Tuesday, March 15, 2011

9-minute baked salmon

Delightful Martha. 
There are many reasons why I'm obsessed with Martha Stewart. There's the fact that she's good at everything. The uniform. Her voice, which is surprisingly low for someone who bakes cakes all day, but also very soothing. There's the fact that she's very detail-oriented and doesn't apologize for it- have you ever noticed her correcting a guest on her show? It's awesome. She has a page devoted to all things pets in her magazine. There's the fact that she featured her gay nephew and his husband in Martha Stewart Weddings. 

And then there's the fact that she inspires me to try to be a tiny bit like her. I think we need people in our lives who make us want to be better versions of ourselves. Martha does that to me. Luckily, I can feel a little bit like her every time I attempt one of her recipes. 

In the March 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living, there is a wonderful piece on salmon recipes cooked in parchment paper. I had never tried cooking with parchment paper as my boyfriend and I always bake our salmon on the stove-top. However, I had heard great things, like the fact that baking in parchment allows all the flavors to meld together. 

Besides the fact that the salmon was a bit too oily, the recipe turned out quite well. 

The version from Martha Stewart Living. 
Salmon with Spinach and Chickpeas
Original recipe from Martha Stewart Living 
3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 boneless salmon fillets
1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
2 cups spinach, thinly sliced
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained

I modified the recipe a tiny bit. As for directions:
1. Pulse the garlic, parsley and olive oil in a food processor. 
2. Place 1/2 chopped spinach and 1/2 chickpeas on a piece of parchment paper. 
3. Put one salmon fillet on top. Smear with the parsley mixture and sprinkle some salt and red-pepper flakes. 
4. Fold over the other half of the parchment paper so as to cover the salmon fully. Curl the edges to close fully. 

Bake at 400 degrees F for 9-10 minutes. 12-13 if your fillets are huge (like mine were). 

Healthy tip: Protein should be the size of the palm of your hand. So even if your fillet is twice as large, that shouldn't dictate how much you eat. 

Recipe rating: 4/5
I thought this was a super easy and straight-forward recipe. The prep work was minimal and the cook time was even shorter, meaning I had dinner on the table in under a half hour! 
Mine's not as elegant...

Beware: Salmon is an oily fish. Thus, if you slather on TOO much of the parsley mixture, your already oily fish will be overly so. Thus I would recommend using just enough of the mixture to lightly cover the salmon. Next time I will try using half as much oil...

I served mine with quinoa, which was a fitting accompaniment. 

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