Friday, 23 September 2016

Salmon Saganaki

Salmon Saganaki (Greek Style with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese)

You know that really fantastic Greek shrimp recipe that involves tomato and feta cheese?  Well this is it, but with wild salmon, instead.  This dish has all the flavours, but without the guilt of the shrimp, which has begun to concern me of late.

This deliciousness takes about 45 minutes, from beginning to eating, and it serves 4.  If you’re making this with my already pictured Potato and Cauliflower with Greek Flavours, start that one first, because it takes longer to cook.
Fresh from my garden!

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon dried Greek oregano
1 teaspoon cumin seed
20 grates black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 small red onion, diced
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 cups cubed tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes
2 diced chillies (optional)
4 salmon fillets
¼ cup feta cheese, broken into pieces 

Pour the oil into a large but shallow pan, and put on medium heat.  When the oil is heated, add the oregano, cumin and black pepper.  Let spices sizzle and become fragrant.  Add the cinnamon, immediately followed by the onion.  Cook till the onion starts to get translucent and golden at the edges.  Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.  You don’t want garlic to darken, as it gets bitter.  

Fry the spices till fragrant.

Add the tomatoes and chillies and put a cover on it.  Turn heat down to medium low and cook for about five minutes.  If needed, mash the tomatoes a little to break them up a bit more.  You don’t want a smooth sauce, so just squash a few tomatoes a little.  Continue to cook for about twenty minutes.  

Add the salmon fillets.  Splash a little of the sauce on top to cook from the top as well.  (I went with frozen fillets, which I later regretted.  If you must use frozen, thaw it in its package in cold water, ahead of time.)  After cooking fresh or thawed salmon for a few minutes, turn over to the other side and splash a little more sauce on top. 
Smash just some of the tomato.

Once the salmon is approaching being cooked, in about seven minutes, which is when it becomes opaque and flaky, toss in the feta cheese.  Stir into the sauce.

Give the cheese time to melt.  Check on the salmon to make sure it’s opaque and flaky.  Don’t over cook the salmon!  Serve it at once, preferably with nice lemony Greek potatoes, or even better, with my Not Aloo Gobi, my Greek version of that delicious Indian cauliflower and potato dish.

If you are still cheerfully eating shrimp, of course you can omit the salmon, and use shrimp instead, and those little creatures will take even less time to cook.  You know they are done when they are pink and fully opaque.  No overcooking, or else! 

Stir the feta into the sauce and serve right away!

The flavours of Greece are most enchanting.  Cumin, oregano, garlic and lemons, not to mention lashings of olive oil, what’s not to like?

The Greek style cauliflower and potatoes go so well with this Saganaki salmon.

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