Ingredient SpotLight

Seafood is a great source of nutrition and it's easy to prepare. Few types of seafood are as versatile as salmon. The basics for preparing it are as follows:
  • To bake, season the salmon, then brush it with butter. Place the fish in a greased baking pan and cook in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Measure at the thickest point. The salmon should flake when it's done.
  • To steam, use a steamer or steaming basket. Arrange the salmon portions on a rack, then pour the liquid (wine, water, etc.) over the fish into the pan. Lightly season the salmon and add spices and herbs to the water. Cover and bring the liquid to a boil. Steam the salmon one minute per ounce over medium heat. You can also wrap your fish portions in cheese cloth to remove them from steamer in whole pieces.
  • To poach, assemble a poaching liquid of a mix of chicken broth, white wine and water. Add one teaspoon of bouquet garni and bring to a simmer. Be sure there is enough liquid to cover the fish in a skillet. Poach 6 to 7 minutes. You can serve warm with lemon dill sauce or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold.
  • Pan-frying salmon makes for a delicious entree. The trick is to allow your oil or butter to get hot before frying. This captures the oils and juices and keeps them in the salmon. Do not allow your oil to get too hot and smoke. The basics include rinsing your fish quickly or wiping with a damp cloth. Dip your fillet portions or steaks into milk, then in cracker crumbs or flour. You can season either as well. Your oil should be deep enough to cover 1/2 of the fillet or steak thickness. Fry on medium heat about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  • To broil, preheat the oven and broiling pan for at least 10 minutes beforehand. Quickly wash your fillets or steaks in cold salt water. Then dust the salmon lightly with flour. Brush the top of the salmon with butter and seasonings. Place the fish on the broiler rack about 2 to 3 inches from the heat. You do not need to turn salmon fillets while they're broiling, however, you should baste them often with butter. Add a little seasoning to your butter on your last basting. Salmon steaks should be turned once to cook both sides and basted as well.

To get you started, here is one of my favorite salmon recipes. Enjoy it tonight.

Glazed Salmon

  • 1/2 cup apple cider (not hard cider)
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons honey
  • 4 skinless salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 lemons, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 12 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place salmon fillets in a baking dish large enough to hold the salmon in one layer.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cider and honey to a boil and let the mixture bubble steadily until it reduces by half.

Pour the cider over the salmon, then let it sit for 10 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet with a oven-proof handle on medium-high. Sprinkle the flesh side of the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Place the fish in the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, brushing the top with cider glaze so that the fish begins to caramelize.

Turn the salmon fillets over and brush with the remaining cider glaze. Add the lemon halves to the skillet. Transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily when tested with the tip of a knife. When you remove the skillet from the oven take special care with the very hot handle. I tend to forget that the handle is hot once the skillet is back on the stove. As a precaution I will melt an ice cube on the handle, or drape a hand towel on it.

While the salmon is cooking, in another large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the spinach, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, or just until the leaves begin to wilt. Pour the wine over them and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes more or until tender.

To serve, drain any excess liquid from the spinach and divide it among 4 plates. Arrange a piece of salmon on top and garnish with a lemon half.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes