Category:

Seafood

Pronounced “SO-pays” sopes are a delicious Mexican dish that utilizes leftovers to make a quick meal that helps to stretch the budget! Since sopes use corn masa as the base the texture lies between the chew of an arepa and the softness of a tamal (tamale). They cook up in just ten minutes, and can be filled with whatever your heart desires!

For these sopes I used the leftovers from taco night (taco meat, refried beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, and queso fresco). Other common fillings include shredded meat, salsas, cheeses, shredded cabbage, radish, pickled onions. Let your imagination run wild!

Sopes

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 2 ½ cups instant masa harina
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil or lard/bacon fat
Instructions:
  • In a bowl combine the masa harina, salt and vegetable oil or lard/bacon fat. With your hands crumble the fat into the masa harina until it has the texture of sand.
  • Slowly pour the warm water into your masa one cup at a time. The water should dissolve into the masa completely before adding the next cup. Your masa should be the texture of fresh play-doh when it's ready! Masa is not an exact science so you may need more masa harina or water to achieve the correct texture, don't sweat it!
  • Divide the prepared masa into 8 even balls. Lightly wet your hands and press the balls into approximately ½" thick circles with your palms re-wetting your hands after each circle. This prevents the masa from sticking to your hands.
  • Heat a large skillet over med-high heat or 400°F if you're using an electric skillet. Lightly grease the skillet, and when it's hot begin cooking the sopes. Cook for 2-4 minutes per side. You're looking for a *slight* golden color.
  • When your sopes have achieved the correct color move them to a baking tray, and while still warm pinch the edges to form a rim around the outside of the sopes. They should look like tiny pie crusts. This step must be done while the sopes are still warm, but be careful not to burn yourself!
  • At this point the sopes are technically done, but I like to place them back on the griddle for just a minute or two to allow the bottoms to crisp up a little more. This step is completely optional though. You do you boo!
  • Fill the sopes with whatever you've chosen. The traditional way is to begin with a smear of beans, then top with meat, cheese, and additional toppings. Enjoy!

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This light and fresh salad provides a delicious hit of lemon and texture in every bite. By using breadcrumbs instead of croutons and shredding the Parmesan instead of shaving it the salad stays consistent throughout.

If you can’t find prepackaged baby super greens using Arugula in it’s place is a great substitute. We chose to top this salad with grilled chicken, but the simple marinade also works beautifully on salmon, and even white beans and avocado!

Lemon Super Greens Salad

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Appetizer, main, Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 5 oz baby super greens
  • 5 oz arugula
  • 4 lemons
  • 1 cup Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup GF panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp salted butter (melted)
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp mustard powder
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
Instructions:
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F and if you are making the chicken to top the salad, set your grill to high. Around 400°F.
  • On a baking tray combine the breadcrumbs, melted butter and ½ tsp garlic powder. Combine and spread into and even layer. Bake for 10 minutes until a deep golden brown and set aside.
  • In a small bowl combine the juice and zest of one lemon, the balsamic vinegar, dried parsley, remaining garlic powder, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. Whisk together and add the chicken breast. Coat both sides of the chicken breast and set aside.
  • In a small jar with a lid or small bowl combine: the zest of one lemon, the juice of two lemons, 3 Tbsp olive oil, chili powder, mustard powder, cumin, and remaining salt and pepper. Shake or whisk together, and taste for seasoning. This is your salad dressing.
  • Grill your chicken breast for 7-10 minutes per side or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast has reaches 165°F. When cooked remove from the grill and allow to rest for 2 minutes, and slice.
  • In a large bowl add the arugula and baby super greens. Sprinkle on the toasted breadcrumbs, and the shredded Parmesan. Mix or shake together your dressing and pour the entire contents over the salad. Mix the salad together with your hands coating everything well.
  • Plate your dressed salad and top with the sliced chicken breast. Squeeze the remaining lemon over top and enjoy!

