A Transplanted Baker baby food recipe...
Now, before you scrunch up your nose and call me a mad woman for even thinking of pureeing fish, I want you to know that I am a reasonable person (at least 6 days of the week).
The truth of the matter is, mixed with the right vegetables, a serving of homemade salmon baby food is quite tasty. And, next to a tolerating a Raffi cd on repeat, it is one of the most loving thing you can do for your 2 foot tall friend. If you want a second opinion, check out this Time article.
If you are opposed to whizzing up a little salmon in a food processor, perhaps you had a similar upbringing to mine. Landlocked, fish stick-crazed, and traumatized by your uncle’s joke of trapping 4-year-old you in a corner and shoving a ginormous muskie in your face. Truth be told, I don’t think I even tasted salmon before the age of 18. But then things change. You meet a charming Norwegian, you set up camp across the ocean, and you start eating salmon every Thursday night for two and half years.
Salmon in Norway is popular for a few reasons. First off, eating fish, all types of healthy, fatty, locally caught (or for the past 30 years, farm-raised) fish is tradition. It’s a way of life. 16 ounce ribeyes on Saturday nights is not. Fish as a major part of one's diet is engrained at a very early age. At just four weeks, the health administration encourages young mothers to start giving their babies cod liver oil. Sounds like gruesome punishment for someone who can hardly stay awake longer than an hour, but Lasse readily accepted his cod liver oil (cold from the refrigerator, no less!) with a coo and a smile. No joke!
On top of it all, salmon is cheap here! We pay seven US dollars for one pound of Norwegian salmon- that’s enough for our family of 2.5, although could probably feed your typical household of four quite easily. So considering that we actually save money by passing on ground beef for fresh fish, it makes it easy to serve salmon often.
Lasse’s laks (pronounced just like the “lox” you put on your bagel)- a simple, mild way to pump your baby full of Omega 3s. With a little creamy potato, a little sweet carrot, and a little fresh dill, it smells super nice while steaming on your stove top and I promise you won’t gag when taking a quality-control bite. I like to make this when we are having salmon for dinner ourselves. All you need to do is reserve a small piece for the kid and add it to the pot of steaming vegetables during the last few minutes of cooking. Of course, the salmon can be replaced with trout, cod, artic char, or any other firm-fleshed fish you (and your wallet) pick out at the fish case. Just watch out for those bones!
For a grown-up salmon dinner, check out this decadent recipe.
Salmon with potato, carrot, and dill
-A Transplanted Baker Baby Food Recipe-
*makes about 6- 3 oz. (85 g) portions
2 small potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2” (1 cm) pieces
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into 1/4 “ (1/2 cm) coins
1- 4-5 oz. (about 125 g) boneless fillet of salmon (preferably wild or farm-raised under well-controlled conditions), skin removed and sliced into 1” (2 cm) cubes
1-2 sprigs of fresh dill (a pinch of dried will do as well)
1. In a medium pan using a steaming insert, steam the potatoes and carrots until they are nearly cooked through.
2. Add the salmon cubes and dill. Continue steaming until the salmon is cooked all the way through (check the center of one piece with a fork for opaqueness). Remove from the burner, reserve the steaming water- do not toss!
3. In a blender, food processor, food mill, or with a stav mixer/hand held blender, puree the salmon and vegetables with about 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the reserved steaming water. Continue to puree to your baby’s desired consistency, adding more water if it is too thick. Will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 days, freeze any servings that will not be eaten within that time period.