happy anniversary of the postal strike of 1973! (you thought i was going to say happy st. patrick’s day, didn’t you?) while i do enjoy the holidays that allow me to have a few days off of work, the only holiday i really celebrate is halloween. i have a dress up box, how could any other holiday be my favorite? i do my best to ignore the rest.
holiday time on the food blogs drives me crazy. i can see the use of thanksgiving recipes and christmas cookie postings since those are some pretty food-centric holidays, but really, why is it necessary to make everything pink in february, and then green in march? soon we’ll see a million ways to make bunny or egg themed food followed by a week of margaritas for cinco de mayo, a highly misunderstood holiday but an easy excuse to get drunk and eat mexican food. are there really so many people having holiday themed parties for their friends that this stuff is necessary? and why the hell are we not making mlk’s favorite dishes for mlk day and russian food on international women’s day to commemorate the holiday started by russian women? well.. i supposed that may be my mission in the future.. to give you recipes for all my favorite non-commercialized holidays. stay tuned for may day. i can’t think of anything other than deep dish pizza and chicago dogs to celebrate the holiday started in haymarket square.
so on this st. patricks day i give you something not green at all. but it is good food appropriate for dinner tonight or any night (unlike green food coloring). this lemon garlic salmon is my version of comfort food. it is a go-to recipe for any frozen fish since it keeps it moist and juicy but it is my favorite for any fish since it’s what i grew up eating at least once a week. (yes, be jealous you didn’t grow up with the regular seafood consumption of an alaskan. although, you probably didn’t get tricked into trying octopus soup by your parents either.)
before i get into the recipe, i want to quickly alert you to the fact that not all salmon are created equal. i’m sure they’re all nice, but if you care about quality you will get coho (silver), chinook (king), or sockeye (red) salmon. marketers try to fool you to buy salmon with names like “keta” but to alaskans you’re eating dog or chum salmon (not appetizing, huh?). same goes for the “pink” salmon the stores are hawking but we call them humpies and when my parents were fishing they were used as bait or thrown back. not a suitable meal—in this case there is a reason for the price difference.
so here is one of my favorite recipes. add a slice of buttered bread and a vegetable and you will have one of the best (and most simple to make) meals of your life.
lemon garlic salmon
1/4 cup butter
3 cloves garlic
1 pound salmon
1/8 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
divide the butter into small chunks and place in the bottom of a 8×8 inch baking pan. run the garlic through a garlic press and scatter in the bottom of the baking pan with the butter. place the salmon on top of the butter and garlic (cut into pieces as necessary to make it fit).
juice half the lemon into the mayonnaise and stir in salt and pepper. spread a thin coat of mayonnaise mixture onto the salmon. cut the remaining lemon into thin slices and place on top of the salmon. cover dish with foil.
bake at 350 degrees for a suggested 12-15 minutes.*
*i ended up baking mine at 350 for 15 minutes and then another 5 minutes at 400. this is probably because i prepared the dish ahead of time and put the whole thing in the fridge. regardless, the important thing here is to check often and stop baking as soon as the fish flakes in the center. there is nothing better than well cooked fish and nothing worse than overcooked fish.