No Carb/No Sugar doesn’t Mean No Flavor….

I had a request from my lovely sister to give her something with no carb/no sugar which is something I do love to do so I stepped it up! My friend Jen was coming over for dinner so I thought why not make Pecan Crusted Salmon with bacon cauliflower purée and an asparagus, radish and shallot sauté which was divine if I say so myself. Please don’t ask me where I came up with the menu, these things just come to me in my sleep; it is kind of ridiculous how obsessive I am about food…

Note: Nothing is actually “no” carb or sugar but it is nominal and non-impactful to your body in a negative way.

Let’s start with the salmon.

As I mentioned in a previous post, where you buy your seafood is important. It should be sustainable or sourced in a way that is both safe for you and not harmful to the environment; it also shouldn’t make you sick. There is nothing worse than food poisoning, trust me. I found this blurb on what to look for, perfect and succinct about what to look for:

Look for shiny skin; tightly adhering scales; bright, clear eyes; firm, taut flesh that springs back when pressed; and a moist, flat tail. Saltwater fish should smell briny; freshwater fish should smell like a clean pond. When buying white-fleshed fish, choose translucent-looking fillets with a pinkish tint.

Cooking Light Article

If you have a seafood market or Whole Foods just go there, seafood is important. I go to several markets to buy my ingredients, different stores offer different things but that’s for another blog.

Here is how I prepared the fish, so simple…..

  • 2 6oz skin on fresh salmon filets
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Sea salt and fresh Ground Black pepper

Salt and pepper the salmon, add 1/4 cup pecans per filet and bake on a lined baking sheet/pan for 15-20 minutes at 400. Chris likes the skin so I serve skin on but you can easily slip the spatula between the flesh and the skin to remove it when it is fully cooked; it is up to you.

Pillowy Luscious Cauliflower Goodness

What you will need:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • heavy cream (please don’t use anything else here)
  • unsalted butter

So a head of cauliflower makes enough purée for two people really (nice size servings so be prepared to buy more if you have a family). Nothing specific about the type you buy just get a larger head.

Note: This is not one of the things I believe I have to purchase as organic if that matters.

Cut the florets from the stem, removing the green leaves and harder stems at the bottom makes it easier to get to the core; you can’t go wrong here so don’t stress it. Break them into smaller florets with your hands so they cook evenly and put in a pan adding water until it just covers the top of the cauliflower. Cook at medium high heat (slowly boiling) for ~10 minutes; you know when it is done when it begins to look less opaque and more translucent. You will know it when you see it.

***DO NOT SKIP***This is the most important part because there is nothing worse than runny cauliflower and there is nothing you can do to remove that excess water after it is too runny. Drain the florets in a colander/strainer and let sit for a while to ensure all of the water has drained from the florets, lay on a lined baking sheet and place in a 400 degree oven for ~5 minutes to really dry out the extra water. As I mentioned previously, I am not one for exact measurements so you have to be careful here. *** DID YOU DO THIS?!?!?***

Make sure it is cool enough to handle and place in your Nutribullet (if you don’t have one, use a blender and get a Nutribullet immediately); warm about 2 tbsp of heavy cream and a couple tbsp of butter in a sauce pan and place a small amount in with the florets. Blend until it is a thick smoothie-like consistency, you may have to add small amounts of cream/butter and I cannot stress enough: DO NOT ADD TOO MUCH LIQUID.

When you see the full amount of cauliflower “whirring” around, you are good to place in the hot pan (you will have relocated the cream/butter mixture to a small bowl by this time); basically you just want to make sure you have blended all of the chunks. Add salt and pepper to taste and cream/butter if you would like a looser consistency. This, again, it up to you and you should make it exactly as you or your family would like it.

I didn’t forget about the bacon, it is coming…..

If You Have to Eat Vegetables, Eat These

What you will need:

  • 4 slices of uncooked bacon
  • regular size bunch of thin asparagus*
  • 1 bunch or bag of radishes, skin on
  • 1 large shallott
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Note: I purchased a regular size bunch of thin asparagus (if you can find it, always go for the smaller stalks as they tend to be more tender and sweet) and separated in two; put aside the other half for another day.

So simple here, I chopped the bacon and cooked in a larger frying pan; removed the bacon to a paper towel and poured out the excess bacon grease. I didn’t wipe out the pan, I just poured out the excess.

Snap off the ends of the asparagus and throw them away, I do this in bunches of maybe 5 or 6 pieces. I sliced the asparagus pieces in half with a diagonal cut (which isn’t relevant but it looks good).

Tip: Asparagus has a natural “break” so you can bend it toward the end and it will give at the place where you want to stop eating it. Trust it, it knows what it is doing.

Slice ~4 radishes in thicker slices, I got about 4 or 5 slices per radish and cut half the shallot as thin as possible.

Tip: Shallots have two parts (one root, two separate pieces) and this is always confusing to me as to how much to use. In this recipe, I am using one of the two parts and only using half of that piece so 1/4 of the whole shallot.

I put the asparagus, radish and shallot in the pan and sautéed for ~7 minutes but be careful not to overcook the asparagus, the radish turn almost translucent when it is done so watch for that. Sprinkled with salt and pepper and that’s it. Seriously, so simple right?

Of course then I added the bacon to the cauliflower purée as a topper because bacon makes everything better!

I hope you enjoy it as much as my friend and I did!