Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dinner Train: The Count of Monte Cristo - Baked Salmon Mediterranean

Let me just start by saying that yes, I know that salmon is not a Mediterranean fish.  DUH.  I work in a library, I'm all kinds of smaht (but mostly a smartass, according to my Popstar), etc.  But I wanted to do something with fish and something Mediterranean, keeping with the setting of the book, and I did have some dietary restrictions to work around.   Salmon is a fish that fits almost all bills (except for fish haters, but they were not invited).  This recipe...was okay.  I can admit it wasn't my best work.  Then again, I am guilty of doing some stoopids, like forget to use the white wine the recipe suggests, or not really thinking about how much fish I'd need (I used wayyyy too much), or basically buying pre-frozen salmon because it was the only wild salmon at Whole Foods - kids, pre-frozen fish?  It is never as tasty.   Plus, salmon that has been frozen and thawed takes on a well, oddly dark salmon color.  Touche!  I also added spinach, which I'm not sure brought much to the dish. 

If you attempt to make this, do yourself a favor.  Go to an actual fish market, have some selection in your fish.  Also, use the wine.  Double also, use 4-6 oz salmon per guest, not 3 lbs. for 5 people.  Maybe even season it or remove the skin.  Also, follow the directions and make sure the vegetable base is hot like it is meant to be when you put it in the dish, and that you then put it immediately into your hot oven - I cheated, because my guests were arriving, put it in colder, and mine got all white salmon sweaty because it was taking forever to cook and I turned the heat up.  Putting it into a hot sauce and then a hot oven means it'll start cooking right away, reducing your cook time.  Maybe serve your spinach on the side (I didn't include it below, but used about a cup of thawed chopped frozen spinach in the third step), with some well seasoned rice.  I also wonder if this recipe would be better balanced with a white fish.  Perhaps some day I will attempt it again!  But for now, here is my meh main course.  It is Mediterranean by way of the Pacific Northwest.  Which perhaps explains why I keep accidentally typing Baked Salmon Alaska (confession: I am now grossly intrigued by this typo).

Baked Salmon Mediterranean
serves about 6


1 4-6oz wild caught salmon fillet per person (about 2 lbs for 6 people)
 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1-2 leek white, chopped (approximately 1 cup)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 small can (14 oz or smaller) artichoke hearts in water, preferably quartered
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes (keep the juice)
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup kalamata olives
Salt and pepper


1.  Prepare your vegetables!  I did not do the following, but it would behoove you to season your salmon with some salt and pepper, and remove the skin for ease in eating.  Preheat the oven to 350. 
2.  Heat your oil in a large skillet over medium high.  Add onion through garlic and saute for about 5 minutes. 

3.  Add artichoke through wine to pan, saute for 3 minutes. 

4.  Pour your skillet contents into a baking dish.  Immediately place your fillets on top, nestling them in a bit, and sprinkle your olives over the top.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 12-18 minutes, until cooked through.  This may take a little longer and your salmon may get some white albumen, which I only recently learned the name of thanks to Top Chef.  It is fine to eat, but not pretty. Thanks for making me self conscious, Padma!

This finish product looks so unappetizing, I know.  Don't judge meeeeee.
5.  Serve hot out of the oven to your starving guests, with some lovely homemade baguette (courtesy of Ms. Parenthetical herself). 
I covered the salmon to make it photogenic. 

Delicious (homemade) baguette, by Sam of Parethentical. 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...