Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Salmon with Dill Butter, Dante, and Assembly Lines

I adamantly maintain that Costco is the 6th circle of Hell and I apparently have pissed off someone, somewhere because I had to go there twice yesterday.  I'm not sure why I'm being punished because I've actually behaved quite well lately.  For me, anyway.  Regardless, the shopping is totally done for tomorrow but for the cherry tomatoes for the caprese salad skewers I'm making which means there is yet another trip in my future.  Hundreds of baby tomatoes aren't as easy to come by as you would think.   However, twenty pounds of cheese?  That's easy to find.  If I get a chance to come up for air tomorrow, I will go over the menu and some of the recipes.  Let's just say there is a LOT of construction/assembly involved, but it is going to be totally worth it.  My lovely, talented, and totally irreplaceable friend helped today and it is going to be amazing.  If I do say so myself.  And I did.  Again.


Tonight I'm making salmon, clean living twice-baked potatoes with thyme, roasted asparagus, and apple crisp for a couple of friends.  Let's talk salmon.

As with most things,  I think simple is better.  This is definitely pretty straightforward and I highly doubt you can mess this up.  That said...

What you need:

Salmon steaks ((just go to the grocer or market and ask for and I quote, "I need decent looking salmon steaks that weigh like half a pound each."  If they ask follow-up questions, just nod and smile.))
A lemon
2 tablespoons butter
*Some* onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, sea salt, cayenne, and dill


Preheat your oven to 350.

Start by taking a baking dish and placing foil in the bottom.  Spray the foil with cooking spray and then place the fish on it.  Sprinkle just a little of the onion powder and garlic powder on it ((I actually pour a little in my hand and then pinch it, to sprinkle it on.)).  Crack some black pepper and some sea salt over it.  Then look at the cayenne and think about it and that will be almost enough.  Seriously, just a tiny amount is more than enough.

Take your lemon and slice it as thinly as humanly possible.  It should be entirely see-through.  Layer this over the surface of the fish.

Cut a couple of small pats of butter and throw them on a plate.  Take ((preferably fresh, but dried is okay)) your dill and dump it on the butter.  You can use quite a bit.  Take those pats and put them on the side of the fish, not on top.  You do not want to drown the fish, although I suppose I could now derail into a long internal debate over whether it is in fact possible to drown a fish.  I digress.

Okay, here is my plan.  I do not yet know whether I will stick to this plan or not, and cooking times vary based on how thick your steaks are etc so just use the test I'm going to put at the end.  Bake it covered for 15 minutes.  Uncover, flip the steaks, and bake another 15-20 minutes uncovered.  ((I have no idea if this is actually accurate...  I wrote it in an email to myself in 2008 and I wasn't the most reliable person at that point.))

The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.  Meaning:  you can drag a fork across it and the little pieces come up separately and easily.

Let me add this.  You are NOT going to kill yourself or anyone else if it isn't cooked to the point of being salmon jerky.  I think a lot of people think if that if it is even slightly uncooked ohmyGod immediate death.  If it is too undercooked for your taste once you pull it out, throw it in the microwave for 30 seconds.  No, that's not the most glamorous thing to do, but that is better than psyching yourself out about it all night.  It's fine.  I'm sure of it.

Because this isn't going in for another hour ish, all I've got for you is a before picture.  But let me tell you, these cuts look LUSH.

This was prior to adding the dill butter...  

See-through lemons.  Now available.

All righty.  I must run to do something about myself prior to taking dinner over...  Wish me luck for tomorrow!


Later:  I have to say the salmon turned out fantastic.  I ended up baking it uncovered for 35 minutes.  It was falling apart goodness at that point.  I then spooned more of the dill butter from the bottom of the pan back over it just prior to serving.  Hazzah!


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