mom made marinaded in white wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic and salt. (It was delicious it has orange cauliflower, broccoflower, red onion, aspuragus, and minced cilantro)

"Mamey" (aka Omar) served it with "Harina de Maiz" (Polenta I'm assuming it was simply cornmeal, salted, and boiled with water but even though it sounds simple it goes well with most stuff atleast these types of food, I would've made it but I was tired and had leftover cold rice which I decided to make a "Garlic Fried Rice" with which was simply rice sauteed with minced garlic and salt I learned it from a Filipino friend, simple and delicious), and a watercress, tomato, avocado salad (I think)

-You can skip the whole "bed of potatoes" and or "boniato" and simply throw the over the salmon and sauce. Or you can while making the sauce when you cover it to boil let it cook 15- 20 minutes with chunks of potatoes or boniato and then when done you add the salmon in for a more "home-style" approach I guess.

-Some other time I will show my families way of preparing the "Bacalao" (salted dry cod) with this sauce.

-Don't worry if you don't have sea salt just use regular salt it will still be good.


FOODalogue: Meandering Meals and Travels said...

Nice preparation...I could almost smell the sauce.

Marilyn said...

Hi Nathan,
Es el unico pescado que como, otro de mis cuban trumas!
Que rico se ve!

Nathan said...

It was very fragrant and delicious the next day these types of dishes have a stronger taste, the spices get stronger.

I've been trying to get more seafood into my diet it's suppose to be "good for the heart" because they have a good ratio of omega 3 fatty acids. My father is also very picky about fish he will only eat the filets, and salmon is his favorite. Hmm... grass-fed meat also has good omega 3 fatty acids... Haha I'm a start drinking "aciete de bacalao" have you ever had that? My grandmother still has memories of being forced fed that since young.

Mamey said...

Nathan: Te la comiste!!! (you know that Cuban expression, don't you?). My dish, now yours too, also goes well inside a french baguette or in flauta de pan cubano. Avocado salad on the side, please!

Mamey said...

Hey, I too was forced to take codfish oil as a kid back in Havana--big spoonfuls. Now I take the horse pills chockfull of Omega 3s. Let's try making croquetas de salmon a ver que pasa.

Rox said...

Nathan this looks really yummy. I made Bacalao a la vizcaina when my mom was in town and it was delicious. It's one of my favorite cuban dishes- that and Rabo Encendido. Mamey suggested making croquetas de bacalao that sounds so good!There is a bakery in Miami that makes them so good I think I might have some when I go home later on this month. That and Grandma's cooking. I can't wait.

Nathan said...

Yup I know that expression ha ha, mmmm.... croquetas de salmon sound yummy, to bad I had no leftovers salmon to make it with. Next time I'll try to make some Croquetas de Salmon (I can buy some wild alaskan canned salmon as a short cut)to be honest though I usually never make croquettas so I will have to look for a recipe and manipulate it to my taste, etc.

You know what I dislike about some croquetas is that people put TOOOOO much flour sometimes and like my gradma say's, "Muchas veses es mas harina que carne o pescao" but for sure I'll try some out :)

Hehe he suggested "Croquetas de Salmon" I have never had "Croquetas de Bacalao" but I have had "Frituritas de Bacalao" LUCKY YOU I WISH I COULD GO TO MIAMI! Oh well some day I will :) I was gonna go this year but my grandma was sick and couldn't go and without her I won't go I rather stay.

Mamey said...

Nathan, Rox: Yeah, I did say croquetas de salmon, but I have never made them. My grandmother use to make croquetas de pescado (various, de jaiva (blue crab), de langosta, de jamon, de pollo, y de bacalao (we didn't like the beef ones). They were usually bigger than the ones they sell in bakeries, and light on the flour. Also, they often had minced onions and parsley.