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Spanish Salmon Bake

You can make this hearty, winter-ready recipe with any mild semi-firm cheese, but since it is at least nominally Spanish, we recommend using Spain's most famous fromage.

Barrel-shaped Manchego is a rich, golden sheep's milk cheese from La Mancha: the region famous by Don Quixote and even more so by the eponymous Broadway musical that staged his impossible dreams.

Manchego is aged for 3 months or more, and features small holes. It ranges from mild to sharp and for this recipe, the former may fit best.

Note: Lest the eggs in this recipe draw concerned comments, be aware that eggs are mistakenly maligned. While they contain considerable amounts of it, dietary cholesterol is no longer considered a risk factor for heart disease. And while the yolks are fatty, much of it is omega-3.

In fact, the Japanese eat many more eggs that Americans do, but they can boast far lower rates of heart disease, thanks in part to their high omega-3 intake from fish and greens. (If you need to reduce fat intake, use just the whites or pour off half the yolk.)

And egg yolks contain some heart-healthy DHA, for the same reason human breast milk is rich in this omega-3: to build infant brains and eyes. To get even more, choose eggs from hens fed omega-3-rich foods (fish meal, algae, flaxseed, greens) that raise the DHA levels of their eggs' yolks. Just look for labels that claim 100
200 mg of omega-3s per egg.

Spanish Salmon Bake

Prep time 15 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes
Serves 6

2 cans (7.5 oz each) Traditional Wild Red Sockeye Salmon or 2 cans (6.5 oz each) skinless-boneless Wild Red Sockeye Salmon
3 Tablespoons organic extra virgin olive or macadamia nut oil
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
2 cloves fresh minced garlic
1 can (2.5 oz) sliced black olives, drained
1 cup frozen diced potatoes
1/2 cup diced tomato
8 large omega-3-rich eggs, beaten well
1 teaspoon dried organic oregano
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup Marengo or other semi-hard white cheese, shredded or crumbled

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Drain and flake salmon.

  • Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat. Stir in onion, bell pepper, garlic, olives, and potatoes. Cook 3‒5 minutes, until garlic is brown and potatoes are slightly cooked.

  • Remove from heat; evenly spoon potato mixture into spray-coated 9x13-inch baking dish.

  • Sprinkle on salmon and tomatoes. Blend eggs, oregano, cilantro, salt and pepper; pour over salmon.

  • Bake 10 minutes; sprinkle on cheese. Continue baking 10‒15 minutes, until cooked through.

Nutrients per serving: 302 calories, 19 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 57% calories from fat, 284 mg cholesterol, 24 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 928 mg sodium, 284 mg calcium and 1.1 g omega-3 fatty acids.

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