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Help, I need a simple, quick recipe for salmon to impress the in-laws!

My in-laws are coming to town for the 1st time and I'm a little freaked out at the thought of cooking for them because they are ultra picky about things being too greasy, too salty... basically, too anything. Since I also have to go pick them up at the airport, I need something that cooks up pretty fast (i.e. no roasts, etc.), so I was thinking of preparing a side of salmon (there will be 7 of us for dinner). Another thing: I will probably be serving it with rice, kimchee and a couple of other simple banchans (Korean style sides) with dinner.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. barefoot contessa has a delicious asian grilled salmon that would go well with your sides.

    1. Thanks beelzebozo! Since I don't have a gril, do you think that would be just as good baked in the oven?

      2 Replies
      1. re: spkspk

        Could also do something En Papillote.....parchment or foil...using whatever flavorings you crave that will compliment the salmon....makes for nice individual presentation , user friendly......this is all moot if you wanted to make the entire side part of the presentation, however the moist foil method would also work on the side as well......

        1. re: Saddleoflamb

          Yes - baking is easy and delish. I recently did a baked salmon with a Romesco sauce that was terrific - whole salmon is more dramatic but a filet will work, too - rub with olive oil and use salt and pepper and any herbs you like - wrap in foil and bake -- meanwhile saute red pepper, onion, garlic and then set aside when tender - put blanched almonds in food proessor andgrind - then add tender veggies and puree - salt, pepper, taste - yummm... serve on top of salmon... terrific, easy and beautiful (recipe from New York Times Passover Cookbook if you need exact amounts - I etnd to think of receips ars guidelines unless I'm baking). Enjoy.

      2. I have my own recipe. Combine 3 cups of baby spinach, 2 cups of mushroomschopped, 2 medium size tomatoes diced and 1/4 cup sundried tomato salad dressing. Place salmon in foilwrap cover with mixture, tent the foilwrap and bake in 375 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes. I use a thermometer to check salmon and when it reaches 170 degrees it is done.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Isabelle

          Yum!! It's not too liquidy when done? I"m thinking the spinach sweats, mushrooms sweat, tomaotes sweat and then 1/4 cup of more liquid?

        2. An alternative is to simply poach for a few minutes in water with salt, pepper corns, and lemon juice. Serve with a couple of sauces that each can spoon on or dip. For example--a mix of soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice & chopped chiles & chives or somethinng more Korean. This way you won't have anything basically too greasy, salty, or anything. Since you're (I assume) doing things Asian style, serve the whole fillet or portions on a bed of chopped iceburg or napa and sprinkled with chopped chives or thinly sliced green onion.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            I love to serve fish on lettuces.I made a shrimp dish the other night using a mix of plum sauce, ginger root, garlic and soy. Skewered and laid on a salad bed or lettuces, tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, and other things. But you could skewer the salmon and do the very same thing. I love all seafood on lettuces or cabbages, exactly as you say.

            Here is ia photo of my last shrimp dish, but I have salmon in the freezer waiting to be done the same way. You can skewer a larger length of salmon for a nice serving on a bed of greens. And it is never greasy.

            1. re: chef chicklet

              chef, exactly. The greens are healthy and eaten with the fish or shrimp, and sauce; and presentation is always good.

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                great textures, hot and cold thing, lots of flavors not to mention it just looks so darn pretty!

              2. re: chef chicklet

                I made the following recent recipe from bon appetit for a dinner party last night. (salmon with lemon-pepper sauce and watercress-herb salad) It was delicious, looked elegant, and can be prepped entirely before hand and cooked quickly. I made the sauce and marinade the day before; you can wash the greens before hand too. Then you just have to marinate the salmon for 15 or 20 minutes, bake for 15 minutes, and you're ready to serve.


                1. re: DGresh

                  yum that looks terrific! We would gobble that up, thanks for the link!

            2. If your in-laws are fans of garlic, my mom makes this great garlic-pepper salmon fillet really quick in the toaster oven (I guess it's easier for her to control and monitor than in the larger oven, but if you are feeding seven, then go with the oven). Since you are serving it with Asian/Korean sides it would probably go quite well, and you can adjust the garlic to your liking.

