Quick Butter Poached Salmon

Alrightly then… so, yesterday I found myself in the time-constrained position of having to drop my daughter off to work at 4:00 and being there myself at 6:00.  Now, I know me.  I know perfectly well that by the time I get home from work (between 10-11:30 p.m. usually), I will be *starved to death*.  That’s when I have been known to make very poor food choices.  Everything you see below took place between 4:30 and 5:15 as, to top everything off, I got called in early.

What you will need:
Salmon — as you can see mine is frozen.  It’s all good (and this meal wasn’t exactly what one could call “planned out”).  Probably about a pound and a half there.  If you’re cooking for one, one small filet will do.  If you’re cooking for 10, you’ll need more.  I was cooking for between 4 & 7 — I really never know how many people I’m going to have in my house at any given time so I just make enough.  If nothing else, we then have leftovers and breakfasts/lunches are covered.  If you have actually planned your day out and you’ve gotten a beautiful fresh Sockeye filet or something, one will do ya.  These are small little pink salmon, nothing special.  Now, with salmon, wild-caught is always best.  Yes, farmed (any salmon that says Atlantic is farmed) is cheaper, but in this case you definitely get what you pay for as farmed salmon is fed…. yup, you guessed it!  GMO corn and soy.  Did you know that salmon left to their own devices will not eat corn or soy?  Yeah, go figure.  That the farmed salmon are kept in unhealthy cramped conditions just worsens then entire situation.  You are what your food eats.  Pay the extra dollar or two and feed yourself well.
Lemon(s) — one lemon will do you for less salmon than I’m using, two for up to 6 of these small filets.
Butter — for the amount of salmon I used, I used 4 TBl of butter
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and
Dill — a note on dill:  fresh is best.  Once again we’re back to my “oh, shit” moment where I needed to do this on the fly and going to the grocery was not an option to stay within my time constraints.  So today we are using jarred freeze-dried dill.  Needless to say, I slept just as well last night having used the dried stuff as I would have if I’d been a better Martha and not killed the dill in my herb garden or, you know, just have some laying around in my fridge.  But really, the fresh stuff tastes better.
Pre-heat your oven to 350* F
Line a sheet tray with an extra super loooooooooooooonnnnnngggggg (yes, THAT long) piece of parchment paper.  We will be poaching in the parchment which keeps your fish moist, and makes clean-up super simple.  Rinse your salmon off and arrange it side by side in the middle of your parchment.
Slice the ends off your lemon(s) and discard.  Slice the rest relatively thin but not ridiculously thin, you know?
Move back over to your fish, sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and dill.  Top with sliced butter pats.

Place your sliced lemon on top of the butter, and wrap your parchment into a nice little bundle by pulling the long sides together at the top and then folding the shorter sides up on themselves.
Put this, sheet tray and all, in the oven.  If your fish is frozen and you’re using the same approximate amounts I am, set your timer for 20 minutes.  If your fish is NOT frozen, set your timer for 10 minutes.  We’re going for an internal temp on salmon of 120*F.  Overcooking it makes for dry, not-tasty fish.

While the salmon is cooking, we’re going to prepare a sour cream dill sauce to go with it.  If you’re into that sort of thing and all.  I love sauces with my fishes so I’m definitely into that sort of thing.

Place 1 C of sour cream in a bowl, add 1 TBl lemon juice, 2 tsp dried dill (or 1-1/2 TBL fresh dill if you’re so lucky as to have some on hand), 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp prepared horseradish.  Stir.

Well, that’s done,  now we’re just waiting on the fish to finish.
This is what it will look like when you open your parchment pouch. Use a thermometer to check the internal temp — again aiming for about 120* F.
Remove the lemons before serving.
Dinner at 11:30.  On a paper plate.  Any food photographer worth their salt is absolutely rolling over right now.  You know what?  I don’t care.  The whole point of this site is REAL FOOD.  I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but I don’t make all of my meals to look like they came out of a magazine.  I make them to EAT them.  So I purposely did not dress this one up.  You have salmon, you have sauce, and you have a twice-baked potato courtesy of my son, on a paper plate at 11:30 p.m.
What you do not have is the remains of a fast-food drive-thru binge eating session because I didn’t realize I’d be hungry when I got home.  That’s the important part.

To recap:

1)  Parchment paper.  Just go buy some.  We will be using it a lot around here.  I love cooking, I hate cleaning.  Parchment alleviates a lot of unnecessary cleaning.
2)  Wild-caught salmon really does make a difference to your body.  Don’t sell yourself short.
3)  You can make real food in the same amount of time it would take you to get in the car, drive to the place, wait in the line, pay at the window, and drive home.

Happy Eating!!


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