Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Simple Salmon

Do you like salmon? You don't? Well, you should totally try this preparation. It's so simple that it's not even a recipe.  Don't be scared.

First, where do you buy salmon?  I've tried the only place in our town for fresh seafood (Richards, if you live in NWA), but I don't think the fresh (I use that term loosely) fish is as good as frozen from Sams Club (again, my favorite store).   I've also tried the frozen from Wal Mart and it's really not good at all.  Better than the "fresh", but not good.

Second, how do you thaw it?  The salmon fillets come in individual plastic packages.  Just put the salmon in the fridge overnight for perfectly thawed fish.  Or if you're like me and forget (every single time), put it in a bowl of running hot water for about a minute and then let it sit for 5 minutes and it will thaw.  Repeat the process if it's still frozen.  The package says you should thaw it in cold water and change the water every 30 minutes, but I seriously do not have time for that, but you probably do.  Just don't thaw it in the microwave.

Third, how do you cook it?  First, after you cut open the packets, dry the fillets with paper towels.  The salmon must be dry or you won't get a good crust.  Sprinkle both side generously with kosher salt and pepper.  Heat nonstick skillet on high until it's HOT.  Once it's hot, put about a teaspoon of olive oil in the pan.  Put the salmon in the pan and cook on high until about an inch is cooked (look at the side of the fillet, probably about 5 minutes depending on the heat of your stove).  Flip the salmon, turn the heat down to medium high and cook for 3-5 minutes.  You're going to have to experiment to decide how well done you like your salmon.  Take the salmon out of the pan and let it rest.  It will continue to cook at bit.

Turn the heat off, and add a tablespoon of butter (real butter, not margarine; I like to use salted butter even though Martha Stewart would gasp) to the pan.  Also, squeeze in half a lemon (not lemon out of the bottle, but from a real lemon).  Pour lemon butter over fillets.  It's not much butter, but it really is so good. 

John was not home for dinner this night, so I just squeezed the other half of that lemon over some salad greens with salt and pepper and called it dinner, because I was in a huge hurry to get my girls to their nightly activities.  I might have served quinoa or a vegetable along with the salad had he been home.