Go fish with Carla Hall of ‘Top Chef’

Tuna Stir-Fry Over Whole-Wheat Vermicelli.

Fish is both a delicious and nutritious meal option, but one from which home chefs often shy away. In a new series of CanolaInfo recipes and videos, Carla Hall, finalist on “Top Chef” Seasons 5 and 8, answers common questions about fish, including how to properly select and prepare it.

“Cooking fish is easy once you know a few tricks,” said Hall, who was voted “Top Chef” Season 8 All-Stars Fan Favorite. “A lot of people have fish fears, which is unfortunate because it’s a healthy addition to any diet and ticky-boo to prepare.”

Hall’s CanolaInfo recipes are made with canola oil, which is a good source of omega-3 fat along with the fish. Omega-3 fat may help protect the heart, especially when consumed in place of saturated fat. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a qualified health claim for canola oil on its potential to reduce the risk of heart disease.

In addition to the recipes here, Hall offers Halibut en Papillote (meaning “in parchment” in French) with Roasted Tomato-Artichoke Ragout and Broiled Trout with Lemon Oil and Oven-Grilled Vegetables in her “Go Fish with Canola Oil” recipe collection. For the recipes and step-by-step instructional videos, go to www.canolainfo.org.

Grilled Salmon Over Lentil Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette

Yield: 4 servings

Serving size: 1 fillet

4 salmon fillets (4 ounce portions), skin removed


2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 sprigs fresh tarragon, pulled and roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

Lentil Salad

1 cup dry brown or green lentils, rinsed (use 1 1/2 cups canned black bean or small red beans, rinsed, as quick alternative)

1 bay leaf

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1 rosemary sprig

1 medium carrot, finely diced

1 celery stalk, finely diced

1/4 cup red onion, very finely diced

1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

Walnut Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons red onion, minced

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup rice or champagne vinegar

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

1/4 teaspoon pepper


Lemon wedges

In medium bowl, combine mustard, canola oil, tarragon and garlic for marinade. Place salmon in marinade and gently toss until thoroughly coated. Place fish in resealable bag in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Heat grill to 375∞F, when it’s too hot to hold hand above coals for more than 5 seconds.

Grilled Salmon Over Lentil Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette.

In 5-quart pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add lentils, garlic cloves and rosemary sprig. Cook lentils until just tender, about 30 minutes. Strain in colander.

In plastic bowl or cup with fitted lid, combine red onion, garlic, mustard, vinegar, canola oil, walnuts and pepper. Shake until thoroughly mixed and emulsified. Season with pepper.

In large bowl, toss lentils, carrots, celery and red onions together. Stir in enough vinaigrette, about 1/4 cup, to coat lentil mixture, and store rest in refrigerator for up to one week. Toss in fresh parsley and tarragon.

Spray grill rack lightly and cautiously with canola oil cooking spray, then carefully place salmon fillets on hot grill 2 inches apart. Cook on each side 3 to 4 minutes at diagonal angle to grill rack for professional-looking grill marks. Remove salmon from grill and serve over lentil salad. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving: Calories, 420; Total Fat, 17 g; Saturated Fat, 1 g; Cholesterol, 60 mg; Sodium, 230 mg; Carbohydrates, 33 g; Fiber, 8 g; Protein, 34 g

Tuna Stir-Fry Over Whole-Wheat Vermicelli

Yield: 6 servings

Serving size: 1 cup

12 ounces tuna steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 teaspoons canola oil

Canola oil cooking spray

1 garlic clove, smashed

2 pieces ginger, cut into 1/4-inch rounds

1 large carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch diagonal pieces

8 to 12 spears asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

8 ounces shiitake mushroom, stems discarded and tops cut into 1/4-inch strips

1 cup frozen edamame beans, thawed

Stir-Fry Sauce

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon ginger, grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water


1 pound whole wheat vermicelli, cooked accordingto box instructions

In medium bowl, toss tuna with canola oil (this ensures perfectly seared tuna). Set aside.

Heat wok or skillet to medium-high to high heat. Spray canola oil cooking spray to coat pan; add smashed garlic and ginger pieces to flavor oil. After 20 seconds, add carrots. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then add asparagus. Spray more canola oil if necessary to keep vegetables from sticking. Cook for additional 2 minutes or until asparagus is bright green and carrots are tender. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside on flat plate.

Spray pan with canola oil cooking spray or oil. Add mushroom pieces. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until browned. Remove from pan.

Reheat pan to medium-high to high heat. Add tuna in 2 to 3 batches without crowding pan. Gently move tuna around with spatula. Sear tuna until just cooked. Remove and set aside.

Return carrots, asparagus and mushroom to wok or skillet. Add edamame and tuna. Make a well in center and pour stir-fry sauce in middle. Coat vegetables with sauce and quickly bring to a boil. Serve tuna-vegetable mix over hot vermicelli.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving: Calories, 440; Total Fat, 6 g; Saturated Fat, 0 g; Cholesterol, 35 mg; Sodium, 310 mg; Carbohydrates, 65 g; Fiber, 9 g; Protein, 32 g

Source: CanolaInfo

Courtesy Family Features

Carla Hall, finalist on “Top Chef” Seasons 5 and 8, shows off her Tuna Stir-Fry Over Whole-Wheat Vermicelli.

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