Let’s face it – even if you are a salmon worshiper like me there is no denying it – salmon stinks! (While cooking, that is.) Nothing fills the air of our open-plan home quite like the smell of cooking salmon. My husband can’t stand the smell and, although I know the end result will be deliciously satisfying, I much prefer my home to smell like a Yankee candle than a salmon filet.
I could happily eat salmon every day of the week but because of my husband’s aversion to our house smelling like a fish shop we tend to eat it more during the summer months – straight off the bbq – when the smell of omega 3s can freely waft through the evening breeze, undoubtedly driving all domesticated animals crazy with envy.
One thing I love about cooking is that I know, with absolute certainty, that I can cook every day for the rest of my life and I will still have something new to learn. I have been cooking professionally now for 15 years so you can imagine my surprise when I just recently read that if you slow-roast salmon it does not release its pungent – albeit delicious – odors.
Problem solved. Salmon in the winter was back on the menu and it did not require me donning my puffy jacket and gloves.
One of the best ways of checking if salmon is cooked is when it begins to release streaks of white juice from the sides of the filet. This is a great tip when you are grilling salmon. Slow-roasting the salmon causes the white juices to escape all over the filet (if you like it cooked all the way – personally I like mine slightly undercooked) so the end result may not be as aesthetically pleasing but at least your house won’t smell. If you have a husband like mine who will air out the house in February you will appreciate that ……….and so will your heating bill.
I feel like I’m giving salmon a bad rap here, going on and on about it’s smell. In fact, I’m feeling quite treacherous.
I love salmon.
I CRAVE salmon. The way Argentinians crave beef.
Salmon COMPLETES me. SHOW ME THE SALMON! Too much???
Well, you get my point. It’s good for you and delicious. Add some kale and chickpeas to the mixture and it’s just what the doctor ordered. Dijon and capers are just the icing on the cake. And this recipe, adapted from one of Bobby Flay’s, is easy enough for a healthy mid-week meal so you can throw it in the oven and tend to the children while it slowly cooks away.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 15 oz./400g can of chick peas
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- Himalayan sea salt and pepper
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 1 large bunch of kale, ribs removed
- 4 7 oz/200g skinless salmon filets
- ½ small shallot, minced
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons capers
- Preheat oven to 250F/120C.
- Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the chickpeas and cumin in a bowl and gently smash half of the chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté the garlic for 20 seconds before adding the kale. Toss the kale to wilt for one minute then add ¼ cup of water and toss another minute or two to wilt but keeping it bright green. Season with salt and pepper Toss the kale with the chickpea mixture and pour into a medium baking dish.
- Place the salmon filets on top of the kale and season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little bit of oil.
- Place the pan in the oven and cook 30-35 minutes (possibly less if you have a convection oven - watch it!) until the salmon is just cooked through.
[b][b]For the vinaigrette:[/b][/b]
- Place the shallots, lemon juice and mustard in a bowl or blender. Slowly whisk the oil into the lemon mixture until emulsified. Stir the capers into the vinaigrette and spoon over the salmon.