Monday, December 8, 2014
Aside from “good genes” one of our secrets to staying slim and healthy weight are eating out less, everything in moderation, and eating light sometimes. I don’t know why but for some reason, I was craving salmon. It’s not often that I eat salmon, but when I do, it’s usually salmon cakes, or salmon sushi, or smoked salmon with crackers. Anyways, back to my craving, I wanted top to it off with a creamy sauce.
As a kid, I was not a big fan of the “fishy” taste that fish can sometimes have. One of the only ways that I would eat fish, is if it was prepared with lemon flavor. One of my favorite fish dishes as a kid was the lemon dipped cod at Chesapeake Bay (restaurant). Yes, I am probably showing my age now as I don’t think that the franchised restaurant exists anymore. I think part of its demise was the “all you can eat” option. However, I remember my family would often go with my Godfather and his closest friends on the weekends. He was a bottomless pit of sorts so we were often there until close and occupied ourselves over by the video games once we finished our meals. Though, the quality changed over the years, it was a very family friendly restaurant with generous seating.
Salmon, similar to steak is rich with a flavor all its own. Therefore, when choosing seasoning combinations, it’s best to go with options that won’t overpower the salmon. With memories of having fish prepared with lemon back then, it was only natural that I wanted lemon and dill. A simple combination that would just enhance its natural flavor. Another thing about salmon is that it is kind of tricky and fussy to work with. The methodology to cooking is simple but it’s easy to overcook. Once you do overcook it, it’s unpleasant in both texture and flavor. One of the easiest ways to prepare salmon is in an aluminum foil packet to ensure even cooking throughout the filet and the maintain a nice texture.
1 Large salmon filet
Ground black pepper (or fresh ground black peppercorns
1 Large lemon
Sour Cream (Whole 8 oz bar can be used or half depends on preference for thickness of sauce)
Large bunch of fresh dill (weed)
1/4 Cup of Milk
2 Tblspns of butter
In a shallow but large baking tray (casserole dish), lay the whole salmon flat and season both sides with kosher salt and pepper. Allow the salmon to marinate for at least a couple of hours. Once salmon has finished marinating, slice lemon into round thin discs. Top the salmon with a few lemon discs and a few sprigs of fresh dill. Seal and enclose the salmon in a foil packet on the baking tray. Bake for at least 20 minutes on 350 degrees.
For the sauce, in a sautee pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and at least 4 oz of cream cheese. More can be used for a thicker and more cheesier sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of sour cream and mix well. Then stir in 1/4 cup of milk. At this point, I added a small lemon wedge and 2 sprigs of fresh dill. However, you can add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
Once the salmon is done, open foil and slice the filet into smaller portions. Serve warm and topped with the lemon and dill cream sauce. Suggested sides: Asparagus or a nice fresh caprese salad. Enjoy!