Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cookin With Mister C: Beautiful Baked Sockeye Salmon

The original inspiration for the salmon can be found on CDKitchen under the title "Firecracker Salmon". We like more "zip" and less "fire" so I modified it to suit our particular taste and it's a family favorite. The sauce is the heart of the meal but it's very easy to prepare. Regarding the fish: a friend of mine used to work in a salmon processing plant in Alaska, and she told me to never never never eat salmon that was not bright red; if memory serves, she referred to the typical orange farm-raised salmon as 'dog food'... and meant it. So, about once a month I pick up a nice slab of Alaskan Sockeye, bake it in this wonderful tangy sauce and make my family happy:

Fillet of Sockeye Salmon 2-3 pounds

Mister C's Salmon Sauce:
4 Tbsp Olive oil
4 Tbsp Soy sauce
4 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp Grated ginger or ginger paste
2 Tbsp Honey
2 Tsp Sesame oil
3 Cloves chopped garlic
1 Tsp Red pepper (adds zip)
Mix the sauce ingredients together in a large measuring cup or small bowl, until blended. I find that 30 seconds in the microwave will heat it up and facilitate mixing. Preheat your oven to 375F after you finish the mixing. Place the salmon skin-side down in a 9X13 baking dish, mix the sauce once more and pour evenly over the fish and bake uncovered for around 20 minutes adjusting for thickness and desired doneness. This also makes a fine glaze for grilling, just halve all the ingredients except the honey. Don't overcook the salmon or you'll realize just how good it could have been, and you can always pop it in the microwave for a minute if it's too rare.

My browned pine nuts and whole baby portobello mushrooms in an olive oil and butter sauce are definitely not low-calorie but so very good and packed with vitamins. You can throw it together in about 10 minutes:

8oz Whole baby Portobello mushroms
1/4 Cup Raw pine nuts
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tbsp Butter

Heat the butter in a large skillet or pan until just sizzling, then add the olive oil. Add the pine nuts, browning them evenly. I like to take the pan from the heat for a minute or two and allow the oil, butter and pine nuts to develop a heady infusion; if you do so then remove the pan when the pine nuts begin to change color or they will overcook and turn dark brown. Take the time to grab that frosty beverage of your choice, then return the pan to the heat and add the whole mushrooms, toss and cover for a few minutes, then toss and cover for another few minutes. Uncover, toss once more and serve hot.

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