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How to Prepare Salmon

Salmon preparation

During Lent, do you often feel like you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel for meatless main dish recipes? A great solution for soups, sandwiches, salads and casseroles is salmon. It’s always handy and ready to use.

It’s delicious as it comes from the can, but expensive that way. It’s equally flavorful and more economical combined with other ingredients in main dishes, salads, soups, sandwiches and appetizers. Long before 56 B.C., when the Romans named it The Leaper, salmon was a highly prized food source for peoples of the world fortunate enough to live near the waters where it was plentiful.

Today, thanks to modern canning methods, this delicious food can be enjoyed in many different dishes by people all over the world, no matter how far inland they live.

Few foods are as rich in nutrients as salmon. Not only is it an exceptionally good source of complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids, but it also contains vitamins A and D as well as niacin and riboflavin from the B-complex group. Appreciable amounts of calcium and iron, as well as zinc, magnesium and phosphorus are also contained in canned salmon.

Because the fat content in canned salmon is the polyunsaturated type, it is recommended for those on low-cholesterol diets. There is no waste to canned salmon because the liquid, skin and tiny bones are not only edible, but contribute flavor and texture as well as nutrients. All varieties of canned salmon are equally nutritious, so your choice of salmon depends on its use.

When color is important, as in salads and appetizers, choose Sockeye salmon. When combining salmon with other ingredients in casseroles, soups and sandwich fillings, the less expensive Chum salmon is ideal. Creamy Salmon Broccoli Soup is a colorful blend of vegetables, spices and canned salmon. It can be prepared in advance and reheated or can be put together quickly with ingredients kept on hand. An even healthier dish is Salmon Scalloped Potatoes. It’s packed with nutrition and is made much like scalloped potatoes, except that each layer includes salmon and grated cheese as well as potatoes. Need a solution for casual entertaining? Layered Salmon Loaf could be the answer. Salmon and herb-seasoned stuffing mix pair up with a layer of fluffy steamed rice.

Creamy Salmon Broccoli Soup

1 can (15 1/2 oz.) salmon
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped broccoli
2/3 cup chopped onion
3 T. butter
3 T. flour
2 cups half and half
3 cups milk
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Drain salmon, reserving liquid, and break into chunks with a fork. Cook broccoli according to package directions. Drain. Saute onion in butter. Blend in flour. Add reserved salmon liquid, half and half and milk, stirring and cooking until thickened and smooth. Dissolve bouillon cubes in hot soup. Add salmon, broccoli and seasonings; heat through. Makes four to six servings.

Salmon Scalloped Potatoes

1 can (15 1/2 oz.) salmon
3 to 4 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 jar (8 oz.) pasteurized process cheese spread with pimiento
1 cup dairy sour cream
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 T. buttered bread crumbs

Drain and flake salmon, reserving liquid. Layer 1/3 potatoes, onion, salmon and grated cheese in 1 1/2 quart casserole. Combine reserved salmon liquid, cheese spread, sour cream, salt and pepper, blending until smooth. Spoon 1/3 sauce over ingredients in casserole. Continue alternating layers until all ingredients are used, ending with sauce. Top with buttered bread crumbs. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Layered Salmon Loaf

1 can (15 1/2 oz.) salmon
3/4 cup herb-seasoned stuffing mix
1 egg
2 T. milk
2 T. grated onion
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash pepper
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
2 T. butter or margarine
1 T. flour
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Drain and flake salmon, reserving 1/4 cup liquid. Combine salmon with stuffing mix, egg, milk, onion, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Spread half of salmon mixture into buttered 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Saute celery and green pepper in butter or margarine. Blend in flour. Add reserved salmon liquid, cooking and stirring until smooth. Combine with rice and Swiss cheese. Spread rice mixture over salmon; top with remaining salmon mixture. Bake at 350° 45 minutes or until set. Makes six servings.

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