Easy Baked Salmon

Time has not been on my side lately and dinners are suffering. Plus, it is a little too cold and dark to motivate myself to stand at the grill right now. Which led me to try my first baked, foil-wrapped salmon dish for dinner this week.

I thawed three frozen filets (last month I bought a huge piece at Costco and froze individual portions) so that I’d have one leftover for lunch. In a small bowl I combined the following:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 diced garlic cloves
  • 1 diced shallot
  • Heaping handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

To prepare, set each fillet in the start of a foil packet on a baking sheet. Season the fillets with salt and pepper before spooning on the oil mixture. Add a thinly sliced lemon if you like the citrus flavor. Close the foil packet tightly and bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

Voila! Dinner is served. I suggest pairing with whole wheat rolls (I am a huge Alexia fan) and plenty of roasted root vegetables.

How do you adapt summer staples for winter cooking?

Quickie Salmon Pick Me Up

Since giving up meat about six or seven months ago my fish intake has doubled. I never even tried to pursue a true vegetarian diet because I love fish too much, and trying to cook for Mike without meat is hard enough. I’m constantly trying new recipes, from super simple to more complex, to broaden what we eat in this newly no-meat household. For Labor Day I treated myself to a Whole Foods shopping trip with big plans for an evening grill session. Come dinnertime however, we discovered we were out of propane. How convenient. So we forged ahead in the kitchen and seared two pieces of fresh salmon on a piping hot cast iron Le Creuset oval skillet while roasting fresh veggies in the oven and heating pre-cooked slices of polenta.

To make the salmon a bit more special, I followed a very easy creamy (i.e., decadent and not diet friendly) dill sauce recipe from one of our Williams-Sonoma cookbooks. The result of topping otherwise ho-hum salmon with a cool and refreshing dill sauce was tremendous. The dinner, while so simple, quickly became a summer favorite.

Creamy Dill Sauce from Williams-Sonoma Cooking Essentials Cookbook:

Ingredients

  • 1/4 lb fresh goat cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh dill
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and ground white pepper

The amounts above are for a serving size of 6 – 8 so I cut back dramatically since it was just Mike and me. You simply mix all of these ingredients in a small bowl and chill until the salmon is ready. Voila! Fancy up your salmon in an mere instant, and go one step further by garnishing with lemon slices if you so choose.

What recipes will you be making while it still feels like summer?

Salmon, a New Love

If you asked me three months ago what I thought about salmon, I would shudder, say “bleh” and declare that it tasted like the bottom of a boat. Mind you, I’ve never actually licked the bottom of a boat but I was convinced it would taste like salmon.

I must have had a really fishy bite of it years ago and have never been able to move past that experience, until now. I am on a pretty major salmon kick after trying it again out of necessity (living in Colorado and giving up meat means a lot of salmon is in my future on restaurant menus). I started slow by buying the panko crusted version in the frozen section of Sunflower Market. Two weeks ago I worked up the courage to add salmon to a salad for lunch because I was starving, and it was delicious.

So on this past Sunday I went all out. I talked to the fish guy at Safeway (for a really long time. I think he was bored) and purchased a nice piece of Alaskan farm raised salmon. Is that the sustainable one or do I have it all wrong? Anyway, I followed the super simple recipe from my aunt Karen, who is a phenomenal cook, and nearly licked my plate clean. There was not a remaining morsel to be found.

Aunt Karen’s Salmon

  • Salmon fillets – Lay skin side down on tin foil (use HD foil or double up reg foil – spray foil with pam if you have) and leave open
  • Brush fillets with olive oil (both sides)
  • Season (I used the Fox Point seasoning by Penzy’s Spices)
  • Top with brown sugar to coat (top only)
  • Heat BBQ to 425 (or really really hot, if you do not have temp gauge)
  • Put salmon on BBQ (remember to leave that foil open) – close top and cook for 11-12 minutes

Whatever you do, DO NOT OPEN THE GRILL LID. Resist all urges to peek until the 11 minutes have passed. Just leave it be, I promise.

Alright, hit me with another salmon recipe I should try!

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