Salmon Fillets and Hazelnuts in Lemon Dill Mayonnaise

Confession: I got the inspiration for this recipe on the back of a package of frozen wild-caught salmon fillets from Costco. I ended up changing it pretty substantially (the original called for fat-free mayonnaise!?) but I think it turned out pretty delish. It also looks kind of fancy. This was so simple to make–it was only about 10 minutes of active time in the kitchen for both the fish and the veggies–but it was tasty and pretty enough that I would not hesitate to serve it to guests.

Cooking fish in mayo sounds kind of weird, but it yields a really moist and flavorful dish. Seriously. Try it.

Snuggle your salmon fillets into a parchment-paper lined roasting pan. These look kind of frozen but really they were pretty much thawed.p1000649

Pour over the mayo and then sprinkle the hazelnuts and lemon zest on top.p1000650

The end! Serve on top of veggies of choice.p1000651p1000652

Salmon Fillets and Hazelnuts in Lemon Dill Mayonnaise Ingredients (Serves 2-4, depending on serving of salmon)

  • 2 fresh salmon fillets
  • 1/3 cup raw chopped hazelnuts
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup avocado oil (or other light-tasting oil like grapeseed, coconut, or non-virgin olive oil or some combination of the above)
  • 1 egg*
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place salmon fillets in casserole dish lined with parchment paper.
  • Add egg, dijon mustard, and lemon juice to food processor. Process until combined. Pour in the 1 cup oil, drop by drop, until the mixture emulsifies.
  • Add dill, salt, and pepper to food processor and pulse several times, until combined.
  • Pour half the mayonnaise over the salmon fillets. Top with hazelnuts and lemon zest. Bake about 30 minutes, until thermometer reads at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Save the other half of the mayo for whatever you like later in the week–it would be great mixed with some canned tuna, onions, and hard-boiled eggs for a quick tuna salad.
  • Serve salmon over veggies of choice (pictured here with roasted asparagus tossed with just a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper). If you like, you can spoon a bit of the baked mayo juices over the veggies for even more flavor.

*Again, exercise caution when using raw eggs. I use these and recommend them to anyone serving young kids, pregnant women, the elderly, or people who may have a compromised immune system. Or, look into pasteurizing your own eggs at home. In this dish it’s not a big deal because the eggs in the mayonnaise will get cooked, but if you plan on serving the leftover mayo raw please be careful. There are a lot of sources arguing that raw eggs (especially from pastured chickens) represent only a very tiny risk salmonella risk, but it’s a risk I’d rather not take since I can so easily avoid it.

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Quick Salmon Cakes

I don’t talk to that many people about my diet in real life, because let’s face it, people that go on and on about their dietary restrictions can be boring. But, when I do find someone who is interested and I explain what I should and should not eat, the reaction I usually get is something along the lines of, well…what do you eat?? This question is usually followed with isn’t that expensive? and how do you find the time!? 

I am so grateful that, prior to being diagnosed with Crohn’s, my husband and I had experimented with the Paleo diet and the even more restrictive Whole30. We had done that to lose weight (ha…ha…becoming less and less of a problem every day…!) and it worked well for us. It also forced me to learn how to cook meats (I was previously mostly vegetarian), how to make a lot of new things from scratch, and how to get creative with substitutions. These diets prepared both our palates and skill sets for SCD. The biggest problem I had with Whole30 cooking–and with the SCD–is the amount of time required to prepare for and make meals. It can also be expensive.

I will write more in response to the usual questions in another entry, but one big way we have coped with the challenges posed by preparing SCD legal meals is by becoming super organized about our shopping and meal planning. I can tell you, always, exactly what meals we are going to have between now and my next planned grocery shopping trip. I think ahead by a couple of days so I know if I need to get started on a new batch of almond milk or bone broth. I always make enough of everything so that we have leftovers to take for lunch. We make breakfast for dinner a lot. And I have an arsenal of a few tried and true recipes that are very quick to make in a pinch, and that rely on ingredients that are inexpensive, healthy, and that I will always have on hand–the kind of recipes you can talk yourself into making even when you are getting home late and exhausted and running low on groceries. This is one of those recipes.

