"Try cooking salmon like this, and you might never cook it any other way again," claimed this recipe I found on Global Gourmet, taken from Michael Schlow's cookbook It's About Time: Great Recipes for Everyday Life. I had to put those big words to the test; having cooked salmon by poaching in oil, poaching in water, grilling, roasting, and broiling with a glaze, this method would have to be pretty impressive to beat them all.
The slow-cooking of fish is meant to turn the flesh particularly succulent—even custardy—so that it doesn't become dry or crumbly, which happens at higher heats. Poaching in oil is meant to accomplish the same thing, but I'm sure of one thing: Throwing it in a low oven is a lot easier than using cups and cups of oil. Here it's paired with a mixture of cabbage, bacon, and onion, a kind of nod to Alsatian choucroute, which normally features pork, and makes this a satisfying cold-weather dish. It's an interesting pairing with the fish.
The fish was indeed wonderful, and I'd recommend this method, though I missed the boost of flavor that comes from high heat and caramelization. But either way, it's a good technique to add to your repertoire.
- 1 head savoy cabbage, halved, cored, and roughly chopped
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup water
- 4 fillets salmon, 4-6 ounces each, skin removed
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 250°F. In medium saucepan, place bacon and heat over medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered from bacon and bacon is beginning to crisp. Add onion and cook for an additional minute, then add cabbage and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until cabbage is tender, 20-25 minutes, adding more liquid if necessary. Once very tender, season with salt, pepper, and half the dill.
In the meantime, season salmon fillets with salt and pepper and place salmon on non-stick sheet pan. Drizzle olive oil over fillets, top with half the dill, and finish with small knob of butter. Cook 15-18 minutes for medium rare, or up to 25 minutes for medium, depending on thickness of fish. Remove from oven and drizzle with lemon juice.
Divide cabbage and salmon among plates and garnish with more fill, if desired. Serve immediately.