Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Lemon Salmon

Salmon might be my favorite (non-sweet) food. And salmon with lemon? Forget about it! I'm in heaven! My favorite meal is probably this Lemon Salmon, served with my Sweet Pina-Colada Rice and Roasted Asparagus. (Look away as I wipe the drool from the corners of my mouth.) I thought of this salmon dish after having eaten @ one of my favorite sushi places. Every time I go I always sit at the bar and get "all you can eat" and order an obscene amount of the Salmon Special Sushi (sometimes with extra lemon). (BTW For my local friends that are reading this, if you're a salmon lover like me you really should try the Salmon Special @ Big Tuna. Just sayin'. You won't regret it.)
   Back to why I created this dish - I was craving my favorite sushi with no means in which to purchase it (or time to go enjoy it) so I picked up some salmon when I was shopping @ Costco, came home and created this. It's completely simple and delicious. No complicated flavors or preparations. Just tender fish, tart lemon and all around savory goodness. It goes really fast, so don't blink or you might miss it. ;)

It starts with two clean (organic if you can get it) lemons. A large one and a smaller one (or two large ones if you like it extra lemon-y).

The large lemon gets sliced as thin as you can get it, and the smaller lemon is cut in half. (I discard the ends of the large lemon.)

Next comes the salmon. Like I said, I bought mine @ Costco and I purchased about 2 1/2 pounds. I cut it in half so I think I used about 1 1/4 pounds for this meal. (The rest I used for salmon, spinach and egg white omelets the next day. YUM!)

I sliced the salmon into dinner-sized portions. For my family that's about 3 oz pieces, but you cut what you'd like to eat. Just note that the smaller you cut it, the faster it will cook.

The next step is to season the salmon on both sides. I just sprinkle on a light coating of granulated onion, salt and pepper. This is all to taste. Just don't season to heavily or you'll lose the delicate flavor of the fish.

In the largest skillet you have, put a little oil and butter into melt and get hot. You don't want to add too much here, because salmon is a naturally fatty fish, so it will release some oils as it cooks too. Just a dab will do ya.

When the butter and oil are hot, arrange the salmon pieces in the pan. Make sure to give each portion its personal space. You want to saute the salmon, not steam it. Cook it over medium high heat.

After a couple minutes you'll start to see the color of the fish change. The bottoms will start to turn opaque. When this color reaches the middle of the fish (and the edges look a little brown) carefully flip the fish over.

The first side should be beautifully golden brown.

Shingle the lemon slices over the top of each piece of fish, and squirt the juice of the halved lemon over all the fish. (No seeds please.)

Put the lid on, turn the heat off and walk away for 5 minutes.

That's all there is to it. After 5 minutes, the fish should be perfectly cooked, but not over cooked. The lemon will be soft and completely edible (Yes, I eat the whole slices. It's a little to tart for the kids, but I love it.)

You can serve it with anything, or just eat it by itself. I really can't tell you enough how much I love this dish!

This is my perfect meal: Beautiful and tasty!!
Lemon Salmon, Sweet Pina-Colada Rice, and Roasted Asparagus
The meal is almost too pretty to eat . . .

Almost. :) I hope you love it as much as my family and I do.
Here's the recipe:
It's more of a list of ingredients and a method more than a recipe. If you are cooking for fewer people this recipe can easily be scaled down. Enjoy!

Lemon Salmon

1 1/4 lb Salmon fillet, de-boned and w/o skin
2 clean lemons (organic if you can find it), one large and one smaller
granulated onion (to taste)
salt (to taste)
freshly ground black pepper (to taste) 
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp oil

Melt butter and oil in a large skillet over high heat. Slice the large lemon as thin as you can get it, discarding the ends. Cut the smaller lemon in half. Cut the salmon into meal-sized portions (about 3 oz).  Evenly sprinkle on the granulated onion, salt and pepper on both sides of the fish. When the pan is hot, place the salmon into the butter/oil and cook over medium high heat. When the first side is golden brown and the salmon is opaque half way up each portion, gently flip each piece to the second side. Shingle the lemon slices over each piece of fish and squeeze the juice of the halved lemon over all the fish. Put this lid on, turn the heat off and walk away for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, check to see that the fish is cooked through, but not over cooked. (It will be slightly darker right in the center, but not raw.) Serve immediately.

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