12-9: Pasta with Salmon and Basil

Another recipe attempt born of Costco sale inspiration and brought down by too much time between buying stuff and using it up. I did my best with 12-9: Pasta with Salmon and Basil, but I probably didn’t do it justice.

This was the only recipe in Simply Delicious that I could find that used salmon filets, not steaks. I somehow had it in my head that there were several recipes that used salmon, and so was disappointed to find that this was the only one that I was going to knock out, despite now having a few pounds of salmon.

I’m surprised this isn’t one my mom made–she would have liked this one. Especially with the smoked salmon–lox and bagels is our de facto family celebration breakfast.

Ingredients. Pasta and salmon are already cooked (needed to cook the salmon off before it went bad, and I wasn’t ready to make this yet). Basil looks pretty sad, and I wasn’t in the mood to blanch and peel tomatoes, so I called an audible and went with a big jar of sun-dried tomatoes that I had stashed in the back of the fridge. Didn’t have fish bouillon (and neither did any of the local grocery stores), so a bit of chicken stock mixed with the pan drippings from reheating the salmon will have to do.

Do you see why I said I didn’t do this recipe justice?

Pictures from a few days prior when I cooked off the salmon the first time. It was pretty good salmon though–I couldn’t help slicing off pieces sashimi-style and eating them while I was breaking it down.

I didn’t cook them too hard this first time–I left the centers pretty raw so that when I reheated them they wouldn’t be too hammered.

Here’s them being reheated the second time (note it’s a different pan). Now I’m letting them get a bit more color, which happens a lot faster than if I hadn’t par-cooked them first.

Kept the pan drippings for fishy flavor, and added in the half-and-half/milk, flour, and butter. They’re going for a thickened cream sauce, but I hate when they have you just dump the flour in instead of building from a traditional roux–the sauce has more of a tendency to get lumpy this way.

Beat most of those lumps out, but you’re still missing out on that nutty, earthy flavor that doing it from a roux first provides. If you’re going to thicken a sauce this way, you’re better off doing it with cornstarch and making a slurry with cold water first before adding it in–it’s a smoother, easier way to do it.

My basil looks pathetic (too long in the fridge), and since I’m the only one eating this, I’m throwing this out and using dried basil instead, recipe be damned.

The last part of my sacrilege–adding in sun-dried tomatoes. Again, I’m the only one eating this, and not only am I going through the hassle of blanching and peeling tomatoes for just me, I don’t even LIKE blanched/peeled tomatoes.

Final, somewhat-messily-plated shot. I liked the salmon, and the pasta wasn’t bad, but it probably could have been so much more.

Grade: B+