Salmon. I grew up fishing for salmon—it brings back close-to-my-heart memories of family time on Orcas Island. My father was a particularly patient and good fisherman, and to this day I love to watch him fillet fish. He has done it so many times—it is in his muscle memory. His hands just know what to do.
I happen to think that is very, very cool.
Reading books on the Omega 3 diet, learning that longevity around our world typically lands in fishing villages—and wrapping my mind around the health benefits of seafood(s) makes me want to pursue this too-often overlooked part of our ‘family menu.’
It is a goal of mine to work for a fish-monger. If I knew Italian, I would offer up my services tomorrow, in any of a number of the nearby pesceria’s. But I will learn. It is just a matter of time before I deposit my determined self in a fish department somewhere. To learn not just to fillet salmon (which my dad can teach me), but to commit to muscle memory—to be able to fillet, chop, de-gut, slice, clean and otherwise prepare—the myriad of fish and shellfish available to us.
And to absorb all sorts of tips and recipes, marinades and food-prep techniques along the way. But until I take that fishy-fire-hose to my mouth, it is still just one humble recipe at a time. And this one is a keeper:
Salmon in Parchment
recipe per serving; multiply per person/packet
salmon fillet, deboned—skin still on bottom
1 tsp grainy mustard
1/2 lemon per person
2 tsp honey
herbs: I use thyme (good subs: parsley, Italian herb blend, tarragon)
1 T olive oil
Parchment cut in oval, enough to easily fit salmon. Mix marinade. Brush half of oval with olive oil, place salmon on same half. Drizzle with marinade, fold packet over half and secure/fold edge to seal. Can prepare in advance, let packets wait in fridge until ready. I have made packets a full day in advance. Heat oven to 350, place packets in single layer on cookie sheet, bake for 12-14 minutes.
Consider using different, less sweet honey: chestnut, lavender, orange, rosemary, etc.
You could empty the whole packet—and all the accumulated juices—on top of a bed of angel hair pasta (maybe with a little garlic, oil, lemon and parsley…) or simply serve it in its packet. Serve right from oven—cut open packet for service.