This past summer, my husband and father braved the cold Alaskan air to take a fishing trip together. My husband has enjoyed fishing since his childhood, when he would go on special trips with his grandpa, and my dad, well… he likes the camaraderie. As someone who doesn’t love fish, I was hoping they would have a good time, share stories, bond, and maybe come home with a fillet or two. I can deal with a fillet or two. But oh, no. Not these guys. When they go fishing, they go fishing, and when they returned home, lucky me, I got a truck-load of freshly caught salmon.
Salmon, with all of its healthy omega 3’s and oils packed into its pink flesh, (which, by the way, is exactly what makes it taste so…well, fishy), makes it onto the list of my least favorite fish to eat and cook. But I found myself with an overflowing freezer full of cleaned, de-boned, filleted salmon, and a husband eager to taste the fruits of his labor. So I was on a quest to find at least one fool-proof salmon recipe that even I, hater of all things “fishy” could tolerate, and even enjoy.
I asked the different chefs in my family, as I am the only one with this aversion, what they do to season their fish, and the consensus was to keep it simple. I can do that. I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. My cousin, Ilianita, suggested using fresh lemon juice and garlic, a classic mixture in Cuban cuisine. Others suggested herbs, and it was my dear husband who had the bright idea to add some wine to the mix (although, later he fessed to hearing the tip from one of the fishing pros in Alaska). I tried a few different variations, until I found the perfect blend. And let’s just say that this once fish-hater ate my whole darn piece of fish. Perhaps it was because this fish was so fresh, or maybe it was the marinade, but my salmon really didn’t taste fishy at all. Each bite was naturally buttery, and sweetly perfumed by the citrus and herbs.
I made this dish for a Shabbat dinner when one of my friends who keeps kosher was in attendance, as fish is considered pareve (that is, it is neither milk or meat, and can be prepared and eaten without too many restrictions). Served with couscous and a nice salad, it turns out fresh Alaskan Salmon is a real crowd-pleaser.
Now, what to do with the rest of the stash?
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 lemons, juiced and zested
- ¼ cup white wine
- 3 TBS olive oil
- 1 Tbs basil
- 2 Tbs fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 4 6oz fillets of Alaskan Salmon
- In a resealable plastic bag, combine first 7 ingredients (garlic to salt/pepper). Close the bag, and massage it, so the ingredients mix to form a marinade.
- Place the salmon filets in the bag, and refrigerate for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Make a packet using tinfoil, and place each salmon filet plus a little bit of the marinade in its own packet. Seal tightly.
- Place the foil packets on a baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, or until fish is flaky.
- Serve immediately.