Oven-steamed salmon with dill mayonnaise. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles…)
According to Food editor Russ Parsons, this oven-steamed salmon is one of the easiest dishes you'll ever make:
"Here's all you do: Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Put the salmon on a baking sheet. Put a baking pan on the floor of the oven (or on the lowest rack) and fill it with boiling water. Cook. Yup. That's it."
The salmon is ready in about 20 minutes, when the fish just begins to flake. While it's cooking, whisk together a quick dill mayonnaise (mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, fresh chopped dill and shallots and a little lemon juice), and you're good to go. The salmon serves six to eight, perfect whether you're serving a large family or are looking for leftovers for the next couple days (the salmon is just as good chilled and tossed in with a salad later on).
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Oven-steamed salmon with dill mayonnaise
Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8
1 (1½- to 2-pound) salmon filet, in 1 piece
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup minced fresh dill
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1. Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the salmon, meat side up, on a cutting board and feel along the surface of the flesh with your fingertips just above and below the midline. If you feel pin bones, pluck them out with tweezers or needle-nose pliers. Season the salmon with one-half teaspoon salt, or to taste, and place on a jellyroll pan lined with lightly oiled aluminum foil.
2. When the oven is ready, place a baking pan on the floor of the oven and fill it with boiling water. Place the pan with the salmon on the rack. Cook until a paring knife or toothpick penetrates the flesh easily, 20 to 25 minutes. Note that the flesh will be somewhat denser than usual and that it won't change color as much as with other cooking methods.
3. While the salmon is cooking, prepare the dressing. Combine the mayonnaise, shallots, mustard and dill in a food processor or blender or use a mortar and pestle and puree until fairly smooth. There should still be some dots of herbs visible. Add lemon juice and puree again. Taste, correct seasoning and set aside.
4. When the salmon is done cooking, there will probably be some white collagen collected on the surface. Moisten a pastry brush with oil and lightly brush it away.
6. Serve the salmon on a large platter with a bit of the mayonnaise spooned to one side. Serve the remainder of the mayonnaise in a bowl to pass. Tell your guests to scoop up the salmon with a spoon, leaving the skin behind.
Each of 8 servings: 407 calories; 21 grams protein; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 35 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 71 mg cholesterol; 0 sugar; 406 mg sodium.