Jeanette - Off The Cuff

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Blogger at: and -- My name is Jeanette, and I was born in Sweden, but unlike the famous Muppet, I am not a professional Swedish Chef. I actually studied design and photography. I also was a freelance indie-rock critic for several magazines from 1998-2005, and had an in-house PR company for a while. Cooking is in my DNA--my dad's brother was a chef and their father was a pastry chef, my mom's mother was a caterer, who published a cookbook of traditional Finnish breads and pastries when she was 92. Everyone else in my family loves to cook, and we're not afraid to experiment. I have a yen for interior design and remodeling.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Oven-Baked Salmon

Have I mentioned how much I love salmon? I love salmon.  This time of the year, if you happen to also live in the Pacific Northwest, you can get Chinook, or Copper River Salmon-- the latter is especially amazing, and almost a deep burnt orange color.  I love preparing salmon in several ways, and this is a quick, and easy prep method for a whole fillet of salmon.  If you're a novice to preparing whole fillets, try it this way, and then experiment with some of the ingredients.

Ingredients: 1 fresh, or previously frozen, whole skin-on fillet of salmon
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp finely ground white pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp lemon or lime juice (I had frozen cubes of lemon juice, which I simply placed on top of my salmon fillet and let melt in the oven)
3 stalks of green onions, sliced into rings (another variation, is to put thinly sliced leeks-- approximately 1/2 cup's worth across the top of the fillet)
2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:First, line a large glass baking dish or cookie sheet with aluminum foil (choose a dish or cookie sheet that is long enough to allow your fillet to lay flat.)  Rinse off the salmon if it feels a bit slick (from being wrapped at the market.) Pat it dry with paper towels, and set it on top of the foil-lined baking dish. Drizzle on the lemon juice, olive oil, and then sprinkle the seasonings, and green onions evenly across the top.  Allow the salmon fillet get to room temperature for about half an hour before baking it.  The flavors from the seasonings will absorb in the meantime, and bringing the fish to room temp allows it to bake faster without drying out.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and when the oven is done, fold the foil up around the fish fillet and make a little sealed "package" around it to keep it nice and juicy as it bakes.
Place it in the oven, and set a timer for fifteen minutes. 

If you have a meat thermometer, check the internal temp of the fillet with a probe after fifteen minutes -- if it's nowhere near 145 degrees, seal the foil back up and turn the oven to broil and add another five minutes to the timer.   Give the meat thermometer another glance when the timer goes off, and if it's about 130 degrees, or higher, peel the foil back a bit and let it finish cooking with the foil off. 

When the thermometer reaches 145 degrees, the fish should be flaky and tender.

Serve with buttered fingerling potatoes, or some sort of rice, sauteed veggies or anything else your heart desires. I had asparagus, potatoes, and Swedish quick-pickled cucumber slices.

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