So, you're probably wondering "Why salmon?" First, my family loves seafood! We live in Florida where there is an abundance of fresh fish. However, while salmon is not a local catch, there is something about salmon that we especially love. It is considered one of the healthy fish, an excellent source of heart-healthy omega fatty acids. It tastes delicious and is so versatile, we serve it for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Second, most of us have watched Discovery Channel or paid attention in nature biology class (ok...admittedly, more likely the first choice) and learned the life cycle of a salmon. Briefly, birth and then maturation to the adult salmon, which spends 1 to 4 years in the ocean swimming and feeding throughout the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. Their ocean habitat is fraught with perils though, as they are prey for seals, orca whales, and fishermen. After swimming more than 2000 miles throughout the northern Pacific Ocean they return to their original natal grounds to spawn. Once the salmon arrive at their birth rivers and streams, they face even more dangerous challenges such as swimming upstream against raging rapids, leaping over rocky waterfalls, avoiding fishermen nets and hooks, and steering clear of the hungry claws and jaws of bears. They barely get to enjoy this journey before they spawn and die. If that isn't one compelling drama, I don't know what is!
Despite the hardships endured by salmon, my girls and I plan to give them a posthumous send-off on a culinary journey around the world. So, as with any journey of a 1,000 miles, we must begin with a single step and since we live in Florida, our first salmon dish will highlight the fresh, tropical flavors of our state. Florida is known for its plump, juicy citrus and swaying palm trees and these are some of the ingredients with which we prepared our first salmon dish. So, without further ado, here are the recipes for our 'Sunshine State Salmon Dinner.'
A colorful, flavor-FULL dinner plate! Yummy!!
Sunshine State Salmon Dinner
- 1 1/2 lbs Sockeye Salmon
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed keylime juice
- 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- salt/pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Prepare marinade. Combine water, keylime juice, orange juice, garlic and vegetable oil in a 1-gallon ziplock bag. Season salmon with salt and pepper and add to marinade in bag.
- Marinate in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
- Transfer salmon to rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the salmon flakes easily (depends on thickness of salmon).
- Serve with Lemon Parsely Rice with Toasted Coconut and Lemon-Butter Green Beans (see recipes below).
Lemon Parsely Rice with Toasted Coconut
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup rice
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- grated lemon peel from one lemon
- 1 tablespoon parsely, chopped
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
- Mix water, rice, butter and salt in medium saucepan.
- Bring to boil uncovered.
- Stir, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until rice is tender and cooked through.
- Meanwhile, toast coconut over medium-low heat in smaill saute pan until lightly brown and slightly crunchy.
- Fluff rice with fork and mix in grated lemon peel and chopped parsley. Top with toasted coconut.
Lemon-Butter Green Beans
- 1 package microwave green beans
- grated lemon peel from 1/2 lemon
- 2 teaspoons butter
- salt/pepper to taste
- Cook green beans in microwave according to package directions.
- Transfer to serving dish and add butter, grated lemon peel and salt and pepper. Toss to coat.