On call this past weekend but needing to cook something good. Having eaten at McDonald’s and Duncan Donuts twice made be feel a bit greasy and slightly nauseated. Wanted something light, which at my house usually means fish of some sort so I strolled to the Fresh Market to have a look at the daily catch. As usual, I has horrified at the previously frozen and frayed sea bass still priced at $22.99/lb and the tuna that seemed a bit too red (like a clown nose). Luckily there was some fresh Atlantic salmon on sale, just arrived earlier in the day for a modest $8.99/lb.
There are 4 ways that I like salmon. The first is smoked with the usual sides, if it’s fresh it’s hard to beat; second is sprinkled with a spicy rub that has a fair amount of brown sugar and pan-seared on one side and finished in a 350 degree oven; third is cedar plank smoked; and fourth…slow-roasted. Since OG has me fired up about braising, I decided to slow roast the salmon. This method is fool-proof and for a fish dish, hard to beat. I decided to serve with celery and white asparagus (bear with me on this) and orzo with mushrooms and onions.
Heres what I bought:
1) 4 – 6 to 8 oz salmon fillets
2) 1 bunch of celery
3) 1 lb white asparagus
4) 1 – lemon
5) fresh thyme
7) 8 oz button mushrooms
8) 1 yellow onion
Again, preparation and cooking are extremely easy. Trim and slice celery and aspargus on the bias into roughly equal pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and layer in baking dish. Skin the salmon, salt and pepper and place on top of veggies. Top salmon with lemon slices and thyme sprigs…done. Preheat oven to 225 degrees and “slow-roast” for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, bring 1 gallon salted water to a boil and cook orzo until slightly underdone and set aside.
While that is going on, saute 1/2 of the thinly sliced onion and chopped mushrooms in olive oil and butter. When nicely brown salt and pepper to taste and add some of the extra thyme. Deglaze the pan with some of the wine you are enjoying and set aside.
When the salmon is almost ready, add the drained orzo and about 1/2 cup of pasta water to the mushroom mixture and bring up to temperature. Finish with the juice of the remaining lemon.
Plate salmon on top of the orzo, serve the veggies on the side.
Salmon cooked this way is unbelievable. It becomes amazingly tender and has the consistancy of butter, which in my opinion makes this some really good eats!