I never can pass up fresh, scarlet, wild caught salmon. If it's beautiful and clean in the market, I have to buy it. Impulsively.
I always look for sockeye salmon. Its striking crimson hue entices and captivates me. A precious ruby shining brightly amidst the grey and ashy fish behind the seafood counter. And its alluring color is completely au naturel, a result of their diet which consists mainly of plankton. Nothing turns me off like seeing a beautiful piece of fresh salmon displayed, only to find that artificial color has been added. The sockeye's fairly limited diet is also the reason why they contain very low levels of mercury in their flesh. What's not to love?
I made this salmon a few weeks ago with my Fruit and Couscous Salad, but it disappeared before I managed to get any pictures. I cooked it again last night for my mom, however I used wild Atlantic salmon instead of sockeye. Just as good, though maybe not quite as healthy. I served it with Ina Garten's amazing Brussels Sprouts Lardons - a recipe so delicious that I've successfully made brussels sprouts a staple in my kids' diets. And grapes . . . because C wanted grapes.
There are so many great ways to prepare salmon. This is one of my favorites. It's oil poached very slowly in olive oil that's infused with garlic and bay. This keeps the fish soft and moist, and is so easy there really isn't a recipe -just a simple method. I don't use as much oil as most people do, but I baste the fish frequently which I think accomplishes the same thing. Here's what I do:
Olive Oil Poached Salmon
1 lb center cut salmon, cut into four serving size pieces
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed, but left whole
1 large bay leaf
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
Coat the bottom of a large skillet with a thick layer of olive oil (1/4 to 1/2 cup). Heat the oil over medium heat until shimmery. Season the salmon well with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot add the garlic cloves and bay leaf. Place the salmon skin side up in the oil and turn the heat to LOW. Gently poach the salmon in the oil, frequently tilting the pan and spooning the excess oil over the fish. Turn the garlic cloves in the oil and watch them carefully. If they start to brown, the heat is too high. Remove the garlic if they become too brown (they will make your oil bitter). Cook the fish without turning for about 15 minutes until the flesh is opaque nearly up to the skin. Turn the fish skin side down and increase the heat to medium. Cook for 3 minutes longer.
shared with: mangia mondays, monday mania, melt in your mouth monday