Sunday, June 17, 2007

Baked Salmon ala Mayonnaise

Baked Salmon ala Mayonnaise

Steven first introduced me to this salmon dish many years ago during the teenage period when I hated mayo. I definitely raised my eyebrow when I heard mayo and salmon in the same sentence. In my mind, why ruin a perfectly good piece of fish by slathering it with something like mayonnaise? Well after I reluctantly tried a bite of the salmon, it wasn’t bad. When I recently bought some Copper River salmon, this was the first dish Steven asked me to make. Go figure. I'm not sure how common this particular salmon preparation is but I'm guessing this recipe probably isn’t everyone’s cup of tea since lots of people dislike mayonnaise. The main purpose of the mayo is to keep the salmon moist so I don’t use too much. After baking, the mayo is no longer goopy and mayo-like, instead it forms a light and tasty crust on top of the salmon. The original recipe used only salt, pepper, and mayo to top the salmon. I had to make it more interesting so I added some sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest, and Dijon mustard.

Baked Salmon ala Sun-dried Tomato and Lemon Mayonnaise

1 lb salmon fillet
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed of oil and minced
Zest from half a lemon, about 1 tsp
1 tsp of Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Take the salmon out of the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before cooking to let it warm up a bit.

Adjust an oven rack to the upper middle position. Line a baking pan with a sheet of foil, coat the foil with some olive oil, and lay the fillet on the pan skin side down. Salt and pepper the top of the salmon.

In a small bowl, mix together the mayo, mustard, sun-dried tomatoes, and lemon zest. Using the back of a spoon or a spatula, coat the top and sides of the fillet with an even layer of the mayo mixture.

Broil on the upper middle rack until the top is golden brown, a few minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees halfway through so the crust browns evenly. After broiling, if a paring knife cannot be inserted cleanly into the fish, or if it does not flake, then turn off the broiler, and return the fish to a 400ºF oven and finish baking the salmon for a few more minutes.

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