Thursday, January 8, 2009

Something's Fishy

One of the reasons we eat so much chicken is because of my irrational fear of having my kitchen smell like fish. Luckily, one of my brilliant college roommates taught me a genius way to cook salmon without the smell (really one one of the only useful things I learned sophomore year), and since then I have been a complete devotée of this method, especially when the weather is too cold to use the grill outside.
All you do is season individual salmon fillets with lemon juice, the fresh herbs of your choice (any combo of dill, parsley, chervil tarragon and basil would be delicious) salt and pepper (an an optional pat of butter) and then wrap them in pieces of parchment paper and aluminum foil, forming fish "packets". I always place them on rimmed sheet (just in case they spring a leak or something). They only take about 10-15 minutes to cook in a 400 degree oven, and the foil and parchment contain the scent and the moisture, resulting in stink-free, flaky, steamed fish. Unwrapping the packets always reminds me of eating fish steamed in banana leaf on tropical vacations. I usually serve the fish with rice (you could continue the tropical theme with white rice with diced red onion and cilantro) and some fresh veggies, which turns out to be a meal that is light and healthy, quick to make, a snap to clean-up, and decidedly un-smelly.

On a side note, we also once used this method to cook salmon in the dishwasher on a bet. If you put the dishwasher on it's hottest mode, don't add detergent, and let it run a full cycle (including drying), the fish packets will come out steamed to perfection. Make that two brilliant things I learned sophomore year...


danish fan said...

Have you any helpful tips for steaming Dim Sum in the Kenmore Dishwasher ,when the stove in a modest dwelling is completely occupied and arriving guests with a baby sitter problem have introduced a dinner timing glitch?

tiana16 said...

i missed this lesson sophomore year and didn't learn til after college : )! I like to cook my fish packets with a can of crushed or stewed tomatoes (especially good with white fish) which makes them instantly delicious AND keeps the fish from being dry.