My husband likes to take full credit for my love of fish. Before I met him, I had only really eaten tuna from a can. My mom made frozen fish sticks and tater tots fairly often when I was growing up. It was a pretty traumatic thing for me as a grade school girl. There were times when I thought my mom had a personal vendetta against me when she would make them. The odor of fish would fill up the house when she baked them. I would be up in my room wondering what we were going to eat that night for dinner, when the stench of fish sticks would seep under my door and fill up my room. I would immediately start to cry. I hated fish sticks. To be honest, I am not sure if I ever actually tasted them. The smell was enough to turn me away.
As my taste buds matured, I learned to enjoy tuna from a can. Of course it had to be loaded with mayonnaise, so in the end I really didn’t even taste the tuna, just felt it in my mouth.
Then I meant Jeremiah. On our third date he took me out to a nice restaurant and ordered salmon. He encouraged me to try to it. I refused politely. He encouraged me again. I was still in the “I must impress him” stage, so I took a bite. I held my breath the first few chews in order to keep out any fishy smells. “Actually taste it!” he told me. I let out my breath and was totally surprised at the flavor. It didn’t taste at all like the smell of a fish stick. It had such a nice, mild, non-fishy taste. The texture was so tender. I fell in love…with the fish and the man. I have been hooked ever since.
Buttery Salmon with Garlic Sauteed Spinach
2 6oz pieces of fresh salmon
2 Tb butter, softened
1/2 c white wine
4 c fresh baby spinach
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tb olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 375F. Rinse salmon under cool water and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. Spread butter on salmon meat using 1 Tb for both pieces. Melt remaining butter in a oven-safe pan over medium high heat, watching that the butter doesn’t burn. Add salmon to pan. Sear each side for about 1-2 minutes until nicely browned. Place pan in the oven for about 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a pan on stove top until very hot. Add olive oil and move around pan until oil has covered the surface of the pan. Add chopped garlic. Stir garlic around for about 30 seconds. Add spinach. Toss spinach until all pieces are covered in oil and garlic and it is nicely sauteed. Spinach will lose about 90% of it it’s volume.
Remove salmon from oven and set on a plate. Top with chopped spinach. Place Salmon pan over medium-high heat and add white wine (chicken stock is a nice substitute for wine.) Cook for about 2 minutes until all the little pieces from the bottom of the pan have been picked up. Pour over spinach and salmon. Serve and enjoy.