Monday, August 29, 2011

Slow-Baked Salmon with Lemon and Thyme

After a few crazy weeks at work and a weekend in St. Louis I am back in the game!  It feels so great to be back in the kitchen again.  Sunday night when I talked to Alex I told him that I was dying for salad and healthy food.  The past few weeks I had been eating crap and over the weekend in St. Louis I ate like a kid again - Chick-fil-A (which was absolutely delicious), turkey sandwiches on white bread with mustard, Doritos and cheeseburgers.  It was all awesomely nostalgic and tasty, but by the end of the weekend my system was crying uncle.  If things had gone as planned, I would have been back in NYC Sunday night eating salad, but to make a long story short the hurricane hit and my flight back to NYC on Sunday was canceled due to the hurricane, which resulted in my boarding a flight to DC and then taking the bus up to NYC today.  Once I got to NYC I was all about salad and seafood, both of which I haven't had in far too long.

This recipe was one that I saw in Bon Appetit earlier this summer.  I am always trying new salmon recipes, even though I am fairly well convinced that no salmon recipe could possibly be better than Tyler Florence's Salt and Pepper Salmon.  Even though I don't think I can beat that recipe, I keep gathering new salmon recipes to try.  I have a recipe from Mark Bittman for Four-Spice Salmon that is next on my list.  I guess hope springs eternal that one day I will find the absolute perfect salmon recipe.  This recipe was nice, and very different from most of the other recipes we have tried, but it still can't compare.  I liked the flavors of the thyme and lemon with the salmon.  I also liked how moist the salmon stayed from roasting it at such a low temperature.  But the flavors of the lemon and thyme mixture didn't penetrate down into the fish was much as I would have hoped.  So if you got a bite of salmon that didn't have any of the lemon and thyme mixture on it, the salmon was fairly bland.  But if you had a bite with the lemon and thyme mixture, it was very flavorful.  I guess there are two solutions to that problem: (1) make more of the lemon and thyme mixture and rub it all over the sides of the salmon as well as the top and (2) marinate the salmon in the mixture in the refrigerator overnight.  I'm not sure which option is the better one.  I suppose you could hedge your bets and do both.  All things considered it's not a bad recipe, but I have other salmon recipes that I prefer.  And the search continues...

Recipe after the jump!

Slow-Baked Salmon with Lemon and Thyme
Adapted from Bon Appetit
May 2011

1/2 tbsp evoo, plus 1 tsp evoo, divided
1/2 tbsp butter, melted
2 6-8 oz salmon fillets
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tsp lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 lemon wedges (for serving)

Preheat oven to 275°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Brush with 1/2 tablespoon oil. Place salmon fillets, skin side down, on prepared baking sheet. Mix remaining oil, melted butter, thyme, garlic and lemon zest in a small bowl. Spread thyme mixture over salmon fillets, dividing equally. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand 10 minutes to allow flavors to meld. 

Bake salmon until just opaque in center, 15-18 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

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