Monday, August 29, 2011

Baked Salmon

I like my salmon simple. Herbs. Salt. A bit of seasoning. Good olive oil. A lemon twist on the side. Of course, it all depends on the quality of the salmon. Lately, I've been getting the some of the best salmon I've ever had from my grocery store. It's fresh, not frozen, Atlantic salmon. It's light in color and the texture is at once buttery and velvety with a very mild taste. 

If you follow my blog, you know I'm an advocate of Fines Herbes. And fines herbes is the essence of this recipe. They temper the fish with just the correct degree of flavor without overpowering it. Heating the pan in the oven first gives a crisp skin. 

I serve this with a wonderful pre-packaged blend of veggies and rice from Bird's Eye. It's a combination of brown and white rices, corn, carrots, and peas. It has no nasty "sauce." Nuke it for 3 minutes or so, in its own bag, and it's done. Add any sauce or dressings you want. I drizzle with a bit of Lee Kum Kee soy sauce (don't use grocery store brands--yuck!).

Serves 1-2

  • 3/4 - 1 pound fresh salmon fillet with skin
  • Fines Herbes (equal amounts of dried chervil, parsley, tarragon and chives)
  • Dried dill
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 F. While pre-heating, place a shallow pan inside.

Using a wet paper towel, wipe both sides of the salmon. Drizzle the flesh with a really good olive oil. Lightly sprinkle with a bit of garlic powder and then dried dill. Sprinkle evenly with fines herbes. Using your fingers, lightly tap the herbs into the fish so that they soak up the olive oil.  Give a slight sprinkle of Kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper.

Using a sharp knife, cut off the thin part of the fillet. Place on top of the thicker part, skin side up. Sprinkle the skin with just a bit of Kosher salt.

The thinner piece of salmon can overcook quickly.
By removing it and placing it on top of the thicker piece,
it stays moist.

Using a pot holder, remove the hot pan from the oven. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Place the salmon, skin side down, into the pan. Bake for about 20 minutes or so and certainly no longer than 30 minutes. As soon as it begins to flake, it's done. The middle should still be a bit rare and juicy.

The bottom ends have begun to flake. The "spine"
or middle part of the salmon on the left is liquidy. The "white spots"
are the fish oils.

Remove. Serve with lemon slices.

Notes: You don't have to cut off the thin part of the fillet. But I find it usually overcooks if left intact.