For Matthew's birthday, he gave us a gift.
The gift of salmon.
With the other 2 fish tucked safely away in the freezer, it was time for us to celebrate spring with a good old fashioned salmon bake.
Springer salmon are known for their bright pink color and extremely fresh flavor. Even the usual fishy flavor of the brown fatty meat is missing.
It's all gravy.
Not really, we're talking fish.
I decided to cook the entire salmon and planned on using the leftovers for sandwiches the next day.
In retrospect, I probably should've informed the family about the plan.
Since there were two sides of fish, I decided to do one side with a sweet glaze and the other with a more traditional lemon flavor.
One salmon, twice the flavor!
~Salmon with Lemon & Butter~
Rinse one salmon fillet. (Skin on one side) Pat dry. Place salmon on a tinfoil-lined cookie sheet.
As thin as possible (I used a vegetable peeler), slice 1/4 cup cold, unsalted butter. Place butter pieces evenly over entire fish.
Sprinkle dried dill, sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper over the fillet.
Carefully peel 2 lemons with a knife. Make sure to remove the pith with the peel so that all that remains is the fruit. Slice the lemon and evenly distribute fruit on fish.
Drizzle olive oil over entire fish; cover with tinfoil and bake in 375F. oven for approximately 20 minutes.
Baking time depends on how thick the fish fillet is. Check the salmon at 15 minutes and every 5 minutes after that. Don't overcook it! Salmon should flake apart when done.
~Sweet & Smoky Salmon~
Rinse one salmon fillet; pat dry. Place on tinfoil-lined cookie sheet.
In a small saucepan, melt 1/2 cup unsalted butter.
1/2 cup honey
1 Tb. Barbados molasses
1 Tb. apple cider vinegar
1 Tb. tamari sauce
1 clove minced garlic
1/4-1/2 t. liquid smoke (depending on taste)
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. paprika
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat.
Drizzle sweet sauce over entire fish. Add thin sliced sweet onions to top. (You definitely want to use sweet onions for this!) Cover with foil and bake in 375F. oven for approximately 20 minutes. Check at 15, then every 5 until fish is flaky.
Take advantage of any wild-caught salmon deals if you don't have access to a river. Rich in omega 3's, salmon is about as close to perfection as a fish can be.
But that's just my humble opinion. ☺