116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Seeing family after more than a year is cause for celebration
After nearly two years of waiting and yearning, I was finally able to hug my grandmother this past weekend.
Not only that, I also had the privilege to cook a dinner for her out of my own kitchen for the first time ever. Returning an act of love that she did for me countless times, when my mom and I lived with her as I was growing up in Brazil.
Since the last time I saw her in January of 2020, we both have been through some pretty intense life experiences, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She has endured a fight with cancer and multiple rounds of chemotherapy, and I brought my daughter, her great-granddaughter, into the world.
To me, the child of an immigrant and an immigrant myself, this is the most difficult part of immigration -- being separated from the family you left behind through life-changing events, whether those events be good or bad.
My grandmother was never able to lay her hand on my pregnancy bump and feel her great-granddaughter kick, and I was never able to hold her hand as she bravely fought that terrible disease.
For a little while, it was unclear as to how or when we would see each other again.
I feel incredibly lucky that she finally landed in Iowa this past weekend where we, both vaccinated against COVID and itching to be close again, were able to share hugs, kisses, stories and a meal.
This recipe is, of course, inspired by my grandmother and her love of salmon.
Follow Alexandra Olsen on Instagram, @TheHungryGaucha.
Crispy Skin Salmon
2 tablespoons of butter
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 pounds of salmon, with skin
1/2 cup of a dry white wine
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
2 lemons, sliced
Green olives, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Add olive oil to a large oven-safe skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. You want enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.
Saute garlic cloves until fragrant and scoot them to the sides of the pan.
Cut your salmon into fillets, leaving the skin on, rinsing and drying before placing, skin-side-down, into the hot oil. Cook for about 3 minutes, do not agitate.
Season the salmon with salt and pepper before flipping the fillets so that the skin is skin-side-up. Cook for about 2 minutes.
Add butter to the pan and let it melt before deglazing the pan with wine. Add cherry tomatoes before removing the skillet from the stove and transferring it to the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until tomatoes burst.
Remove from the oven, garnish salmon with olives and lemon and sprinkle more salt to taste.