              I'm not sure of the exact proportions, but all you have to do is top some salmon fillets (we don't use any more than an inch thick, it may get tough and chewy) with a little olive oil, minced garlic, lots and lots of pepper, and chopped cilantro leaves. Squirt with a little lime juice and dash with soy sauce. You can throw in red pepper for extra spiciness too. My family loves garlic so this is a good one for us!

              Edit: our toaster oven doesn't have exact temperature settings, only a gradient. So if you are baking it in the oven, I would look up other baked salmon recipes, see how hot they turn it up, and keep monitoring it so that it doesn't get dry and tough. Good luck!

              1. Since you have alot of flavors already from the kimchee and banchan, I think baked on a bed of onions and orange or lemon slices and fresh herbs, salted peppered and coated with Dijon mustard is really simple and won't clash. The liquid it will create of covered during baking can then also be spooned over the rice.

                1. You can do a cedar planked salmon in the oven. It's my favourite way to do salmon. I brush with a mixture of birch or maple syrup, lavender, EVOO

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: sarah galvin

                    I would do a nice citrus glazed salmon. I have made this many times as it is healthy and taste out of this world. The recipe is at www.cookinglight.com

                    1. re: sarah galvin

                      Is there a tremendous amount of smoke when you do this in the oven? There was when I grilled it.

                      1. re: Val

                        Yeah, I was thinking the exact same thing. Can't imagine doing it indoors.

                        1. re: Val

                          I have done it and it wasn't that bad. I didn't broil just a hot oven.

                      2. If you live near a Costco here is a real timesaver and a tasty way for salmon that is foolproof. They have "salmon milano" in their refridgerated section, all you do is put it in the oven in an oven dish. It is just salmon, an herbed butter that smells the whole house really nice and just keep on eye on it til it is done which is less than half an hour. Goes good with anything and I take some of the butter/herb mix off to make it healthier.

                        The barefoot contessa recipe is good too, but sometimes I just dont have time for a real recipe and cheat with the Costco salmon milano.

                        1. The recipe for soy maple glazed salmon on epicurious is delish. Rather than searing, etc., I usually just bake it in the oven at 400 for 20 minutes and it is wonderful. I either bake it with the glaze on, or reduce some and pour it over at the end. Guests love this. Just make sure you get good quality salmon and you can't miss.

                          1. p.s. I forgot to mention how incredibly EASY the soy- maple salmon is. THREE ingredients (in addition to the salmon). One other tip- I marinate the fish for about an hour first, too. Goes perfectly with asian sides. MMMM. Maybe I will make this tonight.

                            1. Tyler Florence just made his ultimate crispy salmon on today's show on FoodTV... looked really easy. You can always cut back on the offending ingredients.

                              1. my mom (who is korean) makes a pan-fried salmon that always seems to get raves. it's too simple, but admittedly, a little greasy. she takes a filet of salmon, sprinkles salt on both sides and leaves it overnight. then, in a heavy skillet on medium high heat, she adds 1-2 T of canola oil and cooks the salmon skin side up for about 5 minutes, covered. then she flips it over and cooks it uncovered for another 5 minutes or so. this creates a really nice crispy crust. she usually squeezes a little lemon juice on to cut the grease a bit.

                                but when i'm really out to impress, i really like eli's asian salmon that was featured on barefoot contessa.


                                1. I don't think that anyone has mentioned olive oil poached salmon yet - it produces very flavorful and creamy salmon and leaves absoulutely no smell in the house. I would only cook salmon to a max of 140 - actually i usually remove it around 125.

                                  1. I feel your pain....I get really nervous cooking for my in-laws. I remember a few weeks ago, Emeril did a salmon smoked with tea. He rigged up a simple smoker and it looked fabulous and I think the tea smoking would give you a really nice contrast to the stronger flavors of your side dishes. The technique would allow you to go easy on the items they don't like-salt, fat, etc.-but would still have great taste.

                                    Here's the Food Network link for his smoked salmon....www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/reci...

                                    Good luck and I hope your in-laws don't make you crazy!!!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: erzuli72

                                      I've mentioned this before:

                                      You can stove-top smoke. Line a large, heavy, curved bottom pot with aluminum foil, with enough foil to also wrap the outside of the lid. Toss in a handful of black tea, a handful of uncooked rice, and a couple tbsp brown sugar. Place a rack and what you're going to smoke in the pot. Seal the foil tightly with the lid, wrapping the foil up over the lid edge.Turn on medium heat until you get a smoulder; turn down low until done (experiment).