Okay, if you go in the next five minutes, you might be able to snag the last of the Copper River salmon that is in stores RIGHT NOW. If you wait six minutes … well … there’s always next year.
I’m already in mourning.
Here’s a confession: I’m not so great in the “cooking fish” department. EXCEPT, I make a mean salmon. I don’t know why the other fish intimidate me so. I just have no idea what to do with them. Wait … I do make good fish and chips. But there’s no secret there. If you battered up a slab of cardboard and deep-fried it, chances are you’d still get a lot of “mmm-ing” from your guests. But tilapia? Cod fillets? Halibut? Clueless. But that needs to change. Only … not today. Because today, I have SALMON!
I’ve been squeezing lemons over my salmon since I first started cooking. A few months ago, I thought I’d try it with an orange. We liked that too. But I had a brainstorm while standing in the produce aisle yesterday. I saw the lemons, and the oranges, and the limes — all sitting there, waiting for someone to go all inspirational on them — and it hit me: why not get jiggy with the citrus?
So here’s today’s salmon recipe. I threw in a bunch of stuff and held my breath, and we really loved it. Maybe you will too. (Note that I’m using Copper River salmon, fresh from the wild. I think they caught it about twelve minutes before I bought it. But if you don’t get to the store before CR season is over, cry a little, and then go buy whatever salmon you can find. Just make sure it’s fresh.)
- about 2 1/2 lbs fresh salmon filets
- the juice of one big naval orange
- the juice of one big lemon
- the juice of two rather ordinary-looking limes
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp agave nectar or honey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried dill (if fresh is available, use 1-2 TBSP of that)
- 1 TBSP lemon pepper
- salt and pepper
First, just look at those beautiful orbs you have collected …
Be honest. Don’t you feel a tiny bit healthier just looking at those?
Cut ’em up and squeeze ’em into a bowl. Now add the rest of the marinating ingredients and let sit a little bit just so the dill and garlic can permeate the rest.
Now, here’s what I did this time: I put the salmon, skin-side down, on my Pampered Chef jelly roll pan (the one with the rim) and then poured the entire batch of marinade over both pieces. I let it sit for another half hour or so to absorb some of the marinade.
When you’re ready to bake the salmon, here’s the slickest trick west of the rockies: put the baking sheet in the cold oven, turn it to 425, and set the timer for 25 minutes. That’s right, no pre-baking. It works every time. I’ve been doing it this way forever, and it really, really works. We like our salmon a little well-done around the edges, so I usually leave mine in for 30-35 minutes, but you can check it at 25 and it will probably be ready.
THE NEXT TIME I MAKE THIS, I’m going to change it up a bit. Instead of pouring all the marinade on the salmon, I’m going to reserve half in a small pan and cook it on low while the salmon is baking. That will thicken it up a little and I can add a little dollop to each filet as I serve it. Why? Because IT’S DELICIOUS. Seriously delicious. I was scraping whatever I could off the jelly roll pan and trying to plop it on our salmon. So next time, I’ll be prepared.
Want a bite?
AND IN OTHER NEWS …
Last night I was holding Gage while he slept, and his little face was so adorable that I thought, I want to sketch him. So I slowly, slowly, slowly … in that surreptitious way all grandmas and mothers have when they don’t want to wake the baby … reached down to the floor, where my iPhone had fallen, sat back up, opened to Instagram, hovered over the “snap” button, and just as I was taking his picture, Gage started laughing in his sleep. Oh, I love serendipity.
BTW … see those smudges on his face? Remnants of Green Smoothies. 🙂