One of the challenges of doing meal swaps with a friend is making sure that you don't get crazy in the grocery department. Yes, you want your meal to be tasty, enjoyed by all (kids included) and healthy but you don't want to go overboard and spend a ton of money on the ingredients.
Take my meal this past Thursday. I hadn't made pasta in a while and fish is something I am trying to get into our diets more. When it comes to fish, if it's being used in a casserole, pasta, chowder or soup, I use frozen. It is much more economical and since it is frozen at sea, just as fresh as the fish at the fish monger.
At most major grocery stores, you can purchase a pack of four frozen wild salmon fillets, totaling 1 pound (454 grams), for $5. Times that by two since I am doubling the recipe, and this whole entire meal with all of the ingredients cost around $18.
Can you imagine what the price would have been if we took everyone out to eat? And I bet it wouldn't have been half as delicious.
Oh, and by the way, I've entered this pasta into the Presto Pasta Nights challenge with this week's host, Reeni of Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice. If you have a chance, head on over and take a look!
Rotini with Poached Salmon, Peppers and Goat Cheese
(Prep Time: 15 minutes/Total Time: 30 minutes. Serves 4.)
1 pound frozen wild salmon fillets, thawed (best done in fridge overnight)
2 large lemons, for juice, divided
1 cup dry white wine or vermouth, divided (optional)
salt and pepper
1 pound rotini
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock (* increase to 1 cup if not using white wine/vermouth)
4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup gpat cheese, crumbled
In a pot large enough to fit all salmon fillets laying flat, pour in 2 cups of water, 1/2 the lemon juice, 1/2 cup dry white wine/vermouth (optional) and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Add salmon and leave until just cooked through, 6 - 8 minutes. Remove salmon and place to side. Discard water.
Meanwhile, cook rotini in a large pot according to package directions until al dente. Drain, return to pot and place to the side.
In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Saute garlic, pepper, and onion for a couple of minutes. Add remaining lemon juice, 1/2 cup white wine/vermouth (optional), chicken stock, basil, sea salt, and white pepper. Continue to saute for another 5 minutes.
Pour sauce over the pasta then add the goat cheese and salmon, crumbling the salmon into bite sized pieces as you add it. Stir to combine and heat through then serve immediately.