Foolproof Fish

You know what I love about home-cooked meals?

Well, besides everything?

I love what a strong cultural indicator it is.  I’m not going to get all sociological on your asses, don’t worry.

Alls I means is this:  you know how you grew up with a certain dish or two that your parents always made and thinking everyone always ate it, too?  And then, come to find out, you go to school and none of your friends seem to know what you’re talking about?

For example, I always grew up with Swedish (or Norwegian, which is what the are) meatballs.  You know, the little ones with brown gravy that you get at IKEA?

When my little 4th grade friends had meatballs, they were big and covered in marinara.  I mean, what is that all about?

Anyway, I think fish often falls along the “well, I ate it this way when I was a kid” line.

My parents made halibut a lot.  And sometimes swordfish (this was before the whole dangerous levels of mercury studies came out).  It was almost always broiled.  Sometimes, during the summer, we’d grill it.  But mostly it was broiled.

As an adult, whenever I think “fish for dinner”, I think of a big ol’ filet, dressed simply (not even marinated) and broiled.

And I also usually think of salmon.

Because salmon is awesome.

And I literally don’t think making it could be any easier.  If you’re a new cook, or just don’t usually cook with fish, this is a good one to start with.

Start with some quality salmon filets.  If you can get wild salmon, DO IT.  I realize that this may sound like it goes against everything I stand for, but this is one time when spending a few extra doubloons will serve you well.

Farm raised fish is: a) not as good for you because they add a bunch of crap to it, b) horrible for the earth, and c) is often artificially colored.

All you need to make this salmon is:

An oven with a broiler
A broiler pan
Extra virgin olive oil
Dried tarragon
Seasoned salt (I used this seafood seasoning)

And it’s really this simple:

1. Spray a broiler pan with cooking spray or brush with oil.
2. Place fish on pan skin side down and brush with olive oil.
3. Sprinkle tarragon and/or seasoned salt on fish.
4. Place under broiler, on highest rack and broil until the fish is light pink and flaky (about 10 minutes for a 1 inch thick filet).

That’s it!  Just be sure not to overcook the fish.  When in doubt, pull it out of the oven and test it with a fork.  If it doesn’t flake easily, stick it back in.  If it does, you’re done!

Another thing that = fish in my book:  homemade tartar sauce made lovingly by my dad.

If my dad isn’t available, you could probably make your own.

It’s pretty much just mayo and chopped dill pickles.  You could add lemon to it if you wanted to be fancy.  But I’m not that fancy.

Edited to add: There’s also a wee bit of worchestershire sauce in my dad’s mix.  You could probably leave it out if you don’t have any, but you might think my dad’s recipe sucks.  Consider yourself fairly warned.

And that, my friends is how I make fish.  Plain and simple.  If your mom made it some other way, I don’t want to hear about it.

This 9 year old likes her fish this way just fine, thank you very much.

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