Thursday, February 9, 2012


I am a lover of sushi. Been one since my number-two friend introduced me to it back in the late 70's.  So, this means that I do NOT like ANY fish that is over cooked, over cooked or over- cooked.   One fish, in particular, that is difficult to find -- cooked properly -- at many restaurants (unless you're at Le Bernardin or Morimoto or Nobu) is salmon.   Actually, I retract that statement as I recall my comment of yesteryear, "The best  fish that I ever  had (prior to visiting the three restaurants mentioned above) was served at a steak house. "  During those days, I would order "salmon black and blue. " The ONLY time that I ever visited a steak house back then was on business trips.

So, during the past decade, or more, I started making my own (very, very) simple salmon dish.  It was a healthy and a perfect alternative when I was home alone and didn't want the $4.25 "Greek salad" from the take-out joint across the street from my gym (which, by the way, was very good, too--that's another story).
I love to call this dish "Salmon Cooked Five at Five" but in actuality, it is "Five Hundred at Five."  The salmon is cooked in a 500 degree oven for five minutes.   It is served over mashed potatoes, or lentils or rice and drizzled with a fresh scallion (or chive) oil.

My local fish monger always has a full salmon available to select the perfect portion size.  I would indicate to him how thick to cut the salmon and ask him to remove the bone but keep the skin on.  Can't get fresher than that.  If that's not  available, then salmon fillets could work here, but ensure that the skin is on.   It's that simple.  Here goes.

Serves 2
Two 6 1/2 oz salmon fillets, about 1-1.5 inches thick, skin on
Unsalted butter to rub on pan
About 2 Tablespoons butter, cut into 1/4 inch chunks

Rub butter on pan.  Place salmon, flesh side down, on pan.  Evenly spread out butter chunks on salmon skin. Set aside and let rest until salmon gets to room temperature.

Place in oven and bake for 5 minutes.  If salmon is thinner than 1-1.5 inches, adjust baking time. 
Remove from oven;  let salmon rest for about 1-2 minutes, then peel back and remove skin (use this to make a salmon skin crackle -- another story).  Remove salmon from tray, flip it over and place the fish on a bed of mashed potatoes, lentils or rice (uh oh...other stories).  Top with scallion oil.  Recipe follows.

3/4 oz of scallions (green part only)
4 oz of grapeseed or canola oil
1/8 Teaspoon Maldon salt (or Kosher)
Chop scallions.  Place scallions into blender with oil and salt.  Process until the mixture forms a thick, creamy consistency.  Pour into small saucepan and heat.  Drizzle over salmon.

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