The best quick & easy salmon recipe ever
Tasty and so good for you!
This is absolutely the best recipe for salmon that I have ever tasted. It's so quick and easy to put together, it's healthy and, most importantly, tastes great!
It's healthy because salmon is classed as an oily fish - one of the main sources of omega3 fatty acids which is good for your general health, reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels and preventing arthritis and it is also a good source of vitamin D which reduces your risk of heart disease and cancer, strengthens bones and can alleviate depression by boosting the brain's ability to produce serotonin which is a 'feel-good' natural anti-depressant.
This dish also contains spinach which is high in calcium, folic acid, vitamins K & C and iron. Even if you think you hate spinach, do try it in this recipe and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised - it's certainly converted my lifelong spinach-hating husband!
The final ingredient in the recipe is cheese sauce which, if you make it with semi-skimmed milk and half fat cheddar cheese isn't too hard on your waistline while still being high in essential protein, calcium, potassium and vitamins A & D
This is a great store cupboard recipe as you can have the ingredients to hand in your freezer and larder and although quick and simple, it makes a great dinner party dish that can be prepared in advance and left to cook while you chat with your guests.
Ingredients and method
This recipe serves four people - it's very straightforward to halve or double the quantities as necessary - basically I use one salmon fillet and 4oz/100g of spinach per person and then adjust the quantity of cheese sauce accordingly.
4 salmon fillets - fresh or frozen
1Ib/400g pack of frozen spinach
1 pint/600ml of Cheese sauce - see below for a super-easy all in one method
Place the salmon fillets in a single layer in a fairly shallow oven proof dish
Defrost the spinach, place in a strainer and squeeze the excess water out with the back of a spoon. Place in a bowl and chop with kitchen scissors if the spinach is the whole leaf type, adding freshly ground black pepper and a little grated nutmeg if liked (this really enhances the flavour of the spinach).
Spoon the cheese sauce over evenly making sure that all of the spinach is coated in the sauce. Finally sprinkle over some extra grated cheese - this can be mixed with breadcrumbs if liked to give an extra crunchy topping.
Place in a preheated moderate oven (180°C/350°F) for about 30 minutes until the topping is golden brown. You can also place the dish under the grill (broiler) for the last few minutes to get a really crispy finish - watch carefully that it doesn't burn at this stage!
I like to serve this with oven-sautéed potatoes - these are just potatoes that have been halved and parboiled for 5-10 minutes until just tender, then cut into 1 inch chunks and tossed in a baking tray with olive oil and a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. These can go in the oven at the same time as the fish and cooked till golden brown and crispy.
Easy all in one cheese sauce
1 pint/600ml milk
2 oz/60g butter
2 oz/60 plain flour
2-3 oz/60-90g any hard cheese grated - English Cheddar is particularly good (plus a little extra to sprinkle on top)
Place the milk, butter and flour into the saucepan together. Heat gently whisking constantly with a balloon whisk or 'magic whisk' until the sauce thickens. Make sure that the sauce bubbles gently for a few minutes to be sure that all of the flour is cooked put and you don't get a raw taste.
Take the pan off the heat and allow the sauce to cool slightly before stirring in the cheese - reserving some for the top.
This is the amazing 'Magic Whisk', or as I call it - the 'wonder whisk'.
Since I bought mine I have never had a lumpy white sauce - it's perfect for the 'all in one' method and you'll find it invaluable for custard, gravy etc. - see my recipe for lamb shanks braised in red wine for how I use it there.