It has been a strange week for us here in our little village of Ireland. Surely you would have heard in the news about the ‘Beast from the east’ cold wave that hit us out of nowhere these past days! To cut the long story short, usually where we get almost no snow throughout the year and crave for it badly, this time we have had an insane amount of snow-fall, till the limit where everything has come to a stand-still. The market, post-office, bus service..everything has shut down and we have been forced to stay indoors due to the bad weather for the longest of time.
First two days were so much fun! We made snow-man, got amazing pictures which look as if they have been clicked in Switzerland and experienced the joy of snow for the first time. Here are a few pictures clicked by hubby…..
However, after 2-3 days I began to worry about the groceries running out. Luckily we had stocked the essentials like cooking oil, milk, eggs, bread etc in time..but slowly we began to run out of onions and tomatoes, which believe me, in the Indian Kitchen is a lot bigger deal than you can imagine. Right now, I have one onion and one tomato left, but we are hopeful that the things have turned normal since last evening and we will get our hands on some groceries this evening.
Anyway, it was fun to ration the elements of my kitchen and planning the meals around them this past week. Luckily, we had frozen salmon fillets in our refrigerator and I was able to make a somewhat fancy meal out of it, which we enjoyed.
I did not have fresh cream for my Alfredo sauce and had to make do by boiling some milk and using the bleak ‘malai’ or cream that collected on its surface after cooling. The sauce still turned out great. I have substituted it for the fresh heavy cream in the recipe.
I enjoy my Cajun seasoning so much. I use it in my sandwiches, with potatoes, chicken, fish and literally everything I can. FYI, using flour to make a ‘Roux’ (thickener) for the sauce, is the way that I always make my white sauce but if you are not a fan of it, you can totally eliminate it. I just think that it makes the sauce much more thick and voluminous.
So, give this recipe a go my friends, and enjoy the week up ahead!
- 2 fillets of Salmon, de-boned
- 4 rolls of whole-wheat fettuccini
- 3 Cloves of Garlic
- 2 tbsn butter+ 3 tbsn Olive oil
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
- 1 large Onion, diced
- 1 cup Mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4th cup steamed peas
- 1 tbsn flour
- 1/2 cup of Heavy Cream
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsn chopped dill or parsley
- 2 Tbsp of Cajun Seasoning
- ½ tsp Paprika powder
- ½ tsp honey
- 3 tbsn white wine (optional)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, combine the honey, Cajun seasoning, Paprika, 1 tsp olive oil, a little salt & pepper. Mix well.
- Place your salmon fillets in the bowl and coat them completely with the prepared Cajun dressing. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- In a large sauce-pan, Heat around 1 tbsn Olive oil.
- Once hot, carefully place your coated salmon fillets in hot oil and let fry on medium- high heat for 2-3 minutes, until crispy and blackened. It is necessary to fry them at medium high heat or you will not get the blackened crispy skin on your salmon!
- With your tongs, turn over the fillets and let the other side cook till well-done. Once the salmon looks completely cooked, crispy and blackened on both the sides, transfer to a place and set aside.
- In the same sauce-pan, heat remaining of your olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the butter and wait for it to melt.
- Add chopped garlic and fry for a few seconds.
- Throw in the diced onions, mushrooms and red bell-pepper and fry on high heat, till they lose some of their moisture and look half-cooked, but still crunchy.
- Add in the white wine and cook till the alcohol burns away. You can also try to flambé it if you are comfortable with it!
- At this point, on the adjoining burner, fill a large pot with water, add a generous sprinkle of salt and 1 tsp olive oil. Bring to a boil. Add in the pasta and let it cook for around 11 minutes.
- Coming back to your vegetables, add the flour to them at this point and stir constantly till the raw smell goes away. This is a technique adapted from the french cuisine, where a ‘roux’ is made from the flour, that acts as a thickener for your pasta sauce.
- Pour in half of the heavy cream, and with a whisk, stir continuously till no lumps of flour remain in the sauce.
- Next, pour in the remaining cream and continue stirring till you get a beautiful, smooth white sauce.
- Add the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, chopped dill/parsley, steamed peas and grated Parmesan cheese. If the sauce looks less in quantity, you can add some more cream or milk to it. Switch of the gas. Cook for another 3-4 minutes on low heat.
- Drain the cooked pasta and add in your creamy, hot white sauce. Toss till the sauce completely coats the luscious fettuccini pasta. Transfer to a plate.
- Finally, cut your blackened salmon fillet in strips and place in an attractive pattern on top of your pasta. We won’t be tossing them like chicken or shrimp along with the pasta as the cooked fish is very delicate and will disintegrate completely if we handle it that way.
- Grate a generous portion of grated Parmesan on top of your pasta and serve hot! Enjoy!