Savory Baked Salmon

Ready to pop in the oven

My dad was a commercial fisherman, so we ate fresh fish a lot.  In all the time I was growing up we never had fish cooked like this.  We always had it broiled with lots of butter, which is truly delicious, but only for the true salmon lover.

The concept for this recipe came from Greg Landwehr.  He made something like this at a barbecue at a horse event.

And you know what comes next . . . I couldn’t leave the recipe the way it originally came to me.

If you’re going to buy salmon, there are two tests for freshness.  If it’s in a package and you can smell it through the plastic, it’s not fresh.  If it’s in a fresh meat case, when the slab is picked up, the meat side shouldn’t break or split when it’s picked up.  It also shouldn’t have a strong fishy odor.

Fresh from the oven

If you live in an inland state, your best bet is to buy frozen salmon.  It was probably processed and flash frozen within hours of the catch reaching shore.  Most of that salmon is farm raised.  The freshest wild salmon is trawled (hook and line), immediately gutted, dipped in sugar water and frozen until the boat came in to dump its load.  From there it would be hauled in a refrigerated truck to the plant where it was processed.  I’ve seen frozen salmon in packages of 4 or 6 individual servings at Costco and Safeway.

If you’re really lucky, you buy it from a fisherman right at the dock.  Few of us will ever have the opportunity to do that.  If you do, the smell and integrity tests are very valid.

So here’s how you make this culinary star.

Chop onions.  Chop peppers (I use red and green).  Stir in dressing.  I’ve used mayo and it’s excellent.  Last night I used Litehouse Ranch and it was spectacular.  Put the salmon in a shallow pan with the skin down.  Smear the mix on and pop it in the over at 300° for about 20 min.  Don’t overcook.  If it flakes and is no longer pink, it’s done.

The skin will stick to the aluminum foil.  Cut the fish into serving sized pieces and lift the pieces off the skin.  We had ours with fresh corn on the cob.  Delish!

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