Saturday, September 13, 2008

Lemon and Dill Butter Baked Salmon

The time has come my little friends, I must share with you how to make Salmon. Salmon has been my staple meal for the past several years. It's the base of all cooking I know. Growing up we'd eat Salmon quite often, and even visiting my grandparents their house smelled of Salmon (not always a good thing, but I loved eating it when they had just made it- usually on Friday afternoons.) Don't be intimidated by fish- it's one of the easiest and most nutrient dense foods you can make.

Lemon and Dill Butter Baked Salmon

You'll need:
~1lb Wild Salmon
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (enough to coat pan and drizzle fish)
Fresh Lemon Zest or dried Lemon Peel,
Fresh or Dried Dill
Butter ~2tbsp

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. 1lb salmon = ~4-5 servings. Coat baking pan with extra virgin olive oil. Place Salmon in pan skin side down (or you can go skinless.) Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over salmon fillet. Here's where you can choose what goes on.
 Easiest way: Sprinkle dried Lemon peel and dried dill weed over salmon. A little more fancy: Zest one lemon over the salmon, or a lime, chop fresh dill and rub over salmon with the zest. Then place pieces of butter over the fish and seasonings. Then butter will melt over the Salmon as it cooks. Bake for about 10-15min depending on fillet thickness.

Serve with my Grandmas Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe!

Salmon fillet with fresh dill, lime and lemon zest, topped with butter to be melted!

When fish is done, I flip it over and scrape the skin off with a think metal spatula. It comes off much more easily when it's cooked, but be gentle with the delicate fish. Note: Keep as much brown fat on the salmon as you can. OR just serve with skin on! Serve with Lemon slice from zested lemon.
Sides that go well: wild rice, cheesey twice baked potatoes, steamed broccoli, buttered carrots, olive oil and almond wilted spinach.

A different event of salmon, but showing the nourishing white fat when Salmon is cooked.

Why Butter, you ask?

Lesson in fats: Salmon, especially wild salmon, is high in Omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential fats, as in -we NEED these fatty acids in our diet, because our body cannot make them on their own. Omega 3's are necessary for every cell in our body. (They are a part of the cell membrane and keep our cells working properly, if we don't have enough Omega 3's, our cells suffer, and we are more likely to develop chronic debilitating diseases like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, etc.) Butter helps our bodies absorb and assimilate MORE of the Omega 3's from the fish. And the brown fat on the has the highest amount of Om 3's on the fish! I suggest getting your fish with the skin on, because a lot of the brown fat is removed if you buy it skinless. But hey- any salmon is better than none! Also Salmon contains beloved vitamin D, and this is a fat soluble vitamin, so you need fat with it to absorb it!

Why Wild?

Wild Salmon has been shown to be higher in these essential Omega 3 fats, aka, EPA and DHA. It is higher in antioxidants, and low in mercury. Wild salmon get their rich pink hue from eating wild pink shrimp. Farmed Salmon are likely to be contaminated with mercury and other contaminants. This is because farm salmon are kept in close quarters with other fish and their waste is all around them. They are in a "fish farm" and can have high amounts of pollutants (like mercury) in their water. They are also fed "fish feed" it can include anything from corn, to grain to faux shrimp. Their feed is Dyed pink to DYE the salmon their pink color. Ew! It makes me sad that Salmon are being genetically engineered to tolerate grain and corn as the only aspect of their diet. Salmon are what they are because they eat shrimp!
You need Omega 3 fats (especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, bc these are taken from mommy's Brain if she doesn't get enough for baby's brain development in her diet.) If all you have access to it farmed Salmon, some is better than none. But you'll want it less frequently (once a week) to avoid mercury contamination. Have wild salmon or other fish 2x per week at least. And on days you don't have fish, take a fish oil- EPA/DHA 1000mg supplement. Or take a 1tsp high vitamin Cod liver oil. (Yes, I just started taking cod liver oil this month! It's better than a pill and easier to swallow!)
I could go on and on about Omega-3 fats. There is just so much about it to know. Ask me your questions, tell me your thoughts...


Mandy said...

That looks so good! When I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, they said that Alaska Wild salmon is the most eco-friendly salmon to buy--so you're also doing the ocean a favor while avoiding mercury contamination.

Elizabeth said...

That's good to know about the Alaska Wild. Thanks for sharing. :)

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