I have good problems. My refrigerator is drowning in spinach, onion, green onion, and tomatoes. And I also have leftover cooked rice from yesterday’s Tofu Feast. So I defrosted a salmon filet and went to town. I stacked some torn spinach leaves, a sliced tomato, and a 1/2 cup or so of chopped onion and scallion on a piece of foil, topped it with a salmon filet, poured a tablespoon or so of white wine leftover from a dinner party from 2 months ago on it, and then sprinkled it with sea salt, pepper, and herbes de Provence. Then I closed the foil into a pouch and popped everything into a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.
What came out was this:
Works beautifully over rice, though I wish I’d moved the plate back a tiny bit to get the full chiaroscuro lighting on the fish, and frame out the sinkful of dirty dishes. Make sure you get all the liquid from the foil package onto the plate – it’s the best part.
This method of cooking fish is extremely flexible. I can think of several awesome variations off the top of my head:
- A white fish like haddock, sole, or turbot over a big pile of chopped leeks, seasoned with salt, pepper, a little butter, white wine, and lemon.
- A white fish with zucchini, tomatoes, olives, capers, wine, garlic, onion.
- Salmon rubbed with soy sauce and a little honey, with chopped ginger, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, green onion, bok choy, and a dash of rice vinegar.
- A recipe someone made for me at a dinner party a long time ago: Salmon seasoned with salt, pepper, and some chopped garlic cloves and baked in the oven, then broken into chunks and tossed with penne and crumbled gorgonzola.
You could also go with swordfish, tuna, bluefish, or halibut and the fish would come out flaky and moist, but I really like grilling or pan-searing the fish that comes in “steak” form.
I used to shy away from cooking fish – I didn’t know what to buy, the good stuff was out of my price range, some days you are supposed to eat it 3-4 times/week and sometimes you are not supposed to because it’s all contaminated with mercury and you will DIE. The Midwest is not exactly a bastion of fresh local seafood, and the only decent clam chowder I’ve eaten here was at Glenn’s Diner. Then I learned about baking fish in foil with vegetables and watched a lot of Gordon Ramsay on BBC America and realized how simple it is to cook fish. I get my fish from Trader Joe’s, and it may come frozen in sad vacuum-sealed packs but the quality is consistent and they carry the stuff I love: halibut, swordfish, tuna, salmon. I recently stocked up there, so watch this space for more fish recipes.