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With all the fires raging here in California coupled with the 100+ degree heat I wanted to make something to cool us off! This tropical shrimp ceviche is fresh, cooling, and easy. I use precooked shrimp for two reasons: To ensure the shrimp is truly cooked all the way through and to cut the waiting time from overnight to one hour. Try this ceviche on tostadas, scooped in chips, in soft tacos, or with a spoon. We serve it with lots of avocado and Valentina picante sauce. So refreshing!

Tropical Shrimp Ceviche

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Resting time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean, Mexican
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 lb cooked shrimp (cleaned, shells removed)
  • 15 limes (juiced)
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice
  • 1 mango
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 habanero pepper, or two jalapenos (seeds removed)
  • 2 roma tomatoes (pulp removed)
  • 1 cucumber (seeds removed)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (leaves only)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 avocado (*optional)
  • Valentina picante sauce (*optional)
Instructions:
  • Squeeze the limes into a large bowl, and add the pineapple juice.
  • Finely chop all the remaining ingredients, except the avocado and add to the bowl with the lime and pineapple juice. Add the salt and pepper over top.
  • Toss all the ingredients together coating everything in the lime and pineapple juice. Allow to marinate for one hour, and when ready to serve top with the avocado.
  • Serve chilled with chips or tostadas and top with Valentina if desired. Enjoy!

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If you’ve searched your local supermarket here in the U.S. then you know that gluten free wonton or dumpling wrappers are next to impossible to find. Making them (which I have done) is a real chore and still does not live up to the chewy glory that is pre-made wonton wrappers. Not worth it.

So what is worth it? Our faithful friend Vietnamese rice paper offers a surprisingly chewy and delicious wonton wrapper! Do they hold up 100% like wheat wrappers? No, and you should definitely expect some of them to break apart in the pot. It’s the nature of the beast. This soup offers all the same chew, flavor, and nostalgia as your favorite wonton soup. It’s perfection.

Shrimp not your thing? No problem. Use whatever filling you want to make your perfect dumpling. You won’t be disappointed!

Chicken Wonton Soup

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Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 lb chicken thighs
  • ¼ lb shrimp (cleaned, shells and tails removed)
  • 24 rice paper wrappers
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups baby bok choy (chopped *optional)
  • 1 tsp lemongrass (chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp ginger (grated or minced + 1 tsp)
  • 4 Tbsp GF soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 2 bunches green onions (roots trimmed)
  • 1 Tbsp ground black or white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
Instructions:
  • In a food processor or blender combine: chicken thighs, shrimp, lemongrass, 1 Tbsp ginger, 4 cloves garlic, 2 Tbsp GF soy sauce, 1 bunch green onions, 2 tsp pepper, 2 tsp sesame oil, 1 Tbsp mirin, 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar. Puree until a paste is formed.
  • In a pot over high heat place the chicken broth, 1 tsp ginger, 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp GF soy sauce, 2 Tbsp mirin, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp sesame oil, and 1 bunch green onions. Bring the broth to a boil and stir, allow the green onions to soften and then discard them. Turn off the heat.
  • Fill a shallow bowl or pie pan with warm water and prepare a flat surface to fold dumplings on. Grease a baking sheet with the vegetable oil.
  • Soften the rice paper in the warm water, and when pliable move to the flat surface. Fill each wrapper with 1 Tbsp filling. Allow the wrapper to get slightly sticky before you begin folding.
  • To fold the dumplings: Fold the dumpling in half so it looks like a taco, and press all the air out.
  • Fold one corner of the dumpling over to form a flat side in the filling. The corners to do not need to meet, but likely will.
  • Take the remaining corner and wrap it around the filling so it sits underneath the dumpling.
  • Lastly twist the top so your dumpling resembles a coin purse. The stickiness of the wrapper will hold the twist together. Place finished dumplings on the greased baking sheet not touching each other.
  • When you have finished wrapping the dumplings bring the chicken broth back to a boil and add your baby bok choy if using. Boil for 5 minutes, and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Add the dumplings to the pot and cook for 10 minutes in the broth. Don't be surprised if some of them break it is normal and totally fine.
  • When the dumplings are cooked divide them evenly between four bowls and spoon the broth and bok choy over them. Enjoy alone or with steamed or fried rice and enjoy!

