Sunday, June 10, 2007

Low and Slow Salmon

Copper River Salmon

The Seattle rain is lasting abnormally long this year. Just when you think the weather is finally getting better, it goes from sunny to rainy in the blink of an eye. Temperatures will drop 30 degrees overnight and Mother Nature reminds you of the wet and dreary weather you already suffered through for the last 8 months isn't quite over yet. However, there is a silver lining in this seemingly perpetual gray cloud, one thing that keeps me going amidst all this nasty weather and actually makes me feel, dare I say, grateful for living here - the salmon.

Copper River SalmonWild Copper River Salmon boasts an intensely red flesh, is rich in healthy omega-3s, and is rightfully touted as the best salmon in the world. Seattle serves as the main distribution hub for Copper River salmon so Seattleites are the first in the US (aside from Alaskans) to taste the season's first salmon. After being caught in the Alaskan river, the salmon is flown to Seattle, and then distributed to the rest of the country. Unfortunately, the season is regrettably very short, only lasting from mid May to mid June. I have to admit I didn't get my salmon from the fishmonger at Pike Place but at my local Safeway. But at $8/lb I'm not complaining. With such a beautiful piece of fish, I didn't want to overcook and ruin it so I used Jaden's absolutely amazing way of cooking salmon. My photo isn't nearly as gorgeous as hers (the stunning DMBLGIT winner) but it was truly delicious.

Cara CaraAs I was preparing my orange and onion bed, I sliced open an orange and to my surprise, I was greeted with fruit that was coincidentally the same shade as the salmon. It was a Cara Cara Navel! Cara Caras are one of my favorite oranges. They're extremely sweet, barely acidic, and the color is simply stunning. I ended up eating the Cara Cara because it was just too good and had to grab a second orange (just a regular navel this time) for the salmon. The red color of the orange comes from lycopene, the same cancer-fighting antioxidant found in tomatoes and grapefruits.

Jaden's Low and Slow Salmon
1 lb of salmon fillet, cut into 4 single serving portions
1/2 orange
some onion slices
salt and pepper
Olive oil

Bring the salmon out to room temp (can't skip this step otherwise the salmon will still be cold inside after baking). Salt and pepper the fillets and top with some olive oil.

Coat a baking pan with some olive oil. Scatter some onion and orange slices on the baking pan. Lay the salmon fillets on top of the bed of aromatics. Decorate the top of the salmon with some thin orange slices.

Stick the pan in the oven and turn the oven to 250ºF. I felt like there was no need to preheat the oven since the salmon will be cooked low and slow anyways, it's probably okay to stick it in a cold oven and let the oven warm up.

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes (or just 10 minutes if you like your salmon really rare). I went for 35 minutes because I'm always a bit paranoid (and Steven recently recovered from a stomach bug so I wanted to be extra careful). As long as a knife slides in and out of the salmon easily and the flesh flakes then it's done.

*You can discard the orange and onion slices. It was just for show. :P

The salmon was perfect. It was the perfect method to showcase the lovely Copper River Salmon. This is my go-to salmon recipe from now on. Many thanks Jaden!

Completely optional sauce since the salmon tastes perfectly fine with salt and pepper:

Citrus Ginger Soy Sauce Glaze
1/4 tsp of fresh ginger
Juice from half an orange
3 Tbsp soy sauce

Cook until the glaze is thick and syrupy. If it's not sweet enough, add some honey, too much ginger, then add more soy sauce and honey or orange juice. You can baste the salmon before it bakes or drizzle it on top after it's done.

Jaden's Tropical Island Salmon
Original LA Times article: Low, Slow, and Succulent
This will be my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging. WHB is an event created by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen and is hosted this week by Rachel from Rachel's Bites.


Bettina said...

mmm...i've really gained an appreciation for fish now...or enjoy it more since i don't get it very often. so when i read the first line of your post, the first thing i thought of was to tell you i read that it rained..and then you said it. yeah, i was reading the pi online and it was talking about uw graduation and how it rained and i thought, wow, that sucks. lol. but salmon is SOOOO good!!! mmmm, with mayonnaise too....

