Friday, 19 June 2015

Perfect Salmon

I nearly always have fish when I am out, mostly because I do not like the smell of fish cooking and avoid cooking it inside. In Summer or warmer weather I will barbecue it but really cant be bothered with the barbecue in cold weather. Over the years I have experimented with baking, steaming and microwaving all in an effort to minimise the smell associated with fish cookery. My most recent effort has been to use the 'sous vide' method.

I do not have the the sous vide machine but was able to successfully replicate the technique using a large pan of water and a digital thermometer.

I was very happy with the finished salmon fillets, they remained moist and best of all had no cooking smell.

I will continue to use this technique for fish and will possibly purchase the correct machine but only after I borrow my friend Tina's to experiment with. I do not buy electrical gadgets unless I am convinced that I will get a lot of use from them.

This is the technique that I used to replicate the sous vide method

I used my vacuum sealer, however, I think you could use a ziplock bag. Put the fish inside the bag and squash the air out then put that bag inside another ziplock bag and squash the air out.

Place salmon fillet(s) in a vacuum pouch, add a tablespoon of lemon olive oil. Use the vacuum sealer machine to remove the air and seal the pouch.

I refrigerated the salmon overnight hoping that some additional flavour of lemon would develop but it is not necessary.

Put a large pan on the stovetop and try to keep the water temperature to 50 deg C. This is probably the biggest challenge and why the proper machine is a good idea, it has a thermostat that will maintain the selected temperature.

The pan needed very little heat to maintain the temperature and was only just slightly in contact with the burner. I was able to steam some vegetables on the same burner.

The pouch of salmon was placed in the water and cooked for forty minutes. Single pieces only need about 15 minutes. Remove the fish from the pouch, discard the juices and serve.

For a crispy skin

Pat fish with paper towel to dry.

Use a non stick pan, and heat to very hot. Spray the salmon skin with some cooking spray and place skin side down onto the hot pan, it will sizzle a bit and cook for about a minute or less. Only cook the skin side.

The finished fish will have a crispy skin and will start to change colour and go paler on the skin side.

The texture of the cooked fish is moist and cuts/flakes nicely.

To serve

I like to keep it simple, a little lemon olive oil and some lemon juice and chopped parsley.

A perfect Winter dinner -  perfect salmon with steamed vegetables.

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