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A quick weeknight meal sure to please! Replacing chicken with scallops shaves ten minutes off the weeknight rush and puts a fun coastal spin on a usual dish. The addition of spinach rounds out this meal and has you serving up a complete meal in under 30 minutes. 

Scallops Marsala

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 lb sea scallops
  • 12 oz GF pasta of your choice
  • 16 oz mushrooms (thinly sliced)
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream (*optional)
  • 2 Tbsp GF flour blend
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup dry Marsala wine
  • ¼ cup dry sherry wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried parsley (or ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley)
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
Instructions:
  • Pat scallops dry, and season with ½ tsp each salt and pepper.
  • In a pot over high heat begin boiling water for the pasta. Add the pasta when the water has boiled and cook according to your packages directions. Set aside.
  • In a large pan over high heat add 1 tsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter. Allow the butter to melt, and when the pan is hot add the scallops. Sear on each side for 2 minutes or until golden brown in color.
  • When scallops have cooked remove from the pan and set aside. Add 1 Tbsp butter to the pan and add the sliced mushrooms, and thyme. Cook the mushrooms over high heat until they are cooked through and beginning to brown. This should take 5 to 10 minutes.
  • When mushrooms have cooked add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp butter and allow to melt, reduce the heat to medium.
  • Add the GF flour and whisk together with all the ingredients in the pan. Cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly just to cook off the raw flour taste.
  • Add the Marsala wine, sherry, chicken broth, parsley, and heavy cream if using. Whisk vigorously until the liquids thicken to form a sauce. Add the remaining salt and pepper. Taste and adjust as desired.
  • When sauce has formed stir in the spinach and allow to wilt. Stir in the pasta and scallops coating everything well in the sauce. Reduce the heat to low and cover for 2 to 5 minutes just to rewarm the scallops. Serve and enjoy!

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Unlike most fried rice recipes which are about the perfect balance of flavors crab fried rice is all about featuring the crab! This dish, originally from Thailand, is fried rice at it’s finest. Fast, delicious, and filled with crab it’s an easy winning weeknight meal.

 Crab a little pricey right now? Canned tuna would also work surprisingly well here!

Crab Fried Rice

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 12 oz crab meat
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 cups day old cooked rice
  • 2 Tbsp avocado or vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tbsp ginger (grated or minced)
  • 2 Tbsp GF soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp garlic chili paste (sambal)
  • 1 Tbsp mirin or sake
  • 1 bunch green onions (greens and whites sliced)
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  • limes (for serving)
Instructions:
  • Prep your ingredients. In a small bowl or mug combine eggs, GF soy sauce, fish sauce, mirin, garlic chili paste, white pepper and scramble well.
  • In a wok or large nonstick skillet over med-high heat add 2 Tbsp oil and the garlic, green onion, and ginger. Saute for 3-4 minutes or just until the garlic begins to lightly brown, add the crab meat and saute 2 minutes longer.
  • Add the rice to the pan and try to break the rice into small clumps. Allow the rice to slightly warm through about 3 to 5 minutes. Cold rice is challenging to break up so don't sweat it too hard, adding the egg mixture will loosen everything up completely.
  • Turn your heat to high, and pour in the egg mixture working through until all rice is coated. Cook for 5 minutes moving constantly or until the egg is completely cooked (you won't see any clear egg whites). Stir well and enjoy with a squeeze of lime and more chili paste!

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Provencal is a style of food in France that showcases certain ingredients at their peak in season. Traditionally this style consists of tomato, peppers, olives, capers, and herbs of your choice. This simple dish is light on ingredients, but big on flavors. I’ve used cod here to stay true to the French style, but any firm white fish, shrimp, or even salmon would work.

