Monday, June 14, 2010

Another Dinner-Fast idea - Roasted Salmon!

Today, we talk of salmon. Lovely, lip-smackin' salmon. I love fish--but salmon holds a very special place in my heart. It is fast, delicious, incredibly healthful and versatile--and beautiful!

King Salmon, named that for a reason (it truly is KING), is native to the Pacific Northwest.

Oh, pardon me....

Hey! Hey!
Get away from the salmon, big guy. Drop it....

Okay, where was I. Alaskan King has a beautiful red color and a deep, rich taste. Most of the other wild-caught salmon is okay, but I think, inferior to King. If you pick up anything from the Atlantic, drop it. Anything farmed? Drop that too. You can check specific fish recommendations at Monterrey Bay Aquarium's Sea Watch, an extremely helpful website.

One exception to the "farmed" rule: Within the last year, I have discovered Whole Foods' farmed Norwegian salmon. It is tender, moist and delicious and responsibly farmed. It also is less expensive than most wild salmon. Next time you are at Whole Foods, pick some up. You will have dinner in minutes.

Here is my favorite fast way to cook salmon on a weeknight:

Pick up about 1/4 - 1/3 pound Norwegian salmon fillets per person. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. With a sharp knife, cut the raw salmon into servings and place them on a baking sheet covered with foil. Sprinkle brown sugar over each salmon and follow with a drizzle of soy sauce over each fillet. Let set on countertop until oven preheats. Bake for 8-10 minutes (assuming the fillets are about 1 inch thick). Check with a fork (at 7-8 minutes) gently, slightly twisted into the meat of the fish. If it gives and the meat feels tender, it's ready. The secret to a great roasted salmon is not to overcook it.

Slip a spatula in between the salmon meat and the skin and slide through, placing the salmon on a plate and discarding the skin.

I love to serve this with a side of jasmine rice (a rice cooker makes very quick work of this--turn the rice cooker on right before you slip the salmon into the oven) and asparagus which has been roasted in olive oil, salt and pepper in a baking pan next to the salmon's pan. (The asparagus takes about the same amount of time, 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees).

If you have it, serve with a wedge of lemon, squeezed over all. Simple is best!!

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