Sunday, May 22, 2011

Salmon With Vegetables: A Healthier Retake On An Ina Garten Recipe; Hold the Butter!

Last week I happened to catch an episode of the 'Barefoot Contessa'. If you don't know, the 'Contessa'  is really Ina Garten, a popular author and TV chef based in East Hampton, Long Island. I've seen this show a few times and love it. Maybe the Long Island connection (where I grew up) drives my appreciation but I  like what she chooses to make and how she serves it and of course, I love her kitchen and home.

This episode was probably a repeat but it was timely for me in my family's new healthier eating regimen. Ina does like to use a lot of butter and I made that substitution and others along the way. The main substitution however was swapping salmon for chicken. This wasn't for health reasons, it was just that I had the salmon defrosted and needed to use it. I thought the recipe would work either way.

I'm printing Ms. Garten's recipe for Chicken Hash first and my retake follows. The top photo of course is mine and I hope you'll agree that it looks was! I'm going to do Ina's recipe later this week because it's really too good to pass up.

Basil Chicken Hash
(Ina Garten recipe)

2 whole (4 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
16 basil leaves
Olive Oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled and large diced
2 red onions, chopped
2 red bell peppers, large diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 minced scallions, white and green parts
1/4 cup chopped fresh leaf parsley


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers, leaving one side attached. Place 4 basil leaves under the skin of each chicken breast. Pull the skin over as much of the meat as possible so the chicken won't dry out. With your hands, rub each piece with olive oil and sprinkle very generously with salt and pepper. Bake the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until the skin is lightly browned and the chicken is just cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones. Cut the chicken in large dice pieces and set aside.
  • Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large saute pan. Add the potatoes and onions, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until evenly browned and cooked through.
  • In a separate saute pan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the red peppers, garlic, thyme, paprika, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the edges of the peppers are seared.
  • Add the chicken and the pepper mixture to the potatoes and heat through. Add the scallions and parsley, toss together and place on a serving platter.
Salmon With Vegetables
2 lbs salmon fillet
1 small box tiny red potatoes
corn removed from two ears of corn
2 zucchini sliced and halved
a dozen mini whole carrots or quartered whole carrots
10 fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic minced
1 red onion diced
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


  • Lightly salt the salmon fillet and add pepper more liberally
  • Bake in 350 degree preheated oven until salmon loses it's translucency. Set aside.
  • In large fry pan, add olive oil to pan adding minced garlic, basil leaves and diced red onion. Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes or until tender.
  • Add red potatoes, corn, zucchini and carrots and cook low and covered until vegetables are tender but not overcooked.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • To plate: add salmon portion to each plate and then arrange vegetables on top.

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