Many people love fish, but are not savvy as to proper preparation, so they usually only eat it when they can order it at a restaurant. With a few tips and the right seasonings baking fish is easy, lower in calories than deep frying, and can work with many varieties of fish. Chefs will attest to the importance of not overcooking the fish. This will either make it mushy, tough,or chewy, none of which are very appetizing. It is also very important to measure the thickest part of the fish, in this case, salmon. Use a ruler if you have to. The rule of thumb on cooking time is 10 minutes per inch of thickness at a high heat. The rest of the dish is simple. To make baked salmon with watercress and potato puree, you will need the following.
Oven Baked Salmon atop Potato Puree and Watercress Recipe
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless salmon fillets or 4 salmon steaks (skin on.. if there is a bone in your fish, use the best fish fillet knife to cut it!)
- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered (soak in water till ready to cook).
- 1 large bunch washed watercress, stems on.
- 6 Tbs butter, divided.
- 3 – 4 Tbs cooking oil.
- 2 tsp Cajun spice mix or other spice mix with paprika, pepper and garlic salt.
- 1 Tsp dried oregano leaves.
- 3 Tbs milk or cream
- 1 can chicken stock
- salt and pepper
For best results use an oven-proof or cast iron skillet and the best fish fillet knife. I none available, a 9 X 13 pyrex baking dish will work as well, however, the fish will not brown as much. Have all the ingredients handy and preheat the oven since the fish will cook very quickly. Prepare the potatoes about 30 minutes ahead and keep warm. Follow these instructions for perfect results.
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
- Using one Tbs of oil, brush salmon on both sides with oil.
- Sprinkle evenly with seasoning and set aside.
- Rinse peeled, cut potatoes with water, and cook in boiling water 15-20 minutes till tender.
- Drain and quickly add 3 Tbs of the butter, the milk and about 1/4-1/2 cup of heated chicken broth.
- Mash or beat until smooth, adding more chicken broth as needed make a firm puree.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm.
- For skillet prep, heat skillet to medium high. Add oil and the add the remaining butter. Quickly add fish and brown slightly on one side. Carefully flip fish and immediately place skillet in middle rack of oven and bake for a total of 10 minutes per inch, including the browning time.
- For baking dish prep, place baking dish in oven while pre-heating. When ready to cook fish, remove dish from oven, add oil and butter and let melt. Place fish in oil and butter mixture and let sizzle for 1 minute. Carefully turn fish and place baking dish in middle rack of oven and bake for a total of 10 minutes per inch, including sizzle time.
- Plate up the prepared potatoes on individual plates and top with fresh watercress.
- When fish is ready, place cooked portions on top of puree
- Quickly deglaze pan or dish with a few Tbs of chicken broth and pour evenly over fish.
- Serve immediately.
The method is suitable for use on other firm, thick cuts of fish such as halibut or mahi-mahi. For added flavor use 1/4 cup chopped onion to cook with the potatoes. Now it’s easy to enjoy fish at home!
(Here are some great onion choppers for you!)
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