Sunday, January 23, 2011

Simple Salmon

Hello everyone. Sorry it has been so long since I've posted. Things have been a little crazy around here between the holidays and unexpected hospital visits, the blog was put on the back burner (hardy har). But today marks the start of a new year for the Honest Chef; I hope to keep up with my posts.

My husband and I have decided that this year we are going to have vegetarian one night a week, and fish another night of the week, so I had to pull out some new recipes. Fish is something that I used to hate making; I actually once caused my best friend to choke on a piece of fish because I encrusted it in about an inch of Montreal Chicken Seasoning (don't even ask why I'd be using chicken seasoning on fish). But I learned that fish doesn't really need much to make its flavor come out. The recipe I'm about to show you is super simple, and very tasty. My mom would cook this a few times a month when I was growing up and I always loved it; especially the part where she would open the foil pouch and unleash the delicious aroma. The clean up is also super easy since you can just toss the foil in the trash! It's a great weeknight dish, and you can do this with a lot of different fish (if you prefer swordfish that works, as well as other thick fish; don't try a thin white fish though).

Simple Salmon in Foil

1 large filet of salmon, or several smaller cuts of the filet
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp of dill (dried) [if you want to use fresh, use about half of that)
Juice of half a lemon
1 1/2-2 Tbsp of olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
(reserve the other half of the lemon for serving)
1 large sheet of tin foil

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix together the garlic, dill lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper in a small bowel (use a whisk to incorporate everything well). Take a cookie sheet and put your large sheet of tin foil on top of it. Spray the foil with Pam, or drizzle some olive oil in the center, and lay the salmon skin side down on it. Pour the oil/garlic/dill/lemon mixture you previously made over the top, and spread around the entire top of the fish.

You want to let it sit in this marinade for at least five minutes, so that the fish can soak up some of the flavor. (I usually start making the rice or other side dish while it is sitting). After 5 minutes, wrap up the foil over the salmon, leaving a little space between the top of the foil and the salmon, so it has room to steam and breathe (see below).

Place the sheet into the oven in on the middle rack. The time it takes to cook your salmon has to do with the thickness of it. Typically it will take about 15-20 minutes to cook the filet, but there is a simple way to test if the fish is done... by checking on it with the fork test. When fish is done, it will "flake easily with a fork." I have seen this phrase a thousand times in cookbooks, and it seems confusing. It's actually not though. Open the fish up, and take a fork to the thickest part of the fish. Poke it in, and turn the fork; if it flakes up and the color is even, it's ready!

You'll want to check it first at about 10 minutes, then every five minutes afterward to make sure that it doesn't overcook, which can be less than tasty. Once you're satisfied with the doneness, just open up the foil, cut with a knife into portions, and serve!

I hope you try this at home so you can see how easy, and how delicious fish can be. And with such a quick clean up, maybe it will become your own resolution to eat more fish!