It has taken me a few years to figure out exactly how to cook salmon so it always comes out perfectly, but I've finally done it and I'm here to show you how.
I make salmon more than any other meal. It is a staple in our household which is awesome because it is so good for us. Out of the million times I've made it, about half the time it would be amazing and the other half it would be just ok. I couldn't figure out why it was sometimes great and sometimes not because I always cooked it the same way, but I recently discovered it is all about the cut and type of fish.
Since Trader Joe's is right down the street, we get most of our groceries there, but you can get the right type of salmon anywhere. Here are the essentials:
I know, I know, wild caught is more natural, but farm raised salmon tastes so much better. It has more fat (good kind of fat) and sometimes it is more sustainable that wild caught.
One side of the fillet must have skin on it. This holds in the moisture and makes the fish so flaky and tender.
I get the BBQ cuts from Trader Joe's, but you can get small thick pieces from the regular grocery store as well. If they don't have small pieces pre-packaged, ask the fish guy to cut a larger fillet for you. The key is that the cuts are thick and narrow, not long and flat.
Here's how to cook it to perfection:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350.
Step 2: Poor some Pinot and start sipping with the one you love.
Step 3: Season fish. I use Magic Dust from the Hitching Post (yes, same place where the wine is from). Get it. Use it on everything. Even eggs.
Step 4: Put a little olive oil in a pan. Maybe a tablespoon? I don't measure. Heat it up on medium-high.
Step 5: Once the oil is hot (put a drop of water in the pan and if it sizzles it is ready), put the fish in skin side up.
Step 6: After about 30-45 seconds, flip it over. It should looked golden brown on the non-skin side.
Step 7: Spray a dish with Pam or any other nonstick spray.
Step 8: Put the fish in the pan skin side down and put the pan in the oven.
Step 9: While the fish is cooking, make your sides. This night we had sauteed brussel sprouts and broccoli for our veggie. I'm kind of a freak and I always have to have something green on my plate for dinner.
And whole wheat couscous for a starch. This one takes like 7 minutes. Easy peasy.
I must admit, I don't really set a timer for the fish. I just put the oven light on and check it every 5 minutes or so until I see the white stuff oozing out the side. Do you see it? That means it is done.
Being married to my husband means that I have a bunch of ugly pictures of myself that he's taken.
After I see these ugly pictures, I drink more wine.
The trick is not to overcook the salmon. Just keep checking obsessively until you see the white stuff. Then, cut into the thickest part and make sure it's not raw. This night it was, so back in the oven it went.
Step 10: Plate it up and enjoy!
If you make this, please let me know! I'd love to hear if it worked for you.