Now it’s officially Fall. I’m sitting in my house, watching the gale force winds test the trees in my backyard. It’s cozy inside. I’m sipping a nice cuppa tea, the puppy is keeping my toes warm and I’ve got dinner in the oven. It may be a weeknight, but this slow-roasted salmon is SO easy that it’s a go-to any day of the week. It can also be dressed up to the nines for company, and the beauty of roasting it is that it’s really low maintenance. Fun fact about moi - I cook almost everything in the oven. I don’t like managing too many pans (not to mention the clean-up!) and I prefer a hands-off approach. Oven risotto? Yeah. Vegetables? Throw ‘em in the oven. Roasted shrimp? Bring it!
The other thing I absolutely love about this method is that there’s no lingering fishy smell in the kitchen. You can burn all the scented candles you want, but there’s no masking that stubborn stench. The scientific reasoning behind this no-odor method, has something to do with the proteins not reaching a certain temperature at which they start to let off THAT smell. Sounds too good to be true, right?!
This method also melts the fat slowly, making it nearly impossible to overcook the fish, delivering a very moist and tender result. This is super important for me as there’s nothing worse than overdone, hard fish. I like mine opaque, where most people are wondering if it’s cooked enough, but you can leave it in longer if that’s your preference. No judgment😜
I came across this method on Epicurious a while ago and have used it for cod and haddock as well, it worked beautifully!
So now to the nitty-gritty. I’ve gone with salmon tacos here, which I always used to avoid. I love fish tacos, but salmon just didn’t seem like a good match for a taco. Oh, the ignorance 🤷🏻♀️! After reading some rave reviews somewhere, I gave them a whirl and now we’re hooked. The thing with tacos, is that the toppings are just as important as the seasoning of the protein. So spice up the salmon with a few hits of cumin, oregano, salt, and chili, squeeze over some lime, and then do not, under any circumstances, forget the salsa, pico and pickled onions. You’ve got yourself a winner, winner weeknight dinner!
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 teaspoon olive oil
6-8 oz. salmon filet, bones removed, skin on
1 teaspoon dried cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or chipotle chili powder (more if you like 🔥)
1 lime, finely grated zest and juice
Quick Pico de Gallo
Take the salmon out of the fridge 20-30 minutes before you plan to cook it. Preheat the oven to 300F (150C). Line a baking tray or roasting tin with aluminum foil and brush it with the olive oil.
Place the salmon filet on the foil, skin side down, and sprinkle with the spices. Use the measurements as guidelines, you don’t actually need to measure them. I just sprinkle from a good height, straight from the jar, to ensure an even distribution. Roast in the oven for 15-18 minutes. A 1-inch (2.5cm) thick filet will be closer to 15 minutes. Stick a blunt tipped knife into the middle of the filet to feel if it’s cooked. If you get a lot of resistance, it needs another minute or two. If you can get it through easily and it flakes, it’s done. Remember that it will continue to cook a little more when it’s out of the oven.
Zest the lime over the fish and squeeze half of the lime juice over it (use the other half for trimmings). Flake the fish into chunks, and serve with all your favorite taco toppings.
Watch this space for more ideas to take you through the seasons, from an alfresco summer meal to a festive dinner party!