Salmon with lemon and capers

We’re getting fancy in this kitchen today.

Is salmon even considered fancy? Whatever, it doesn’t matter. Salmon is totally fancy to me because, let’s be honest, I’m not that far removed from my ramen noodle days. I’m also not that far removed from my “calling my mother because I can’t remember if it’s okay to throw a bathmat in the washing machine” days. But again, whatever.

Also, let’s pause for a second. I wasn’t going to bring up the whole “I haven’t blogged in forever” thing but now I feel guilty. So I’m sorry. Not that I think you depend on these posts to get you through the day, but rather because I’m a weirdo and feel the need to bring up things that others probably don’t even care about. Plus, life is just crazy right now and I seem to be getting more emotional by the second and I’m pretty sure it’s mainly because I’m the actual crazy one but it could be a little because I found out my favorite tennis player moved to Texas (yay!) but has a girlfriend (boo!), and that said girlfriend isn’t me (DOUBLE BOO!!). Womp womp.

So yea, we should go back to talking about food….that seems safer. You like fish, right? This one is healthy, super easy and simply delicious. Emphasis on the simple. The first time I had this was at my college newspaper advisor’s house. A few weeks later I tried to remember everything that was in it, and ended up making this recipe. It’s been so long that I don’t actually remember if mine tastes like hers, but I like it anyway. So there!

Aside from being fancy, cooking salmon makes me feel like an adult for two specific reasons. Firstly,  nobody, and I mean NOBODY can cook salmon as perfectly as my mother. I swear, the woman has a fish timer in her head! She always knows when salmon is perfectly done. I’m pretty sure once she put a beautiful, delicious piece of salmon in the oven and then left to go to the store, but managed to call my dad and let him know the exact moment he needed to take it out. And people! Salmon isn’t one of those things that’s always done in 20, 25, 30, etc minutes. It depends on the cut, thickness, your oven, pan, whatever. What I’m saying is that you need to check the salmon with your own eyes to see if it’s actually done but that my mother does not need to actually see it with her own two beautiful eyes because she has an inner salmon clock. Ditto with shrimp. The seafood bar is raised extra high in our household. I think the only time she raved about someone else’s salmon was when she was visiting my brother in Seattle and he got up early, walked down the street from his apartment and bought a super fresh fish from an actual fisherman. Like basicallystillalive fresh. So yea, of course it’s going to be good. Show-off.

The other reason cooking salmon makes me feel like an adult is because the skin is so disgusting and gross and freaks me out like no other, so actually making it through the cooking process makes me feel all mature and junk.  The only thing that scares me more is a snake. So essentially it’s the second most freaky thing in my life…but, but buuut it’s so delicious I can’t stay away! I literally cringe, and squeal every time I have to touch salmon because the skin is SO GROSS. It’s like slimy and scaly all at the same time! Grossssssssss. And to bake salmon you HAVE to keep the skin on which means at some point or another you’ll have to touch it. Raw meat in general is pretty gross and I turn into a total stereotypical girl when I have to deal with raw chicken or sausage, but fish skin takes the cake – the gross, I don’t want to touch kind of cake.

Now I need to follow the above paragraph with the expected “this is so good and super easy to make!” spiel. I realized I’ve set myself up for failure, if for no other reason than that I used the word “gross” five times while talking about a dish that I made and want others to enjoy. But listen. This dish is good. And it is easy. And you should totally eat it after you’ve forced someone else to make it for you while you sit around being fabulous.

Salmon with lemon and capers (serves 2-3)

1 lb salmon

2 t olive oil

1 small lemon

salt and pepper

1/4 red onion, finely diced

1 T capers*

1 garlic clove, finely minced

2 T olive oil

1/4 t red pepper flakes

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Lay salmon on baking sheet – gross skin side down. Drizzle fish with 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut a few thin slices of your lemon and lay a few down on the salmon. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the salmon is fully cooked and flakes easily with a fork. Remove lemon slices.

While the salmon is baking, mix together the onion, capers, garlic, red pepper, olive oil and a squeeze of  lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste. When the salmon is done spread the topping over it and serve immediately.

As you can see I made asparagus with my salmon. It will take longer to bake, so just stick the pan back in after you take the salmon out. If you have no patience like me, you can raise the temperature to 425 so the asparagus will cook quickly. No biggie.

*If you don’t like capers you can use black olives in this. I did this for my mom and she really enjoyed it – just make sure to chop the olives up really finely.


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