Acclimate and Italian Salmon Rolls in Tomato Sauce

by Joanne on February 17, 2015

For the past few months I have been running in temperatures ranging from –5 F to high 20’s F.  In less than 2 weeks, I will go from those frigid temperatures to comforting 50’s possibly into the 80’s.   That sounds great right now as I look at the outside temperature gauge and it screams a whopping 15 degrees but WOW! If that won’t be a shock to my thermoregulation, can’t imagine what would?!  This is why expectations in the upcoming Phoenix Marathon are up in the air.  To be honest about this race, I’m conflicted. 

  • Still feeling strong from New York City but unsure because of the lack of speed work due to a disgruntled knee. 
  • Running really well on the treadmill but feeling so tired and cumbersome when running outside in the cold and snow.
  • Willing to accept what the day brings and adjust to it but really wanting to take advantage of the course being less challenging than upcoming Boston.
  • Worrying won’t change what happens race day.  I know this.  I also know that the enjoyment in running a marathon is so much more if a runner can go with the flow instead of cursing the weather or digging up negative thoughts and insecurities. 
  • I’m dreading the heat but looking forward to running in shorts and a simple tank over 5 lbs. of added clothing just to stay warm. 
  • I’m afraid of the heat knocking me down but I know that I have to drink plenty of water the day before the race, eat hydrating foods (vegetables and fruits, foods made up of a lot of water).  and wear sun screen.

These are race day jitters that need to be put into perspective.  You know what else I know?  That everything listed above and more will go around and around in my head until that gun goes off on February 28th.  There is nothing that I dislike more about a race than waiting for it to start. 

What do you hate most about race day?

An Italian Feast!

Believe it or not, this recipe is based on an Italian classic, beef braciola.  It never hurts to experiment and when faced with the challenge of making frozen salmon taste good, what do you have to lose?

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Serves 4   *You could try this with slight variations using other protein such as chicken or other fish. 

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  • 1 TBS chopped Bing cherries
  • 2 TBS chopped parsley
  • 2 TBS pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 thin salmon fillets – skin removed
  • salt and pepper to season
  • Toothpicks, about 8
  • 1 1/2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 leek, white part only – cleaned and sliced thin into rounds
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 (15 oz) can Fire Roasted diced tomatoes – do not drain.
  • 1 bay leaf

Make the filling by mixing together the cherries, parsley, nuts, cheese, and garlic.  Set aside.  On a clean surface, salt and pepper both sides of the salmon. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.   This allows flavor to develop.

Spoon the filling and spread evenly along the top of the fish fillets. Roll up and secure with 1 to 2 toothpicks.  Set aside.  If you have left over filling, put it on top of salmon when you add them to the sauce.

In a Dutch oven over medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the leeks and cook for 4 – 5 minutes.  Add the wine just to reduce, about another 4 to 5 minutes.  Stir in the red pepper flakes, bay leaf and tomatoes.  Fill the tomato can with 1/2 a cup of water to get all the residual tomato sauce and pour into the sauce.  Bring to a boil.

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Once the sauce boils, reduce heat to medium low and add the salmon rolls. *Don’t forget to top with any extra filling you have!   Allow to cook for 10 minutes, covered.  After 10 minutes, turn the rolls over, reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking, covered for another 10 minutes.   Remove toothpicks before serving.

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This was an easy dish to prepare using frozen salmon which is a hit or miss when it comes to flavor.  All the beautiful Italian aromas secure a successful dinner.

Have you ever made braciola? Pork? Beef? or other meat/fish?

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