The very first time I made salmon was when I lived in New York more than 10 years ago. I had a tiny kitchen, the kind you’d miss if you didn’t look left while walking into my 350 square feet apartment. I decided to cook for real every Sunday night for my boyfriend (now husband). I have never eaten out as much as I did when I lived in New York and welcomed a home-cooked meal. In fact, my cholesterol climbed 25 points during that time.
I continued cooking salmon and have tried many different ways of preparing it. I used to put it in foil and cook for about 40 minutes, which makes it stay moist. I’ve tried it in the slow cooker which I don’t recommend. I’ve attempted mustardy-type seasonings and the sweeter varieties. But now I opt for easy baking (or grilling in the summer) and season it one of three ways. I make trout the same way which is equally as tasty.
1. Easy rub
I got this rub recipe from my friend Holly who is an awesome cook. I keep it in a spice container ready to go. I apply a small amount of olive oil to the fish to moisten it and rub in the rub, which is equal parts cumin, mustard powder, curry powder, coriander, chili powder, sugar, and salt.
2. Basil and garlic mixture
This one is adapted from All Recipes. I mix 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 garlic cloves minced, 1 tsp. dried basil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a small bowl and spoon out on top of the salmon. I usually have some leftover.
These salmon sticks are what got Big A into salmon. I no longer make these but I do top some of the salmon with a breading mix. I basically mix breadcrumbs with Parmesan cheese and add some garlic powder and salt.
After seasoning, I bake salmon in the oven at 400F for 15-20 minutes depending on thickness. What is your favorite way to make salmon?
Part of this challenge is also to work on sides. I usually serve salmon with baked fries and a salad. I kind of gave up on making my own and have come to love the Alexia brand of products. But recently my friend Holly made some baked fries (half sweet potato, half regular) that were really good. That motivated me to try them again. She suggested adding some cornstarch to make them crispy.
Of course, I forgot the cornstarch but I did soak the russet potatoes in some cold water to help remove some of the starch. At 425F for about 25-30 minutes, they turned out good but still not as crispy as I would like. I worked off this recipe but changed some things. Here’s the before and after:
I usually check out youtube videos for cooking secrets because I think that’s what makes the difference between a meal or side turning out and not. I see some cooks recommend microwaving potatoes first before cooking. Sticking russet potatoes in cold water, as I just mentioned, also helps. Super Healthy Kids posted about cooking potatoes on a cooling rack to achieve crispness. And then there’s the cornstarch idea which I’ll try next time.
So I’ll keep at it. Anyone figure out how to make homemade baked fries crispy?
And last but not least is the salad. Because the potatoes took more work, I opted for an easy: spinach, chopped strawberries, dry toasted almonds (from TJ’s) and feta with a vinaigrette dressing. A good meal for sure.
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