Thursday, January 26, 2012

Grilled Salmon in Spinach Cream Sauce

I am always surprised whenever I hear someone claim to dislike fish.  When a person says  he doesn't like poultry, that's pretty straightforward. After all, a bird is a bird and the flavor doesn't differ that much. The same is true of beef. Whether they're free-roaming, grain-fed or stuffed in a corral for the duration of their short lives, cattle taste like cattle.

But fish? Surely you jest. There are literally thousands of different types of fish out there, and each has its own distinct texture and flavor. There are similarities of course, but generalizing and claiming to dislike all fish is like saying you don't like anything with salt in it – as if pretzels had anything in common with vegetable soup.

Tim used to be one of those fish-haters. But, like most fish haters, what he hated wasn't the fish – it was that "fishy" taste. Get ready, because here comes an impromptu science lesson: fish aren't supposed to taste fishy. That "fishy" taste and smell is bacterial growth. The goal, of course, is to get to the fish before that bacteria has time to replicate and create the characteristic unpleasant odor and flavor that so many people associate with seafood.

Salmon in spinach cream sauce

Long story short, we're a fish-eating family. 

Now, you'd think after my less-than-wonderful experience with that onion soup that I would toss my Quick & Easy cookbook into the trash and move on. But no. I am a giver of second chances and ole' Quick & Easy got a second go tonight in the form of grilled salmon in a spinach cream sauce. It sounded perfect. We all like salmon. We all like spinach. We all like cream. 

But we did not all like this dish. Before I go any further, I'll post the recipe and you can take a good long look at it and see if the same thing jumps out at you that jumped out at me. 

Spinach Cream Sauce for Fish

  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bunch spinach, finely chopped

Pour the sour cream into a saucepan. Heat to simmering. Remove from  heat. Stir in dill. Set aside. Melt the butter in a second saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the white wine and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook until reduced. Add the sour cream mixture. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened. Pour over fish. 

I'm all about some good sauce, but sour cream and wine? Together? I felt like a moth must feel when its headed for the bug zapper but can't seem to stop. I know for a Rock.Solid. Fact that I am not capable of pulling off that combination, yet I went ahead and did it anyway because the book told me to. This is the same book, mind you, whose authors seem to feel that soups do not require seasoning. 

Tim actually liked it. I would have assumed he was just being polite if I hadn't sat and watched him devour every bite of that fish. In my opinion, the flavor created when one mixes sour cream with wine is retch-worthy. I think Logan put it best when he crinkled up his nose and said: "I do not like this strange chicken."  

Feel free to try it if you must, but don't say I didn't warn you. 


  1. haha more interesting than your salmon is your tongue in cheek writing. tell me how does Salmon end up as a surname?

  2. Hahaha. Because Alice Sebold was totally shooting heroin when she wrote The Lovely Bones. True story. :)