Cook It Light/Low Fat: Light salmon piccata

Dear Jeanne,
I found this recipe and thought it looked interesting, but then I couldn’t figure out how to cut the salmon into thin slices. Can you reduce the fat and help me? — Pattee, Palmdale, Calif.

 

SALMON PICCATA

1 pound fresh salmon fillet
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons butter, divided use
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 to 3/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon capers

Slice the salmon into thin slices, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Lightly salt and pepper the fish slices. Add salt and pepper to the flour, to taste. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and 3 tablespoons of the butter. Dredge the salmon slices in the flour, and shake off the excess.
Add the salmon to the skillet and cook until the edges are done, then turn the fish over and continue cooking until the slices are slightly underdone. Remove the fish to a plate, and add the shallots to the skillet, cooking until soft but not browned. Add the lemon juice and wine, and reduce until slightly thickened. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to thicken the sauce. Stir in the parsley and capers, and add the salmon slices back to the skillet until reheated. Taste the sauce, and correct with salt and pepper, if needed.
Makes 2 servings.

Dear Pattee,
This was an interesting recipe! There are veal and chicken piccatas that use thin slices of meat, but this is something different. You don’t actually have to slice the salmon thinly; you can make the sauce and put it on top of any shape or size of fish. But I did cut the salmon thin, and it was a different experience — both with cooking it and eating it. It cooked in just 1 minute per side, so it was very quick! It also was very moist and delicious. So, only if you are very good with a knife, this is what you do: Take a boneless, skinless salmon fillet and place your hand on top of it, then — using a long, thin knife and starting in the middle of the fillet — place the knife carefully 1/4 to 1/2 inch into the fish at an angle, and cut the salmon thinly to the end of the fillet. It may not be perfect the first time, but if you practice, it will get better. Before you start this recipe, make sure that you have everything ready, because it goes fast.

LIGHT SALMON PICCATA
12 ounces boneless, skinless salmon fillet
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided use
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 tablespoons shallots
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 to 3/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon capers
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon butter

1. Slice the salmon into thin slices, 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle each slice with a grind of freshly ground black pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the flour.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the salmon slices, and if they are very thin, cook for about 1 minute and turn over. If they are thicker, cook until they are halfway done, then turn. When they are slightly underdone, remove the salmon slices from the skillet and place on a plate.
3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the shallots. Cook until softened but not browned, adding water if needed to prevent burning. Add the lemon juice to the shallots, and combine the cornstarch with the wine. Add the cornstarch-wine mixture and cook until thickened. Add the capers and parsley, then stir in the butter. Return the salmon to the skillet to reheat or just pour the sauce over the salmon on the plate.
Makes 2 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 770 calories; 43 gm fat; 151 mg cholesterol; 929 mg sodium; 41 gm carbohydrates; 40 gm protein; 2 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 378 calories; 12 gm fat; 94 mg cholesterol; 181 mg sodium; 15 gm carbohydrates; 36 gm protein; 1 gm fiber.

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