Salmon for Christmas Eve dinner? I think so

Published 12:00am Saturday, December 21, 2013

It is time to start preparing for the big day and deciding what to cook. Every year, I ponder what I can do that is different, but seem to always come back to a pork or beef roast or perhaps ham for my Christmas Day meal. I want to do a special dinner for Christmas Eve this year since it is my anniversary. We always get home late from the Christmas Eve service, so I decided I could have a good meal if I worked ahead. Since I sing in the choir on Christmas Eve, we always eat afterward. Southern Living had a menu that seemed to be just perfect. A light tomato bisque that can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for four days is a simple first course. The salmon dish can be cooked in just a few minutes. So here is my 2013 Christmas Eve meal, even if it is eaten at midnight. I could have a little champagne before the meal!

Merry Christmas to you all!

Taken from Southern Living December 2013 issue.

TOMATO BISQUE

Serves 4

3 (14.5oz.) cans good quality diced tomatoes

2 large onions, diced (about 2 cups)

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 bay leaves

4 Tbsp. tomato paste

3 Tbsp. fresh brewed coffee

1 Tbsp. jarred beef soup base

1 tsp. jarred chicken soup base

2 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs

1 ½ tsp. dried thyme

½ cup heavy cream

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 ½ tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. black pepper

Garnishes: whipped cream, golden caviar, fresh parsley or chive sprigs

Bring first 10 ingredients and 5 cups water to a boil in a large stockpot over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high; simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until reduced by one-fourth. Cool 15 minutes.

Process with a blender until smooth. Stir in cream and next three ingredients. Garnish as desired. Serve immediately.

Note: Refrigerate in an airtight container up to four days, or freeze up to eight weeks. Reheat over medium heat until soup simmers. Do not boil.

 

PECAN-AND-DILL CRUSTED SALMON

This salmon dish is really delicious. I did a trial run to see how it would go and found it so easy and wonderful. A few simple side dishes of perhaps potatoes and green beans or broccoli would be just perfect with this dish. A simple dessert would be fine also.

This makes 10-12 servings but I bought a wild caught salmon and only used a pound. It was good for two meals. It may be expensive, but it does go a long way. Shorten the cooking time for just one pound.

1 ½ cups pecan halves

6 Tbsp. butter, melted

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 ½ tsp. dried dill weed

1 (3-3 ½ lb.) boneless, skinless side of salmon

1 ¼ tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pulse first four ingredients in a food processor five or six times or until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper; place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Spread pecan mixture over salmon. Bake 18-20 minutes or just until salmon flakes with a fork. And there you have it.

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