Saturday, December 14, 2013

Salmon, Scales on, Cooked in the House

Every time I hear the word "salmon", it reminds me of an early episode of American Idol where Kellie Pickler was describing to Simon a dinner she had the night before.  She told him she a eaten saLmon for the first time, pronouncing the L.  He didn't quite know at first what she was talking about and finally he said something like, oh, salmon, saying it properly.  She looked at him dead serious and said you know there is an L in there.  It was too cute.

As my son says, moving on...
We have been cooking salmon more often than in the past and the main reason is that I have found a suitable way to cook it.  I have a previous post where I grill it and that is divine, but at times I don't want to mess with the grill.  I like my salmon just under done, firm but tender and ever so slightly, soft.  My husband wants his rare.

The first line of success is that we shop for 2 pieces of Salmon that are different thickness.  We always buy the salmon the day we are cooking it and I don't want any leftover.  The fillets should be firm to the touch, have relatively little to no smell, and be very bright in color.  The fish for dinner last night came from the Mandeville Seafood Market on Highway 59 and it was super fresh.  I think it was around $9.99 a pound.

For this preparation, I preheat the oven thoroughly to 350 and I preheat an empty pan over medium heat.  I rinse the fish and pat it dry.  I add a drizzle of olive oil to the flesh side of the fish and add S&P.
I begin with my piece of salmon.  I add it to the skillet, FLESH side down.  After about 4 minutes or so, and once browns, it will easily lift from the pan in 1 piece.  I turn it over now scale side down. 

At this time, I add the thicker piece of salmon to the skillet, SCALES side down.  I sprinkled dill on the the flesh side of both pieces.  I place the pan in the oven for 8-10 minutes depending on how thick it is.  While it is finishing in the oven, I thinly slice a lemon.  When I remove it from the oven, I place each piece of salmon on our respective plates.  I add 1/2 TBL butter to the fish and let it melt over the flesh.  Next, I layer the thin sliced lemon and sprinkle a bit more dill.  My husband likes capers so I add them at this time. I tent the plates with a piece of foil and let it rest for 5 minutes.

For this meal, I happened to have risotto that I made the day before and had that warming on the stove.  When we were ready to eat, I sprinkle my fish with a pinch of Hawaiian Black Salt that I bought this summer.  It was crunchy and really tasty.  I felt it complimented the fish well, you know, Hawaii & Salmon, a good combination.

NOTE:  If you both like the same doneness, just stick to one or the other preparation.  I hope you give this a try.  Salmon is a really great fish for a lot of reasons.  The nutritional value is superb. 

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