In a previous post I explained how we ended up with a large amount of salmon leftover. A couple of days later I was determined to make a dent in the slowly dwindling container in the fridge. My P.S. (Partaker of Salmon/hubby) wasn’t eating it fast enough. I needed a quick fix so an internet search was in order. I meant for a new recipe, not a new Partaker of Salmon!
I didn’t find anything that hit me as being interesting or unique. I had a vague idea of using the salmon in a cream sauce with angel hair pasta. I wasn’t in the mood for salmon myself, so I’d thawed a few shrimp for my portion of pasta. I could simply make a sauce and use half with shrimp and half with salmon.
I wanted to make an Alfredo sauce and add a little sherry for a nice change. The zip of sherry in the sauce would give it a boost up from a basic fishy/cheesy flavored sauce. Closer to “Fine Dining”, than to “throwin’ together the ole leftovers”, is what I’m trying to say.
Starting with a large kettle of water to which I had added salt, I brought it to a boil then put the angel hair pasta in and gave the timer about 9 minutes. In the meantime I was going to start my Alfredo sauce.
I chopped up a sweet red bell pepper and cut up some green onions. I put the peppers into a large skillet with a little oil and sautéed them until they were slightly charred on the edges. I added some chopped Roma tomatoes to the skillet, some garlic powder in lieu of chopped garlic and a large pinch of cayenne.
At this point I wanted something green and for lack of anything else in the fridge, I found frozen peas and put about a cup into the skillet. When the peas were heated through I added 4 tablespoons of butter and let it melt. Then I stirred in 4 tablespoons of flour, cooking it for 3 or 4 minutes to cook the raw flavor out of it.
Next I stirred in a cup of the milk, letting it bubble until it was smooth and lump-free. I slowly stirred in the cup of cream and again stirred until it thickened and bubbled. I added the sherry and when it was again smooth I tasted the sauce for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
I poured half of the sauce out into a bowl and set it aside. Into the remaining sauce I added my handful of precooked shrimp and stirred it until it was heated through. Finally I added a half cup of the shredded parmesan, stirring until it was melted and incorporated into the sauce.
My pasta had been done for a few minutes and was draining in the strainer. I’d reserved a few cups of broth to use if needed. With my tongs I added a serving portion of pasta to my skillet, stirring it to coat the pasta with sauce. I added a portion of the pasta liquid twice, as the pasta absorbed the liquid and began to look dry. I stirred the pasta for a few minutes until I was sure it had absorbed a nice amount of liquid. I removed it to a plate and covered it to sit for a few minutes while I finished the other pasta portion.
I emptied the reserved pasta back into the skillet and let it heat a few minutes, then put the salmon into the sauce. I’d flaked it into good sized pieces; I didn’t want it to totally fall apart while I continued cooking the sauce and pasta. I also added the other half cup of parmesan. When it was heated through I added a portion of pasta to the skillet and stirred to coat. Again I added a ¼ cup or so of pasta water twice, as the pasta soaked up the liquid from the sauce and became dry.
When the salmon pasta was the right consistency I plated it and served dinner. We loved the flavors of our seafood and fish, combined with the cheesy sauce. The sherry was a nice snap of flavor that brought the flavors all together in a great way.
The only down side to my one fish, two fish meal was that we had more leftovers! My “portion” sizes were way too big and we had a full meal leftover of each fish. In using up leftovers, I ended up creating new ones to replace them. But they were meals already made and just ready to reheat and eat, so it was maybe a step forward after all.
I joked that by playing out one Dr. Seuss book: One Fish, Two Fish, I ended up doing a Cat in the Hat, where the stain (leftovers) just kept growing as they tried to get rid of it. I need to stop playing Dr. Seuss in the kitchen!
Pasta Alfredo with Seafood
small box angel hair pasta; prepared al dente according to box directions
1/2 cup sweet red bell pepper; diced
1/2 cup green onions; sliced
2-3 Roma tomatoes; cut into large dice
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove chopped garlic
large pinch cayenne
1 cup frozen peas (something like broccoli or asparagus would also work great)
1 cup milk
1 cup cream or half and half
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 cup shredded parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lb precooked shrimp or leftover salmon (depending on your preference)
Prepare the pasta and drain, reserving a few cups of pasta water to use later.
In a large skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil and lightly char the red bell peppers. Add the green onions, tomatoes, garlic and cayenne. Add the peas and the butter and stir until the peas are heated through and the butter is melted. Sprinkle the flour over the pan. Stir for several minutes, until the raw flavor is cooked out; about 3 or 4 minutes.
Add the cup of milk, stirring until the sauce is thickened and smooth. Stir in the cream, again until it is smooth and bubbling. Stir in the sherry.
If you are using one seafood, add it to the sauce along with the parmesan. When the shrimp is warmed through, add the pasta. Stir until it is coated. You may need to add more pasta water several times until the pasta has absorbed some of the liquid and the texture is to your liking.
Serve hot with more parmesan sprinkled over the pasta.
If you use more than one seafood, reserve half of the sauce in a bowl and set it aside. Continue as above and finish one seafood, plate it, then prepare the second seafood with the reserved sauce.