Can this recipe be made on the stove instead of in the oven?
My friend gave me a recipe for an incredible delicious salmon dish. She baked hers, but I can't use the oven right now because it's so warm here (we don't use the oven from May until September), and I'm wondering if I can cook it somehow on the stove.
The recipe: (in her words)
Saute some onion and garlic until nicely browned
Add parsley and cilantro
Add 2 nice tomatoes
Cook for about 10 minutes total
Add a can or two of chickpeas, and lemon juice, as well as some preserved lemon
Cook for a minute or two
Then put salmon in a pan and cover with the above mixture
You can add sliced potatoes to the pan as well.
Bake for about 25 minutes
Can I do this in a saute pan on the stove? Just add the salmon to the pan and then cover and cook?
It was SOO delicious!!!!!!
What I would probably do (in order to avoid burning and/or uneven cooking) is: start by cooking the salmon (in a hot pan so you get some good crispness) until it is just a couple of minutes shy of where you want it. Remove to a plate. Then go on with the vegetable parts of the recipe, and cook those on the stove top, stirring occasionally, until they're a couple mins shy of done as well. Put the fish back in, cover and allow all the flavors to mingle for a couple of minutes. Everything will be done to your liking and no risk of breaking up the fish or burning anything. Plus, you get a nice sear on the fish!
I agree on the Dutch oven; in a pinch most pans with a good lid would do but generally the heavier the pan, the better. I recommend browning the onions first, then adding the garlic for just a minute or two until you see it beginning to turn golden. If you cook garlic 'til it's actually darkened at the very outset, you could get a bitter undertone.
Mamachef is right- this will go pretty quickly on the stovetop once the liquid is hot and the salmon goes in. If you use potatoes I'd use fully cooked ones to avoid the risk of undercooking them, at least the first time you try it. Thinking a bit more on this, you may want to simmer it uncovered for ten minutes after adding the chickpeas, to reduce the liquid a bit and marry the flavors, then add your fish, cover, and check the pot every couple of minutes.
I also concur with GHG about adding the parsley & cilantro towards the end of cooking; this ought to give you a brighter, more herbal result. And you might think about finishing with another little squeeze of lemon juice. Before it goes to the table, breathe it in and taste it; check out the balance of herbs and lemon, and trust your tongue.
But if the salmon is mostly submerged, then heat from the upper sides and lid of the pot is not particularly important. In fact, given the poor thermal conductivity of cast iron, the lid of a large Dutch Oven might get most of its heat from steam, not conduction through the pot sides (on stove top).
When I last did the salmon steak, I used cast aluminum - an induction compatible skillet, and the lid from an aluminum dutch oven.
if you happen to own an enameled Dutch oven, i've found that the way they conduct heat gives you results more similar to oven-baking than a standard saute pan will.
the only other thing i'd suggest is to hold off adding the parsley & cilantro until the last few minutes. delicate, fresh herbs like that don't fare well with long cooking times - they tend to lose their flavor and turn muddy.
If using a fillet, I'd consider cutting it into smaller pieces, just so it easier to gently stir things around, even turning the pieces over if there isn't enough sauce to cover.
Recently I made something like this using a thick salmon steak. In that case, I removed most of the cooked vegetable solids from the pan with a slotted spoon, then added the salmon and cooked it covered. There was only a 1/2 inch of liquid in the pan at this stage. I also turned the steak. Then when it was almost done (I test by gently trying to flake the meat near the bone), I added back the solids, and let it gently cook for a few more minutes.