So dad took me to lunch today at Sambuca, one of my absolute favorites for lunch, happy hour and/or dinner. When the nice waiter was taking our order, he asked if we would like to try their special for the day - salmon over tri-colored bell pepper and sauteed spinach, topped with a Gorgonzola cream sauce. He nearly compromised my entire intent for choosing to go to lunch there because I get the same thing every time - every, single, time. I was mad at him for 15 seconds as he clouded my mind with another tempting option. Then I realized that I could probably easily create that meal myself at home, therefore, my special salad and soup combo was meant to be, yet again.
Mr. Max's family gave me some cookbooks with various sauce recipes because I had indicated an interest to broaden my culinary horizons in that way. So I found a great little Gorgonzola cream recipe from my "Get Saucy" book, that I slightly adapted with things I've learned about sauce making on my own.
2 Atlantic Salmon Fillets
3 tablespoons of Butter
1 cup of Gorgonzola crumbles
1/4 cup Green Onion, minced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of shallot
Red Bell Pepper, minced
Orange Bell Pepper, minced
Yellow Bell Pepper, minced
1/2 can of evaporated milk
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
Salt and Pepper to taste
Oven safe baking dish
Small sauce pan
Cutting board, knife
Tonight, I put on a play list mix of my favorite mo-town tunes mixed with my guilty pleasure, GLEE! The season finale revision of Journey's "Any Way You Want" kicks off this night in the kitchen, and I deem that song more than appropriate for creating a fabulous meal.
First let's pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and prep the salmon to bake by coating the oven safe dish in a non-stick spray, then brushing the salmon with some olive oil.
Once oven is ready, stick it in and set the timer for 15 minutes.
While your salmon is baking, take your choppables and, well, chop them up. First we have the shallot - if you make your initial cut at the end of it, it will be easiest to peel and get to prime chopping condition. Mince up about 1 tablespoon worth and set aside.
Peeled shallot - there were 2 in the bulb!
This is my favorite knife from my knife block - I do play favorites.
Next, the 6 cloves of garlic - if you have a food processor, use it - if not, mince by hand with your blade of choice.
looks like I need a manicure... Set aside 1 tablespoon worth for the cream sauce, use rest for the spinach.
Take your bell peppers - so pretty...wash and prepare them to be diced.
Cut off the end with the stem...
then carve out the middle (seeds)....
and you can chop it up vertically (top to bottom, creating strips),
Or horizontally (side to side, creating the bell pepper rings).
Dice it up so you have your desired amount of bell pepper - since there are 3 types, I cut up about 1/2 of each bell pepper to use.
Last thing to chop - your green onion. Max Man just started with the last 2 inches of the stems and that gave us the perfect amount once all minced up. Set these aside, they will be used for the Gorgonzola cream sauce.
At this time take your large skillet, add some olive oil then let your garlic and shallot begin to simmer. This is one of my favorite smells - roasting shallot and garlic. That's when it gets real in the kitchen, when those combined aromas start to filter through the air.
Once fragrant, add your bell peppers, so they can start to soften and cook in with the other flavors...
Cook for about 2 minutes, then start adding your fresh spinach leaves. Add more olive oil if needed.
For context, I used an entire box of baby spinach to get just enough for 2 servings. This stuff shrinks like crazy, but that's a large helping of greens you are consuming in the end!
Left side is from the first round, right side is the new couple of handfuls.
Once it is all wilted, you can set it aside and keep warm on the burner.
Last part is to make your Gorgonzola cream sauce. You will first want to take a small sauce pan and melt your butter.
Next add the leftover garlic - about 1 tablespoon worth (3 diced up cloves) and the minced green onions to the sauce pan
At this point, I got side tracked (quite possibly singing along to the Temptations, Aint Too Proud to Beg... "I know you wanna leave me, but I refuuuuse to let you go...") and forgot to add 2 tablespoons of flour, to form a roux, thickening the sauce to prepare for the evaporated milk. You will want to add your flour at this time. Once you have done that, add 1/2 of the can of evaporated milk, slowly. Let it mix together before you add more.
Once that is stirred in, add your Gorgonzola cheese crumbles. I would say, 1/2 a cup of cheese first. Use the rest of this to taste, you do not want it to be too strong and to each palate their own. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to the sauce, some salt and pepper to taste, and you have yourself a delicious little Gorgonzola cream sauce done for only 120 calories, and the spinach number is 180 calories. I looked this up on a calorie counter website!
Now, you are ready to serve! Dish out the spinach to create a nice bed for your salmon. Top the spinach with your salmon fillet, then spoon over the Gorgonzola cream sauce to your liking.
The finished product - with a side of butternut squash risotto ...from a box, don't judge me - not everything I do is homemade :-)