Here are all the ingredients you will need.P1000504

Start by finely dicing the onion and cooking in butter over low heat until soft. Let cool slightly. Then place in a bowl and add in all other ingredients. Mix well.P1000505

Use your hands to press the mixture into 6-8 patties. You may notice that the canned salmon has some tiny bones and skin in it. I try to pick out the bones but most cans say that they are edible, and in fact, they do seem soft enough that you won’t notice them once the salmon is cooked. Kind of freaky but…eh…just try not to think about it.P1000508

Heat up cooking oil in pan to medium heat and gently slide in patties. Cook fora few minutes on each side, until golden brown.P1000509

Serve with roasted vegetables (I served with my Mediterranean Roasted Veggies) or salad greens. I had some leftover Everyday Paleo Garlic Basil Mayo so I added a dollop of that to the eat with the patties and veggies. Tzatziki would also be nice. P1000510

Easy peasy!

Quick Salmon Cakes Ingredients

  • 1 14.75 ounce can wild-caught salmon (it should only list fish, water, and possibly sea salt as ingredients. Whole Foods’ 365 store brand works well), drained and flaked
  • 1/4 cup blanched almond flour or almond meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or other cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Method

  • Heat butter over low heat and add diced onions. Cook on low heat until soft. Let cool slightly.
  • Combine onions with all other ingredients except for cooking oil into bowl. Mix well with hands and shape into 6-8 patties. Try to squeeze out extra moisture as much as possible.
  • Heat cooking oil over medium heat and slide patties into pan. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  • Serve with roasted veggies (pictured here are my Mediterranean Roasted Veggies) or salad greens, and your favorite creamy salad dressing or dip if desired.

Smoked Salmon Pizza on Herbed Flatbread Crust

You may have noticed that blanched almond flour has changed my life. You can put that stuff in a food processor with a little butter and a little liquid, maybe an egg, spices or herbs or honey or whatever you like, and you have a pie crust or a pizza crust or a pot pie topping or whatever floats your boat in no time.

How did I not know about almond flour before??

There was a time when Chris and I would order pizza like once a week, and spend all day having a Lost marathon. Those days are over, for a lot of reasons, one of which is that we killed Lost (sigh). But, we still end up having some variation of “pizza” almost every week. Now our pizza is usually grain-free and homemade, but it still seems like a treat every time. Plus, we have complete control over the ingredients and can come up with all kinds of new variations. Usually we use some kind of pesto or traditional red sauce, veggies, and meat, but this week I had some smoked salmon that we needed to use (long story involving a recipe that I thought sounded good but Chris vetoed…) so we got creative with our pizza night. The result was an herby cream cheese and lox inspired dinner!

Start by combining all crust ingredients in a food processor.p1000575

This is what the processed dough will look like.p1000576

Shape into a ball and sandwich between two sheets of parchment paper.p1000577

Shape into a flat roundish disc that will fit on a cookie sheet or pizza stone.p1000578

While that’s baking a bit prepare your toppings.p1000579

This is what the crust will look like coming out of the oven the first time.p1000580

Top with cheese mixture, salmon, capers, and chives, and place parchment paper directly on wire rack in oven.p1000581

It’s done when the edges of the crust are browning.p1000582

Gently slice and serve.p1000586

Crust Ingredients (Serves 4) *

  • 2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Topping Ingredients

  • 6-8 ounces smoked salmon, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (any white cheese that melts well will do; I used a combination of raw white cheddar and swiss)
  • 3 cloves garlic, very finely minced
  • 1/2 cup plain strained yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons capers, choppped

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine all crust ingredients win a food processor fitted with the dough blade and process until a dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Top with another piece of parchment paper. Using your hands and a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it is very thin–no thicker than 1/4 inch. Gently peel off the top sheet of parchment paper and place on pizza stone or cookie sheet.
  • Bake crust for 12 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare your toppings. Mix yogurt, cheese, garlic, and dill together.
  • When crust is done, remove and turn up over to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Drop yogurt mixture on crust in little dollops. Spread very gently. The crust is very fragile and if you try to plop the whole mixture in the middle and spread it over the whole crust you will destroy it. Trust me, it happened to me.
  • Add smoked salmon, capers, and chives.
  • Slide the crust back into the oven on only the sheet of parchment paper. That is, the parchment paper should be sitting directly on the oven rack with the pizza on top.
  • Bake for another 5-10 minutes, until edges of crust are beginning to brown. Slice and serve!

*Note: I think this crust is really nice–it is flaky and flavorful, but it is not really sturdy enough to pick up and eat like traditional pizza. Treat it gently and plan on eating with a fork, and don’t fret if it crumbles a little here and there–it will still taste good!