Thursday, June 27, 2013

Baked Salmon with Dijon

This is a great time of year because the salmon are running. In late spring the Red Salmon arrive at the Copper River, the King salmon are getting closer.  All summer long there will be an abundance of one of the most savory proteins out there.

I grew up eating salmon- it was our "local" then.  When I moved to "the south" for college (for us Alaskans the south was the lower 48) I was sick of salmon, I had eaten it so much that I thought I couldn't stand it anymore.
Then I went home one summer and I asked mom what she was making, "Baked salmon with this new mustard."

My first reaction was to think "salmon again - damn." Being a dutiful son we didn't swear in the Simpson house in front of mom (she had a few choice words, and if she said them, they were ok). Second, you never underestimated mom's cooking- because she was a whiz. Still, I was skeptical.

The mustard, this new stuff called Gray Poupon, provided a tang and flavor that balanced well with the salmon.  The other thing I discovered, I loved salmon.

Here is her recipe

Salmon Filets
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/3 cup of olive oil
Herbs from the garden - mom used just chives and parsley but we added some basil and a bit of sweet mint.
Salt (non -iodized prefer sea salt)
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

Mix the olive oil, mustard, and lemon into a bowl to form a nice slurry. Add the chopped herbs.

Remove any scales and pin bones from the salmon. Best way to remove pin bones is either tweezers or needle nose pliers.

Gently season the salmon with a bit of salt and pepper (not too much, salmon is naturally a bit salty)

Place some foil over a baking sheet. Place the salmon - skin side down on the foil and cover with the slurry of herbs, mustard, olive oil.

Put some Panko bread crumbs on top

Place in the center of the oven oven for 12-15 minutes (if your fillet is one inch thick it will take about 15 minutes).  It should be flakey in the middle when done, or between 122 and 140 degrees with a quick read thermometer

If the bread crumbs are not brown- put the fillet under the broiler and broil for two minutes.

If you use a fish spatula, the spatula will slide between the skin of the fish and the meat. Discard the skin (feed to dog or cat).

Take them out, let them sit on the counter for at least five minutes.

Squeeze remaining lemon and serve.

The ingredients for this are simple. Fresh herbs, mustard, olive oil, Panko, and salt and pepper for seasoning.
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees

Cover a baking sheet with foil. Remove any pin bones from the salmon. Gently season the salmon with salt - you need very little, and some pepper.

Mix the olive oil and mustard and lemon juice together to make a fine paste. Into that paste place your chopped herbs

Using your fingers or a fork, put the paste over the fillets.  Then sprinkle some bread crumbs on top - gently
Bake in the oven, center rack,  for 12-15 minutes. If the Panko isn't seared - place under broiler for 2 minutes
Once cooked a fish spatula will easily slide between the skin and the bely

Forms a nice crust

Loved it

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