Growing up, Sunday dinners at my grandmother’s house was always an event. They would always take place immediately after church service (or late afternoon) and would consist of some sort of meat: baked ham, turkey, fried chicken, etc. A veggie, that was cooked with meat (usually a smoked hog jowl, or fat back): collard greens or mustard greens. And you can’t forget the starch: mac & cheese and candied yams.
When I was real young, I would only be able to eat with my cousins and sister at the children’s table but as I got older, I loved sitting around the table with my great-grandmother, grandmother, mother and other relatives that would happen to be there at any given time.
The ” Sunday dinner” was so indoctrinated in me that when I finally moved into my first apartment, I kept the tradition up. I would make sure that I had something that was “Sunday Dinner-ish” on Sunday. In fact, it would feel weird if I deviated from it. When I was too lazy to cook, I would head to Boston Market and pick up something.
Of course as I have gotten older, I have learned about healthy eating and that all of my veggies don’t have to be cooked with meat, but I still yearn for those days. Honestly, it still feels weird when I cook on Sunday and it isn’t baked chicken, etc. Last night was no exception. I was craving Salmon and I decided to go with my urge and picked up a salmon steak and other fixings from Whole Foods. I had capers, lemon and white wine on hand, so I googled for a recipe that would allow me to combine all those ingredients to make a great salmon supper. My search ended when I found Giada’s Salmon with Lemon, Capers, and Rosemary. Honestly, I felt like a traitor to the Sunday dinner tradition, but I realized that “Sunday dinner” doesn’t have to be limited to certain foods. The common theme between my dish last night and all of my grandmother’s dishes, was that they were prepared with love. So, I got off my guilt trip and prepared the dish. Here’s my result:
You cook it in a foil packet, so it comes out nice and juicy. You can also use another herb, if you don’t like or have rosemary. I didn’t have rosemary, so I used this Tuscan blend of herbs I got from Penzey’s spices. To finish off the dish, I cut up one sweet potato, soaked it in ice-cold water for 30 minutes (helps to remove the starch, so the potato doesn’t get mushy when you bake it), and roasted it for about 30 minutes. I also sautéed some watercress with garlic. Click here for that recipe. Fresh watercress is peppery, but once you saute it a little, it becomes more mellow and takes on the taste of whatever you saute it with.
I sat the salmon on top of the wilted watercress and placed the sweet potato wedges around it. It was very tasty! I definitely will be making this again.
The tradition of Sunday suppers will live on in my heart, but for now I have to start my own tradition and remind myself that Sunday suppers will always be wonderful if they are made with love. 🙂
Here’s the Salmon recipe that I modified for 1 person. You can find the original recipe by clicking here:
- 1 salmon steak
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 dash of kosher salt
- 1 dash of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Tuscan herb blend
- 4 lemon slices
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 teaspoon capers
- 1 pieces of aluminum foil
Preheat the oven to 400F
Brush top and bottom of salmon steak with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and Tuscan spice. Place the seasoned salmon steak on a piece of foil large enough to fold over and seal. Place two slices of lemon on the bottom of the salmon steak and on the top, 1, 2 tablespoons of wine, and 1 teaspoon of capers. Wrap up salmon tightly in the foil packets.
Place the foil packet on a bake sheet and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through. If you want your salmon to have a glaze to it, open up the foil and stick it under the broiler for about 5 minutes. Serve in the foil packets or with a side like I did above.