A Tasty Potato Spinach Fish Dish –

by

This is one that can be varied to suit your own taste and needs. Herself gets to making yummy sounds with this one.

1 large potato
1 large skinned salmon fillet
olive oil
vegetable oil
1 box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed or about a pound of fresh, washed, de-stemmed
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp (If cold, just cut it up)
2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons water
3 tsp good mustard, stone ground or German or whole-grain

Cut the ends off the potato and cut thin slices. I usually cut the potato in half lengthwise and use the slicing side of a good grater. You could use a potato peeler if you can get one wide enough for a good-sized potato. I leave the skin on since we like the taste, and most of the nutrition is in the skin anyway.

Salt and pepper the fish to your liking.

Put a good swirl of olive oil into a skillet as though you were going to sauté, you want enough to taste. Add enough neutral tasting vegetable oil to come up somewhere between ¼” and 3/8″. You want to completely cover a layer of potatoes. When the oil is good and hot, shimmering but not smoking, crank down the heat to about medium-high. Put a layer of potatoes in the skillet. Place the fish on top of the potatoes and cook for 4 minutes. You have the right amount of oil if the potatoes are covered and the fish has just enough as though you were going to sauté it. You want the potatoes golden and the fish to be about halfway done the way you like it. Take it out, set the potatoes on some paper towels to drain, put the other half of the potatoes in, put the fish back in uncooked side down, and give it the same amount of time as the first side. Set the potatoes on the paper towel and the fish on a warm plate, tented with aluminum foil.

Drain the skillet except for a thin layer of the oil, add a pat of unsalted butter. When the butter is melted and sizzling but not brown, add the drained and squeezed spinach. Squeezed spinach? Well, yeah. When you thaw a box of frozen spinach, wrap it up in a non-fuzzy tea towel and wring it out. You will be surprised just how much water you will get out. If using fresh stuff, just dump it in. Anyway, sauté it a bit, moving it around to pick up butter/oil flavoring. Just before it is done, sprinkle a bit of kosher or sea salt, and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Don’t overcook the spinach. If fresh, you just want to wilt it nicely. If boxed, just get it good and hot and flavored.

Put the spinach on a plate, then a layer of potatoes, then fish, then the rest of the potatoes on top.

Wipe out the skillet, add in the water, mustard, and lemon juice. Whisk it lightly around and dump in the butter. Keep whisking lightly or just swirl the pan around over the heat. All you really want to do is to melt the butter into the mix. If you overheat the mix it will separate rather than combining. Pour the sauce over and around the spinach/potato/fish mix.

A couple of comments here. Probably a good idea to use heated plates unless you are going to chow down immediately. One good sized fillet, big potato, and box of spinach is enough for two people unless they are outrageously hungry. You don’t really need much of a side with this. Maybe a light salad or some sliced tomatoes. If money is not an object and taste is paramount, forget the veggie oil. Just dump in enough good olive oil to do the job. Lastly, if you want to get really fancy and have humongous potatoes, slice it potato chip thin and completely wrap the potato around the fish. Cook the side with the seam first. It can be really tricky to turn a wrapped fish, so be careful. The taste is no different, but the wrapped fillet presents very nicely.

Be prepared for raves and yummy sounds. Refer to Young Frankenstein for a proper definition of yummy sounds.

Herself Sez: YuuuUUUMMMmmmh! uuuuUUUUMMMMmmmmh! Repeat frequently while eating! These are the proper yummy sounds for this dish – and many others made by the Ol’ Curmudgeon. He’s quite a cook!

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