SteamyKitchen said...

Wow, its beautiful! I love the red onion color+ orange slices.
I'm so happy you tried this recipe. It really showcases the purity of salmon. xoxoxo jaden

Patricia Scarpin said...

Congratulations, sweetie!
I'm sure you had a blast, even with all the rain. :)

The salmon looks so refreshing and delicious - I have never had wild salmon, I'm stunned by its vibrant color.

tigerfish said...

Congrats on your graduation!

I just saw Copper River Salmon Fillets advertised in a Safeway ad and was wondering what it was...hee helped me explain it. :D

The Cara Cara inside looks so much like a grapefruit.

Love the combination of colors in your dish - was that your celebration dinner ?

Wandering Chopsticks said...


Such gorgeous colors. I gotta try this recipe but I'm always in a rush and do the lemon pepper pan-fry method.

Culinarily Curious said...

Congratulations... and apologies.

Apologies for laughing. Laughing with empathy. You could have easily have been describing *my* college graduation, 17 years ago, at the University of Oregon's Autzen stadium.

And we didn't have your delicious looking salmon as a consolation prize.

Amy said...

You can almost see me in the PI picture. The picture was taken far away but you can see my hat. :D I made salmon with mayo too (it still sounds a bit odd lol).

It really does showcase the fish. I love this technique so much. I can't thank you enough. *hugs*

Thanks! It was still fun hanging out with my friends. The color of the salmon is very impressive.I saw fillets at a different store that were even redder.

Thanks! Cara caras do look a lot like grapefruits but they still taste orangey. I made this a few nights before graduation so it was just a regular dinner. hehe

Thank you! Ooo want to share how you panfry salmon? I can never get it just right. It's either cold in the center or overcooked completely. :(

Culinary Curious,
Gotta love the Pacific Northwest weather. :) At my bf's graduation he got pooped on by a bird. lol.

Mandy said...

Congratulations Amy!

I am grateful that it didn't rain in my hubby's graduation not too long ago. Eventhough sitting under the scorching sun for 3 hours was not fun...

The salmon looks delicious. I will try it once I get some fresh salmon. Can't resist a seafood recipe, especially salmon!

Helen said...

Do you think that's why the French and other European countries don't have graduation ceremonies (bad weather)?!!
Congrats !
The dish looks gorgeous!

Peabody said...

I saw that on the news...I thought how miserable to have to sit in that for all those hours. But congrats on being a grad!
We've been cooking up the copper salmon on my end, I will have to give this a try.

Sig said...

Hey Congratulations Amy! I'm sure you had a ton of fun even in the rain! So you are done now... :) More time to cook up some yummy food, eh?
The salmon looks beautiful! I love those colors...

Amy said...

Thanks! The scorching sun must have sucked too. Especially if the robes were black. Let me know how you like the recipe. I totally can't take credit for it, it was all Jaden. :D

Thank you! That's kind of a bummer that European countries don't have graduation. :(

Thanks! In retrospect, it's hilarious that the ceremony was a sea of umbrellas, floppy hats and cheap ponchos. :D

Thank you! I definitely have had more time now. I actually finished my classes in December so I've been relaxing these last few months (one of the reasons I started this blog hehehe).

Elle said...

Congrats on graduating and sympathy about the rain. My hubby & I were visiting Seattle that same weekend and heard that real Seattlites don't use (or carry) umbrellas, but no one said anything about ponchos. The Copper River Salmon really is the best of the favorite treat from the trip. This is a wonderful recipe and I love your photo.

Amy said...

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed your time here. Hmm I must not be a real Seattleite because I always use an umbrella. Perhaps a real Seattleite is one that always carries an umbrella at all times. Even though it's approaching July, I still have to keep my umbrella in my bag. *sigh*


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