Foolproof Fish: Salmon Cooked in a Parchment Paper Bag

Foolproof Salmon in Parchment ©2014 LaDomestique

 

Let’s talk about fish…

First of all, fish is SO good for you

 

Especially oily fish, like salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, lake trout and tuna.

These fishes are rich in omega-3 fatty acids—essential for your brain, your mental/emotional function and reducing your risk of heart disease, cancer and other inflammatory disorders.

 

Secondly, fish is delicious

 

I love fish because it’s light and healthy but also a satisfying meal that gives me long-lasting energy.

How much oily fish should you be eating to reap the benefits?

The American Heart Association recommends people eat omega-3-rich oily fish AT LEAST two times a week. A serving is 3.5 ounces of cooked fish.

 

Finally, fish is easy!

 

Yes it is! I know cooking fish intimidates many of you, but I promise you can do it. Today I want to share my go-to method for teaching beginners to cook fish: salmon cooked in a parchment paper bag. You’ll love this because it’s impossible to mess up! I’ve even created a video on how to make the parchment paper bag.

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Cleansing and a Recipe for Salmon Cooked in Parchment

Ingredients for Salmon Cooked in Parchment with Tarragon and Peas (c)2013 La Domestique

I’m stubborn. I don’t like to be told what to do. Try to push me and I’ll probably do exactly the opposite. Luckily, my husband finds this quality endearing. Was I born this way? Is it genetics, birth order (I’m the eldest), or ingrained in my Southern roots? Maybe my obstinate nature became stronger after I was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of nineteen. The chemo, the radiation, the doctors – I had to follow orders or die. I fell ill over the course of a weekend and was transported on an emergency jet from a tiny college town in Arkansas to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. The next day I got a diagnosis of cancer and my first round of chemotherapy. Like a dog backed into a corner, I had no choice but to do what I was told. Months of chemo, radiation and a bone marrow transplant followed. The doctors handed down mandates. Because of the treatment, I would never be able to bear children. My chances of survival would be 20% at best. The treatment would destroy my body and cause lifelong side effects. If the treatment was successful, my body would heal and I would survive.

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Gone on a Holiday

Jess (c)2012 LaDomestique.com

Photo above taken by James Anderson

We’re taking a week off here at la Domestique to go on a holiday, kind of like the French do during the month of August. The husband and I are off to Seattle. If you have any recommendations for restaurants or fun things to do, please do share in the comments section. Follow la Domestique on Facebook, twitter, and instagram for a peek at what we’re up to on the road. We’ll be back next Monday, August 13, with a new ingredient of the week.

Thanks for reading la Domestique, and ciao for now!

Cook in the Moment: Gravlax

Gravlax with Rye Bread and Mustard-Dill Sauce (c)2012 LaDomestique.com

Remember when I said I was having a Nordic moment in the kitchen, back in the beginning of June? Well, I guess that moment has turned into a full on obsession that led me to making my own gravlax. In case you missed it, check out my step-by-step gravlax tutorial on Food52. Gravlax is a Scandinavian technique for preserving raw salmon with salt, sugar, and other ingredients for flavor. In its simplest form, the cure is salt, sugar, and dill, but you can get creative with spices like juniper, fennel seeds, and caraway seeds, or layer on grated beets for their earthy flavor and magenta color. A few drops of Aquavit or other clear spirit (gin, schnapps) infuses the salmon with a clean, spiced flavor.

There’s no better time to make gravlax at home than summer, since wild Alaskan salmon is in season from May to September. I used two wild Sockeye fillets because it was within my budget (King was out of my price range), and I like the leaner, clean-tasting flesh with its intense red color. After the pin bones are removed from the flesh and the cure is sprinkled over, the salmon goes in the fridge for a couple of days to do it’s thing (cure). Another great part of making gravlax in the heat of summer is you get to stay cool- no oven, no stove, no grill, no heat!

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10 Ways Tuesday: Salmon

Gravlax (c)2012 LaDomestique.com

I’ve got creative recipes for cooking with salmon during summer:

1.  Gravlax

Gravlax is a Swedish technique for preserving raw salmon with salt and sugar. Though you can buy gravlax, it’s easy to make at home, where you can control the ingredients and how the finished product will taste. I enjoy homemade gravlax for its elegant appearance and fresh flavor that is so welcome during summer when the last thing I want to do is cook with heat. After a couple days curing in the fridge, gravlax is ready to slice and serve over rye bread with mustard sauce, or in this Tarragon Potato Salad, or on a bagel with cream cheese and chives. Homemade gravlax will keep in the fridge for a week or two. Learn how to make gravlax at home by checking out my step-by-step how to on Food52.

2.  Seared Salmon with Crispy Skin

The skin on salmon isn’t an inconvenience, rather, a delicious treat when seared until crispy. Season the skin of a salmon fillet with salt and pepper and place the fillet, skin side down, in a very hot, oiled skillet. Sear until brown and crisp, about 3-4 minutes, then place the skillet into a 450 degree oven until cooked through, just a couple minutes more. This dish is about salmon pure and simple. Rich and fatty flesh paired with crackling skin is all you need.

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