Nom Nom Paleo

Slim Palate’s Pistachio-Crusted Salmon

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Slim Palate's Pistachio-Crusted Salmon by Michelle Tam

Know what you can get with just six ingredients and twenty minutes? A seriously sophisticated supper.

I wish I could take credit for this elegant and deceptively simple salmon dish, but I actually found it in my pal Joshua Weissman’s The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook. At the ripe old age of 18 (yep—Josh wrote his cookbook before graduating from high school), he’s figured out that no one needs a bunch of fussy ingredients or fancy techniques to create flavorful, crowd-pleasing dishes.

Slim Palate's Pistachio-Crusted Salmon by Michelle Tam

Having tried Josh’s Pistachio-Crusted Salmon, I’ve decided to add it to the regular dinner rotation at our house because:

  1. I want my family to eat more fish.
  2. My kids love salmon, I know I won’t hear any complaints at the dinner table.
  3. always have the other ingredients for this recipe on hand—except for the salmon.

Thankfully, I can order sustainable seafood from Siren Fish Co. (via Good Eggs)—including some fantastic wild king salmon. I tweaked Josh’s recipe slightly to accommodate my one-pound fillet, which I divided into three portions. But don’t worry: the magical flavors and textures of this dish are all Josh.

Here’s what to gather to feed 3 people (or—in our case—2 adults and 2 pint-sized boys):

  • 1 (1-pound) wild king salmon fillet, skin on and pin bones removed
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard (I actually used the whole grain variety)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives or scallions
  • ½ cup shelled salted and dry roasted pistachios, crushed

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Spicy Salmon Cucumber Bites

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Want to impress your pals with an elegant yet simple hors d’oeuvre? Look no further than these spicy salmon cucumber bites! If you’ve already got some cooked salmon and mayo in your fridge, you can whip these omega-3-fatty-acid-packed appetizers in a jiffy.


Here’s what to gather to make 16 bites:

  • ¼ cup Paleo mayonnaise
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon Tabasco
  • ½ pound cooked salmon
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and cut crosswise into ¾-inch thick slices
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 bunch chive sprigs (optional garnish)

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Day 20 of Whole30 Eats

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Another day, another dollar, right? That’s what I keep reminding myself during my workweek.

Tonight, I didn’t get hungry until around 2:00 a.m. (since I had stuffed myself with lamb burger when I woke up). For my “lunch,” I’d packed some sous vide chicken breasts with shredded carrots and nuked frozen broccoli. Since it was kind of bland and low-fat, I ate it with liberal amounts of Primavera salsa and homemade guacamole.

For snack, I ate what I’ve eaten all week: raw veggies, Aubergine dip, coconut flakes, and macadmia nuts.

"Dinner" at work (~7:00 a.m.) was a leftover box of shredded roasted chicken thighs and sautéed kale.

When I returned home, we didn’t have to take our older rugrat to school because of the MLK holiday, but I was a busy bee nonetheless.

Before going to bed, I seasoned and vacuum sealed some Wild King Salmon fillets…

…and I also seasoned (with fajita and taco seasoning, salt, and pepper) and vacuum sealed a grass fed top sirloin steak. The plan was to pop this hunk ‘o meat in the SousVide Supreme after I finished cooking my sous vide salmon.

I stored all my vacuum packed goodies in the fridge, filled my SousVide Supreme with water, and set the temperature to 125 F. Then, I stumbled to my bedroom and got some sleep.

When I woke up at 5:00 p.m., I prepped some veggies (carrots, butternut squash, and onions) for roasting and popped them in the oven (400 F convection roast).

About 25 minutes later, I dumped the salmon fillet packets into my preheated SousVide Supreme and set the timer for 20 minutes.

Then, I washed a bunch of chard and beet greens and sautéed them with thinly sliced shallots in some melted lard.

When the salmon was finished cooking, so were the roasted veggies (~45 minutes total).


Here’s my dinner plate:

After I removed the salmon from the SousVide Supreme, I cranked up the heat to 130 F and I plopped in the top sirloin steak I’d vacuum sealed in the morning. I’m going to let the steak bathe in the hot water for 24 hours and then sear it off for dinner tomorrow.

While I practiced some deadlifts in the garage, Fitbomb helped pack my meals for work.

And then I set off into the night. (Sounds more exciting when I put it that way, doesn’t it?)

I was hungry a few hours later (at 10:30 p.m.) so I snacked on the macadamia nuts and a small container of sauerkraut (not the whole jar).

Sounds like a wack snack combination, but that’s what I ate.

Sous Vide Wild King Salmon

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I’ve made sous vide salmon with frozen wild Sockeye fillets before with pretty good results but tonight was my first attempt with fresh Wild King salmon. I like the taste of Wild King salmon much better than Sockeye but I’ve always been a little leery about vacuum sealing fresh fillets with olive oil because:

  1. I thought my sealer would smush the fillets.
  2.  My sealer would suck up all the olive oil.
  3. It takes too much time to vacuum seal my own fillets.

Luckily, I found a post on Tiny Urban Kitchen (love her!) that addressed all my concerns and I ended up with restaurant-quality sous vide salmon fillets without too much effort.

Here’s what I assembled:

  • 2 lb center cut Wild King salmon fillet, cut into 5 fillets
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Here’s what I did:

Before I came home from work, I asked Fitbomb to freeze the olive oil in small containers so they would be solid when I vacuum sealed the salmon a couple hours later. I asked for an extra container (I only had 5 fillets) just in case I spilled one.

When I returned home, I cut the fillet into five portions and seasoned them with Kosher salt and pepper.

I individually vacuum-sealed them with a frozen cube of olive oil and a sprig of thyme. The olive oil melted pretty quickly so next time, I’ll  freeze the oil for longer than 2 hours. Also, I used the gentle mode on my vacuum sealer so it wouldn’t smash the fillets.

Then, I placed my packets in a bowl of ice and popped it in the fridge. I filled up my SousVide Supreme and set the temperature to 125 F and went to bed. (If I’m tossing the salmon in cold salads, I set the temp at 140 F for 40 min.)

When I woke up, I dumped the salmon packets into my preheated SousVide Supreme and let them bathe for 20 minutes.

My in-laws don’t like medium-rare salmon so I seared two of the fillets on both sides (~ 2 minutes each) in some lard over high heat. The flesh side stuck to the pan and makes for an ugly piece of fish. I guess I need to invest in a kitchen torch…

Fitbomb and I like our salmon cooked medium-rare so I just seared the skin side of our fillets.

I’m happy with the results I got cooking the salmon at 125 F. The fillet was super moist and almost custardy. Plus, my picky in-laws ate it up with no complaints. yay! Brownie points for me!

No sous vide machine? Hack one yourself and start making some sous vide goodness at home.

Quick Sous Vide Salmon Dinner For Company

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Tonight, our good friends came over to unload us of some of the crap we’ve been piling up in our house for the last few years. To thank them for taking our garbage, I made them dinner:

seared sous vide sockeye salmon (15 minutes at 130 F),

cauliflower fried “rice,”

braised green beans with tomatoes and onions,

and spicy sautéed mushrooms with anchovy.

Here’s my plate (including roasted carrots with aged balsamic vinegar):