Monday, August 20, 2012

Favorite Salmon Salad Copycat

My favorite salad at one of our local restaurants is the Salmon Salad with Warm Goat Cheese.  We had a busy - but oh so fun - weekend (We saw Barry Manilow in concert Friday and then saw Mary Chapin Carpenter last night.)   With two late nights and low energy levels my husband and I were both feeling that a light dinner was in order.  It seemed like the perfect night to attempt to recreate my salmon salad.

Salmon with warm goat cheese salad...Yum!
Although it wasn't exactly the same as the one from the restaurant, it was pretty close and probably 500 calories less!  This is one of those salads that you can add whatever you have on hand and it will probably taste delicious. I wanted to keep it simple (We must be getting old because two late nights wiped us out!) so I wimped out and used bottled dressing - one less step.

Here is the basics of what I did:

Salmon Salad with Warm Goat Cheese Salad

2 Small Salmon filets
Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 cup green beans (Cut into 2 inch pieces)
5 small red potatoes, quartered
Olive Oil
1/2 large ripe tomato (Chopped)
6 pitted no sugar added dates (roughly chopped)
3 cups torn Romaine lettuce
1 cup torn red leaf lettuce
2 -3 Tbsp Paul Newmans light Balsamic dressing (I go on the light side here)
1/4 cup Goat Cheese
2 Tbsp Panko Bread Crumbs

1.  Par boil the potatoes until almost tender, remove from water with a slotted spoon.  Put them in a bowl and toss lightly with olive oil.  Grill on a grill pan over medium high heat until potatoes are tender on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside
2.  Add the green beans to the hot potato water and cook until just crisp-tender.  Remove them from the hot water and immerse in ice water to stop the cooking and keep that nice bright green color.
3.  Lightly sprinkle both sides of the salmon filets with montreal steak seasoning and cook to taste.  Here is a good guide for grilling times: Salmon Grilling Times
4. In a large bowl toss the lettuce, tomato, dates, green beans, potatoes, and salad dressing.  
5.  Spread the salad mixture on a plate or large bowl and top with the grilled Salmon and warm goat cheese.

--Serves 2

...Yes...I did not tell you how to do the warm goat cheese.  That would be because my attempt at warm goat cheese did not go as planned.  It was ok, but not as yummy as the warm goat cheese at the restaurant.  The cheese started to melt too soon and then it stuck to the pan so I had to sort of scrape the bread crumbs off the pan and restick them to the goat cheese.   Here is what I did and what I think I would try next time...

Warm Goat Cheese - for Attempt #2

1.  Form the goat cheese into disks about 1/2 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
2. Spread the panko crumbs onto a small plate and press both sides the goat cheese disk into the crumbs.
3.  Here is what I didn't do that I will do next time...Refrigerate the goat cheese for about 30 minutes (I think if the goat cheese starts out really cold, the bread crumbs will have time to brown before the cheese melts and gets all sticky and gooey.)
4.  Lightly spray the crumb covered goat cheese disks and place them in a hot non-stick skillet until the coating is golden and the cheese begins to warm. (I tried putting olive oil in the pan and then adding the goat cheese, but it was too oily.  I think that spray on the crumbs in a dry pan will work better.)

Has anyone out there made warm goat cheese?  Suggestions Welcome!  
Hope that you are having a marvelous Monday!  

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