I lined the bottom of my baking dish with asparagus for a full one dish meal, but feel free to use whatever vegetable you choose or to forgo the vegetables entirely. 

Cod Provencal

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Servings: 2
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Ingredients:
 
  • 2 Cod fillets (6 oz each, thawed)
  • 1 bundle asparagus (trimmed)
  • ½ cup kalamata olives (halved)
  • 2 Tbsp capers
  • 1 orange (juice and zest)
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper (sliced thinly or diced)
  • 2 shallots (sliced thin)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt (divided)
  • 1 ½ tsp pepper (divided)
  • 2 tsp herbes de provence
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
Instructions:
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F
  • Prep all ingredients. In a bowl combine bell pepper, olives, capers, shallots, cherry tomatoes, garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, orange juice and zest, 2 tsp herbes de provence, white wine, and olive oil. Mix well.
  • In a baking dish (I used a 9 x 9) lay asparagus or vegetables of your choice and place the cod fillets on top. Sprinkle the top of the fillets with remaining salt and pepper.
  • Pour the bowl of seasoned peppers, tomatoes etc. over top of your fish fillets and spread across the dish evenly. Cover your dish tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Fish should flake easily with a fork when done or if using a meat thermometer should reach 145°F. Enjoy alone or serve with a salad or starch of your choice. Enjoy!

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Scallops are a hit and miss food for me since I consider them one of the trickier seafood options to prepare. How a scallop is cooked changes EVERYTHING about them! Cook them too long and they’re tough and rubbery- under cook them and they’re a bizarre gooey texture. However, when a scallop is cooked just right they’re beautifully tender, perfectly crisp, and one of the best proteins around!

Luckily for us, scallops are nearly impossible to undercook since they cook up so quickly. If you can sear a scallop well once you can do it again and again and again! I believe in you! My favorite way to serve this is by sauteing spinach in the leftover sauce.  

Seared Scallops Poblano

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 pound sea scallops (thawed, room temp)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (leaves and stems, roughly chopped)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 2 poblano peppers (seeds and tops removed)
  • 2 Tbsp butter (melted)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
Instructions:
  • Pat the sea scallops dry. Using ¼ tsp salt lightly season both sides of the scallops and set aside.
  • In a large dry skillet over high heat, char all sides of both prepped poblano peppers and do not peel the skin. This should be quick. roughly 2-3 minutes.
  • In a food processor or blender combine all remaining ingredients with the charred peppers except the olive oil and scallops, and blend until smooth.
  • Set the skillet you charred the peppers in over med-high heat and allow to heat up, add the Tbsp of olive oil.
  • To the hot pan and oil quickly add the scallops. If it doesn't sizzle immediately your pan is not hot enough. Cook the scallops for 2 minutes per side. When you flip the scallop over it should have a golden brown crust.
  • That crust means you did it right you seafood cookin' rockstar! Yass!! If it's not golden brown cook for a minute longer over high heat.
  • Remove the cooked scallops from the pan and pour in the poblano sauce. Allow to heat through, this should only take a minute or two.
  • Plate your scallops and spoon a little sauce over top of them. If you want, leave some of the sauce in the pan and saute your favorite vegetable in it to serve with the scallops. It's delicious! Enjoy!

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This Brazilian fish stew- pronounced moo-KAY-kah (thanks Luana) is a delicious summer stew packed with seafood and a slight tingle from the variety of chiles used. The coconut milk and citrus take this dish to the next level making this an easy, but special feeling, dish to share with friends and family. To bump up the presentation value add whole mussels or clams in the shell -I just couldn’t find any. Serve with rice or farofa to round out the meal!

Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew)

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Brazilian
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion (chopped, bite size)
  • 1 bunch green onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped, bite size)
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 Serrano chile (sliced thinly)
  • 1 tsp chile en adobo (minced)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 15 oz coconut milk (full fat)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (chopped, leaves only)
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 1 lime (juice and zest)
  • 16 oz raw shrimp (peeled and veins removed)
  • 12 oz raw halibut (bones and skins removed)
  • 16 oz mussels or clams (*optional)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
Instructions:
  • In a large soup pot over medium-high heat add the coconut oil and olive oil. Add the yellow onion, green onion, red bell pepper, Serrano, garlic, chile en adobo, cilantro, 1 tsp black pepper, and 1 tsp salt. Saute until onions and peppers are soft. About 3-5 minutes.
  • To the sauteed veggies add the crushed red pepper flakes, chili powder, paprika, sugar, lemon and lime zest and juice, bay leaf, and remaining black pepper. Saute for 2-3 minutes longer.
  • Add the coconut milk to the pot and saute for 2 minutes or until the coconut milk is bubbling and hot and the spices and coconut milk have become one. Add the tomato halves and stir.
  • Add the cup of wine, remaining salt, and the shrimp to the pot allowing the shrimp to cook slightly, roughly 2 minutes. Just some time to really absorb the flavors before everything else goes in.
  • Cut your halibut into bite sized pieces and add the chicken broth, halibut, and mussels or clams if using to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 10-12 minutes covered or until fish flakes easily with a fork and the mussels and/or clam shells have opened. Enjoy with a squeeze of lemon or lime and a fresh sprinkle of cilantro!

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This one skillet meal is indulgent, fast, and delicious! Serve it over roasted potatoes, your favorite pasta, zoodles, or enjoy it all on it’s own for a easy weeknight dinner the whole family will love.

The secret to getting those beautiful picture perfect fillets is a super simple cooking method. Most people plop their salmon in the pan skin side down first. STOP! SWERVE! HALT! You’re doing it backwards! By placing the salmon in the pan rounded side (or presentation side) down first you can stop cooking the fillets when they’re perfectly golden brown. This is how restaurants get you that beautiful golden photogenic salmon every time. You can finishing cooking the fillets completely on the side the skin would usually be (the side no one looks at) without sacrificing the pic for the ‘gram. Now get in there chef, you got this!

Creamy Salmon Pesto Skillet

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 4 portions of salmon (I used 6 oz fillets, skin removed)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp Italian herbs blend
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 16 oz baby spinach
  • 3 Tbsp pesto
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 large shallot (sliced)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup white wine (I used pinot grigio)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
Instructions:
  • In a small bowl mix together: 2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 2 tsp Italian herbs blend.
  • Rub your salmon fillets with 1 tsp olive oil and the coat with spice blend on both sides. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat pour in 1 Tbsp olive oil.
  • When oil is ready place the fillets into the pan presentation side down (the side you want to see while eating).
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the salmon releases from the pan on it's own.
  • When salmon is golden brown on one side reduce the heat to medium and place the second Tbsp of olive oil into the pan. Cook on the other side for 7-10 minutes. Or until your salmon flakes easily with a fork (145 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • When your salmon is fully cooked remove the fillets from the pan and set the aside.
  • Raise the heat to medium-high and add the sliced shallots.
  • Cook until soft, about 2 minutes, and then add the garlic.
  • Cook the garlic until fragrant or roughly one minute. If you want to snap a great pic reserve a few cherry tomato halves for garnishing.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan, and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the white wine to the hot pan and deglaze your pan scraping up all those delicious browned bits. Reduce your heat to medium.
  • When pan has been deglazed add the spinach to your pan in manageable amounts wilting completely each time before adding more.
  • When all spinach has been wilted add one tsp salt and stir well.
  • Next add the Parmesan cheese to the pan with the spinach and tomatoes and stir to melt. After the Parmesan has melted, stir in all of the heavy cream and pesto. Mix well.
  • Place the salmon fillets back into the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Sprinkle 1 tsp pepper evenly over the top. Cover your skillet and simmer gently for 2-3 minutes more. Serve and enjoy!

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