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March 20, 2008 2:56 PM   Subscribe

Help me match meat dishes..

What meat dish will not clash and pair well with a salmon fillet rubbed with paprika, brown sugar, thyme and black pepper? I am having a party and the one standout fish dish that I can do is salmon which the other party goers may or may not like. I am doing fish as one of the mains because some guests are pescatarians. Any suggestions are welcome.
posted by jadepearl to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
What else are you serving besides the salmon?
posted by Greg Nog at 3:02 PM on March 20, 2008

Hard to imagine that someone wouldn't like that salmon, but OK. Howabout a roast pork shoulder? You could use the exact same rub, in fact. It'd be a relatively mild, large hunk of flesh, easy for the masses. Would probably pair pretty well with whatever sides you're planning for the salmon.
posted by mumkin at 3:04 PM on March 20, 2008

If I were going to serve a second entree, it would be boneless breast of chicken, breaded and pan fried to brown, and then later put in the oven to bake. The breading and pan frying can be done in advance and then finished off later when the salmon is baking. I would look for a lemon chicken recipe, or at least something that doesn't have any sugar in it since the salmon recipe does. The baked chicken could also be topped with a mix of vegetables like corn, tomatoes and scallions with a bit of olive oil. The key here is to do something that can be made in advance for the most part. Enjoy your guests instead of being a slave to your oven.
posted by LiveLurker at 3:28 PM on March 20, 2008

If you're picturing people picking salmon OR the other meat, then mumkin's suggestion of using the same rub on a pork shoulder (or even a pork tenderloin) makes a lot of sense, especially when you consider the ease of matching side dishes to both meats. But if you're expecting people to nibble on a bit of everything, then you might want to use different flavors on the other meat, to give people some variety.

I agree that chicken or pork seems more likely to go well with whatever sides you've got planned with the salmon (as opposed to some kind of red meat).
posted by vytae at 4:18 PM on March 20, 2008

Chicken or veal piccata would do nicely I think.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:23 PM on March 20, 2008

Hard to imagine that someone wouldn't like that salmon

Some people do not like fish at all, no matter what type (as my husband does), and I have a dislike of salmon in particular (the smell totally puts me off eating; I can't even sit at the same table with someone else having salmon). I think having a second dish is an awesome choice.

Ditto the pork tenderloin; it sounds like the easiest and best thing to coordinate with the salmon.
posted by Cricket at 4:49 PM on March 20, 2008

Response by poster: I am choosing sides based on mains, but right now, I was thinking of a corn bread pudding and mushrooms cooked with duck fat (if I can find it). Yeah, my husband, says that all my vegetarian dishes involves meat.

Anyway, most of my pork dishes seem kind of autumnal like maple/rum; apple cider or herby arista style, so if folks have pork flavor profiles that would work with the salmon for those wanting to try both mains that would be good.
posted by jadepearl at 7:27 PM on March 20, 2008

Hard to imagine that someone wouldn't like that salmon

There is a fairly significant minority of people (like myself) who find the "fishy" taste inherent in most seafood (especially salmon) revolting.

To answer the question, I would suggest a pork tenderloin (as others have suggested) or a leg of lamb.
posted by deadmessenger at 7:38 PM on March 20, 2008

I was thinking of a corn bread pudding and mushrooms cooked with duck fat

If you have guests who only eat fish and no meat or poultry, duck fat on the mushrooms might not be the best idea! Many vegetarians won't eat anything cooked with the fat of the animals they abstain from either.
posted by theantikitty at 9:25 PM on March 20, 2008

I think it's extremely nice of you to prepare a 2nd dish. I'd make it a mild chicken dish, or vegetarian. Since you specified meat, I think Lemon Chicken would do nicely. It's a chicken breast pounded thin, dipped in beaten egg, then in flour, sauteed in butter, both sides, until done, about 6 mins/side, depending, then add fresh lemon juice and saute another minute. It essentially makes its own sauce. I think the tart lemon would go nicely with the sweet salmon. It's also very easy, so as not to overburden the cook.

No matter what you serve, there will be people who don't eat: meat, fish, salmon, eggs, dairy, nuts, carbs, cooked food, etc. So having a couple of good sides can fill the main dish spot for people with special diets. Corn pudding is a great suggestion.

I used to dislike salmon, but have learned to like it because of its stellar anti-inflammatory properties. I'll be trying your recipe soon. thanks.
posted by theora55 at 9:57 AM on March 21, 2008

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