Last Tuesday was St. Patrick’s Day and no one in this household likes what is sold as “corned beef” in the supermarkets. In fact, except for Chris, my son-in-law whose family is from Boston, we do not favor “boiled dinners” (everything thrown into the same pot and boiled). For us the classic dish for Irish Day is the Salmon of Knowledge.
Note: This weekend is Chris’ birthday week and as his dinner he has requested New England Boiled Dinner (i.e. corn beef and cabbage). Sigh.
Many of the “traditional” Irish salmon recipes call for citrus fruit that most of the Irish would not have had on a regular basis. I finally found a recipe that gave me the idea I was looking for on Irish Abroad, roasted the salmon on a bed of leeks. However, when I tried making it before it could not be considered a great success, the fish came out dry and not very flavorful.
The original recipe was a bit fussy. First, steaming the leeks in the oven, and then roasting the salmon on top. I liked the basic concept, but there had to be a better and easier way.
Note: The last time I made this dish, I did not think it made a difference if the salmon was on top of the leeks or the other way around. I was wrong. The buttered leeks basted the salmon, both flavoring and protecting the meat as it cooked. This is a quick and easy dish that produces moist, flavorful salmon.
Karl’s Roasted Salmon with Leeks II
1-2 leeks, sliced finely
2 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. water
1 tsp. Kosher salt, separate uses
1-2 lb. salmon filet (depending on how many you are feeding)
½ tsp. ground pepper
Lemon wedges (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Put the sliced leeks in a microwave/oven-safe casserole. Sprinkle with one half teaspoon of salt and add the butter and water.
Tip: How many leeks you use depends on the size of your filet.
Note: Use a flat casserole that is large enough to allow the filet to lay flat. If necessary cut the filet in half to fit.
3. Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and microwave it on high for one minute.
4. Stir, to mix in the butter, and pull the leeks to the sides of the dish.
5. Scale and pat the filet dry, but do not remove the skin.
6. Place the salmon, skin down in the open space of the casserole.
7. Salt and pepper the salmon and cover it evenly with the leeks.
Tip: Grind a bit more pepper over the leeks.
8. Put the casserole in the oven, uncovered, and roast until salmon is opaque, about 10 to 12 minutes.
9. Serve in the casserole with lemon wedges and a side of Colcannon.