23 July 2009

Sally sells sea shells by the seashore

Well, not quite. But I did have a craving for some sort of seafood - mussels or salmon specifically. Visions of the pot of mussels from Casa Delfin in El Born from my recent trip to Barcelona haunted me all afternoon. Ideas for super easy and delicious salmon dishes kept running through my head ... It was terribly distracting.

So, straight from work I headed to Whole Foods to check out what was available and scope some prices. Now, I don't cook seafood much if at all, so this was new territory to me ... but one I was determined to conquer. Oddly enough, for a place known for their pronunciation of "lobstaahhhh", Boston is relatively low on quality seafood restaurants and old-school fishmongers. Sometimes I wonder if I should move to the coast (and outside of the city) just to be closer to a dock. But I digress ...

Buying seafood is something I'm also a bit wary about. In lieu of going into Wulf's up further into Brookline, I headed to Whole Foods - in my book a worlds a difference from the offerings at Johnnie's (if their seafood counter even counts. gross.) and Shaws. For some reason, Whole Foods makes me feel a bit more at ease. Not sure why, but let's roll with it.

Sadly, after dreaming of the afore-pictured mussels, Whole Foods was completely devoid of them. Whether it was because of the latest area zebra mussel scare or just a slump in fishing in general, I have no idea. I tried not to cry too much at the counter, and pushed myself to still buy some formally living creature from the lagoon to make for supper.

Settling on a 7 oz. Atlantic salmon fillet, I trotted home, fish in hand, with some sage, thyme, and some yukon gold potatoes to roast ... prepared to recreate a recipe I saw on Paula Deen (with all fairness, it was her son Bobby's recipe) that looked easy, heart healthy (I'm shocked too) and scrumptious. Oh, and not even fried.

Lemon Herb Salmon in Foil

(I made this for one, but can very easily be multiplied, and is a very flexible recipe.)

7 oz. Atlantic salmon fillet
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 TB of butter
2 sprigs of rosemary
3 or so sprigs of thyme, de-sprigged :)
2 large sage leaves
lemon slices* to just cover the length of the salmon
salt and pepper
aluminum foil

* you can also use oranges, and I'm sure other citrus would work well too.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Finely chop up the spices and garlic. Lay the salmon fillet on a sheet of aluminum foil, enough to seal at the top and sides like a little packet.

Salt and pepper the salmon, then put the dollop(s) of butter on top. Sprinkle the garlic and herbs on that, topping with the lemon slices. I squirted some additional lemon juice on top, but it's not needed.

Seal up the little packet and toss in the oven on a baking sheet (or can be done on a grill) for about 14 minutes. You want the fish to be flaky and opaque. Be careful not to overcook.

I quick roasted* up some Yukon gold potatoes, seasoned with a little salt, pepper, chili powder, olive oil and herbs used for the salmon. Delicious little meal, I must say, with rich lemony buttery goodness accompanying the herbed salmon.

* Quick roasting ala Kaitlin (though this idea is not really all that new or novel :) ) Poke some holes into the potatoes, place on a plate and put in the microwave for 3 minutes. Turn after that, cook for another 3 minutes (slightly less or more depending on size and amount of potatoes ... since you're finishing these in the oven, don't want them to be fully cooked). Take out of the microwave, dice, season, and pop into a 375 degree oven while the salmon cooks. Once they have a bit of color and crust, remove.