Real Girl's Kitchen: Not-So-Basic Salmon

Every year, my brother-in-law, Mike, goes on a fishing trip with all the men in their family.  Lots of fun and male bonding (yes, guys need that too) for them, but AWESOME for us. He comes home with a cooler filled with huge pieces of halibut and salmon – cleaned, cut and individually wrapped. It is such a treat that I jumped at the chance to get my hands on it. The color, the taste… all around fantastic.


My B.I.L. Mike (left) and his brother Paul

It’s not everyday you get to eat wild salmon, caught by a loved one straight out of the ocean… but that brings us to a good point. You should choose wild caught salmon whenever possible. The farm-raised salmon are grown in overpopulated pens, fed fishmeal thats almost always contaminated with PCBs (a highly toxic chemical) and are hopped up on all kinds of antibiotics. Not to mention, they are fed a (non food grade) dye that turns their grey bodies pink.



Now, with this gorgeous fish comes major pressure. The last thing I wanted was for it to break apart or even worse, for me to overcook it. There are lots of ways to prepare salmon. I’m sure you have even heard of “dishwasher” salmon (if not it’s totally worth a google) but if your fish is good, no one way is better than the other. Unless you have a fool-proof, guaranteed way… (cue the music) which we do.


 So, while it won’t KILL you…let’s do out environment, bodies and these fish a favor and not support the salmon farms. They are good to us with their Omega 3’s and beauty benefits. Let’s be good to them.

Okay, I’ll get off the soapbox now.

The thing that makes this technique special is the combination of grilling, baking and broiling… all in one pan. The fresh herbs sprinkled across the top are just the icing on the cake.


How to:


Heat an iron or oven safe skillet to med-high heat.

Pre-heat your over to 375 degrees.

Season salmon with a drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper (and if you like, some lemon pepper).

Once pan is hot, spray really well with a non stick cooking spray. (I like coconut oil, it’s great for high heat.)

Drop a tablespoon of olive oil in your pan and place your salmon on top, skin side down.

The fish should crackle when it hits the pan.

Let it be for about 3 minutes, or until you can see the bright orange color turning into a lighter pink.

Wiggle it a little to make sure the skin isn’t sticking but don’t flip!

Remove from stove top and place in oven. It will take another 3-5 minutes to be almost done, depending on the size of your fish.

Switch your oven from bake to broil and watch the fish closely!

The broiling will brown the top beautifully and give it some good texture.

Remove from oven, sprinkle on the chopped herbs and give it a big squeeze of lemon.

Serve with a big green salad or grilled vegetable, like asparagus, and a glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir.

*Salmon should be eaten at medium/medium rare, go in knowing that you can’t undercook it.*


xo, HD


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