Friday, March 28, 2008

Fish Friday

I am not Catholic. In fact, I'm not even religious and consider myself an agnostic. However, there is one thing that I do that many Catholics do. I make a point of eating fish and meat alternatives on Friday. I'll eat them other days as well, but I make a conscious effort to eat fish on Fridays.

My dad loved fishing. He even loved ice fishing. He used to bring home lots of jack fish and pickerel. I liked fish as a kid, but I could never see the bones and nearly choked a few times. My mom used to have to pick the bones out for me before I would even taste it. Fresh fish was wonderful, but it wasn't that great cold. It finally got so frustrating for me that I would only eat fish sticks or canned tuna. The only way I'd eat canned salmon, was if someone else picked out the bones and skin. The slimy skin and crunchy bones/vertebrae just grossed me out to the point of nausea.

Even so, I still managed to find enough boneless fish products in the stores to eat it once a week. When I started loosing weight, I decided to try and find healthier alternatives. I even found boneless/skinless canned salmon and developed a real taste for it. Then the price went up and I couldn't afford this version. I missed my salmon, so I bought a can of regular salmon. The only way I could stomach to eat it was to clean out all the skin/bones and then rinse it in cold water and set in a strainer. I'd mix it with mayo, spices and a bit of onion and chill it for a few hours. As long as I prepared it several hours in advance, I could eat it no problem.

One of the stores had fresh salmon fillets on sale and I decided what the heck. If I can eat the canned, I can handle the fresh. The fillets were pretty much boned and I just had to peel off the skin. I did it and I loved it! I started buying big trays of salmon fillets when they'd go on sale. I'd skin them, then cut them into individual portions and freeze individually to either grill on my Foreman Grill or bake in the oven.

About a year or so ago I noticed that High Liner was now marketing a package of frozen Wild Pacific Salmon Fillets. Boneless and skinless, and portioned into servings of about 110g (3 1/2 ounces). My local Price Choppers had them on sale, so why not try them. A one pound package was about $4.00. They are fantastic! I went back the next day and bought 4 more packages for the freezer. I've been buying them ever since. In fact they are on sale again this week, and even though I have two in the freezer, I'm going to buy 4 more.

"High Liner brings your family the finest salmon with our premium quality, individually quick frozen Wild Pacific salmon. These unseasoned fish fillets are vacuum packed to keep them as ocean-fresh as possible and are ready to prepare. Simply brush with oil and season as desired or prepare with your favourite sauce. Available all year round, our Wild Pacific salmon is boned, deep skinned and deep pink in colour.Wild Pacific Salmon is a good source of omega-3 polyunsaturates and is an excellent source of protein. Each 454 g sleeve contains 4 or more fillets."

My favourite way to prepare the fillets is to set one or two fillets in an oven proof dish, cover with foil and allow to thaw in the fridge for several hours. When the fish is thawed, preheat the oven to 375F and sprinkle 1-1 1/2 Tablespoons of lemon juice over each fillet. I then sprinkle a little bit of each of the following seasonings on top of each fillet; lemon pepper, thyme, basil, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Cover tightly with the foil and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the fillets flake easily. I drizzle the hot lemon sauce mixture over the fillet and serve with a baked potato or brown rice and a tossed salad or steamed broccoli! It is sooooo good!!!!!!



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