Sunday, February 8, 2015

Slow-cooked salmon

Happy New Year!

A month has already passed in 2015 (how is that possible?!), so are we all continuing our healthy-eating habits? If so, great! If not, no biggie, it just means you're a totally normal human being.

No matter what your eating has been like this past month, how about we get February going on a positive note?

Today I bring you my absolute favorite way to cook salmon—low and slow.

Pair that technique with high-quality salmon, like the Coho I have here, and you'll have the most tender, melt-in-your-mouth, tastes-like-buttah salmon. No joke, this salmon was better than anything I've had at a restaurant. There's just no comparison to anything you've had!

Coho salmon deliciousness--I can't get over that deep color.

We kept the recipe insanely simple (butter, salt, and pepper) so that the flavor of the salmon really shines, but you can use any seasoning, glaze, or topping you want on this fish. In fact, the original recipe was for pesto-rubbed salmon, so clearly anything goes!

Some warm chili-oil buckwheat noodles accompanied this salmon, but really any side dish will do.

In theory the noodle dish was a perfect partner to the salmon. Soy sauce and vinegar dressing with a touch of sweetness on the noodles sounded good, and the green onion-garlic-star anise-ginger-and red pepper flake-infused chili oil drizzled on the dish sounded even better. But the proportions were way off for me; the nuances of the garlic, ginger, and star anise in the oil were lost under a blanket of extreme heat from the pepper flakes and the noodles just didn't have enough flavor on their own. In retrospect, I should have added fresh ginger, garlic, and green onions to the noodle dressing. I'd also cut down the red pepper flakes in the chili oil so I could add more of that flavorful oil without burning my mouth. I haven't had a chance to play with the proportions to my liking, but if you're interested, you can find the original recipe to the noodle salad here. (Other people who left comments seemed to like the salad, so who knows, you may like the recipe more than I did!)

Buckwheat noodles make a great side dish. Still on the hunt for a perfect recipe.

Side dish or not, this salmon is the star of the show. I hope you'll try this technique at least once; I have a feeling it'll be your go-to method for salmon.

Butter makes everything better.
Buen provecho,

Slow-Cooked Salmon (aka, the most amazing salmon you've had)
Adapted from Geoffry Zacharian of the Foot Network

As I said above, you can use any seasoning, topping, or glaze you like for the salmon. This recipe is purely a technique for how to bake the most tender salmon. We served this as is with just salt and pepper and it was perfection.

salmon, any thickness, skinless or skin on (I love Coho salmon if you can find it)

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

  2. Brush a baking dish with a thin coat of softened butter and sprinkle salt and pepper over the surface (this is especially important if you are using skinless salmon, probably doesn't matter as much if using skin-on fish).

  3. Place salmon filets skin-side down, brush with softened butter all over each fillet, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  4. Bake until desired doneness, ~10 to 20 minutes. For our 1" thick fillets, mine was perfect after 15 minutes (maybe medium rare-ish?). The boy liked his a tad more done, which was medium-ish after 20 minutes. 
Note: The original recipe says to bake the fish 8 – 10 minutes for a 1.5" fillet, but the salmon would still be pretty rare at that point. Other reviewers seemed to have the same issue, so I think something might be a bit off with the timing on that recipe. Just trust your eyes, fork, and taste buds when figuring out how long to cook the salmon.


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