Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tender Salmon

This is a real simple recipe for the people who always think oven roasted salmon has to be dry and require gobs of sauce to make it palatable. Not so, even though it uses a lot of butter, the butter is not really absorbed into the salmon so it is a pretty low calorie dish, so to speak.

Pre Heat your oven to 250. Take your salmon fillet and cut into proper serving size usually 6 oz is perfect per person size, but I'll leave it up to you.
Melt 2 TBS of butter in a 12 inch pan, generously season the cut salmon pieces with salt and pepper. Place the fish into the melted butter and turn all sides to put an even coating of the butter. Then sprinkle to tops of the fish with the remaining salt and pepper.
(Be sure and take the salmon out of your refrigerator so that it comes to room temperature)
Put the ovenproof pan into the oven.
Every 5 minutes quickly remove the pan, so the heat from the oven doesn't escape and with a brush take the melted butter that is in the pan and paint the individual fish pieces ( A nice aqua will do).
Do this one more time about 13 minutes into the cooking time and at that time check the fish for doneness. Depending on the oven, I usually will find the fish is perfectly cooked at about 15 to 16 minutes.
It will not hurt to leave it in for a few more minutes, since the low cooking temperature will not over cook the fish or rather dry it out.
Remove from the pan, plate it on some warm dishes, put some sauce on it, and there you go!

Just a note, When cooking items you want to be sure that the product is brought to room temperature. All recipes take into that into account. Why? Becuase let's say if the fish has an internal temperature of 40 degrees , which is what it should be if it is in a properly working refrigerator and you put it in the oven, first of all it will reduce the temperature of the oven down a few degrees, just like opening the door and letting the heat escape. It will take an extra 5 to 8 minutes or more depending on the thickness of the fish to overcome the cold inside the fish......The result would be that a piecie of fish, lets say our salmon, would be cooked ok on the outside but undercooked inside. That is why it is probably the most important thing you can do in anykind of cooking, like outdoor grilling, with steaks, or oven roasted etc. to equalize the temperature of the item you are going to cook.

Stuff you will need:

Salmon fillets or whole side cut into serving pieces
butter,melted to brush on the fish
salt and pepper.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Moist and Tasty Salad de Camarones

One of sad things a lot of people do when they cook shrimp, prawns or camarones common with a lot of recipes, is they inadvertently wind up cooking the moisture out of the poor little fish.

It doesn't need to be that way.

Here is a great recipe that has taste, great texture and is not a mayonnaisey salad with some seafoody meat chunks.

The trick whether your cooking prawns into a pasta recipe or using them for salads, DO NOT OVERCOOK them, for they will reward your heat escapade by turning into little rubbery chewy things.

So, take a pound or half kilo of 21-25's ( frozen are good, most of the time better than fresh shrimp, because they have not become mushy)
thaw out in a bowl of water for a few minutes, usually about 20 minutes or so.
Make a poaching liquid.
Put the shrimp into the liquid and let poach, DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL!
remove, dry or reserve for use the next day or just before you want to make the salad.
Once dry cut the shrimp in half lengthwise, then into quarters.
Toss into the mayo mix, place on lettuce or into a warmed soft bun and you have a superior tasting sandwich. Otherwise place on several leaves of butter lettuce, and enjoy.

Stuff you will need:

For Poaching liquid.
1/4 cup for fresh squeezed lemon juice
One small handful of cilantro leaves, chop fine
One small handful of parsley leaves, chop fine
1 tsp, whole peppercorns
1 tsp regular sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups water

To make poaching liquid, take a 2 quart sauce pan and put the lemon juice, peppercorns, sugar, salt, water, the squeezed lemon parts, half of the chopped cilantro, half of the chopped parsley and stir to combine, put the cleaned and deveined shrimp in, turn on fire to low, and watch. Check the temp with an instant read thermometer, it should stay around 170. Stir once or twice to be sure all the shrimp have become pink, then remove and put into a ice bath to stop the cooking. Remove only the shrimp, toss all the poaching stuff away. Drain shrimp on paper towels and either reserve for final assembly or continue.

To make the dressing

1/4 cup of your favorite Mayonnaise.
I small shallot chopped very fine.
1 small stalk of celery chopped fine.
remaining half of the finely chopped cilantro
remaining half of the finely chopped parsley.
salt and pepper to taste.

Take the dried shrimp pieces and combine, let sit, and use on bread or as a salad.

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