Spanish olive oil.
Dutch salted licorice.
I am an adventurous eater, and I love trying new recipes in the CasaRock kitchen. But I admit – I’m a snob when it comes to certain things. My list is short but important, and everything on the list has a story connected to it. When it comes to salmon, Brad is the culprit of my snobbery. Years of business meetings in Seattle spoiled him with freshly caught salmon, and his discriminating taste was then passed on to me. There is something different – and so much better – about salmon from lovely, chilly west coast waters.
This week, Brad and I smiled as the snobbery was passed to the next generation of kitchen adventurers. Salmon was the star of a special birthday week dinner, served with fresh green beans, jasmine rice infused with herbs, and crusty bread drizzled with olive oil and accompanied by an aged gouda called Robusto. The meal was perfect for a night under the stars in Arizona as we sang our celebration. The chef who had selected every menu item and worked on every recipe beamed as his little sister Tyler ate each bite on her plate. “It’s really good, isn’t it, GiGi?” he asked.
Yes, Little Man. It’s very good.
Chef Sawyer may only be six, but he knows what he’s doing when it comes to food – especially salmon. His recipe is simple, light, and delicious, and he said I could share it with my friends, because he thinks everyone will like it.
I agree. In fact, Sawyer’s Super Salmon is on the menu for our next family dinner here in Texas. You’re invited, you know. Remember, all are welcome for a little #kitchentherapy.
Sawyer’s Super Salmon
(from 6-year old chef-in-training, Sawyer Rock)
4 – 6 oz Pacific salmon filets (we use Coho salmon)
¼ cup olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons (especially fun when Tyler picks them from her own backyard)
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 t. lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 t. fresh dill, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 375. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, and dill, and set aside. Tear four sheets of parchment paper (big enough to wrap your salmon filets “like giant pieces of candy”).
Place one salmon filet in the center of each sheet, and drizzle the olive oil mixture evenly over each filet. It’s OK to put some by the sides of the salmon, according to Sawyer, because you want a bunch of flavor.
Top each drizzled salmon filet with two lemon slices. Carefully wrap the salmon in the parchment paper by first folding the sides up, over, and together to seal, and then twisting the ends like candy wrappers. “You gotta twist ’em really much.”
You want to make sure your parchment paper is folded tightly so the steam stays inside. Place the parchment-wrapped salmon on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Carefully open the parchment to release the steam (“that’s a grown-up thing”), and serve.
When you make this recipe, send us a photo so Sawyer can cheer for you! And let me know, what items would be on your “snob” list?
Oh, and by the way, here are a couple of cooking tips from CasaRock:
- Rather than water, use vegetable broth to cook rice. As Sawyer says, “the flavor goes inside and makes it taste good.”
- Use vegetable broth also when steaming green beans to add great flavor. Then transfer the steamed green beans to a pan and sauté gently with a little finely minced shallot and a good dollop of butter until the shallots are just tender.