Salmon and salsa: a Megan-simple recipe

Guest post by Sarah H-M

Since the cooking challenge we are FLUSH with Megan-simple recipes for cooking beginners. Try this out and let us know in the comments how it goes! Bonus points for video.

Photo by M. Janicki, used under Creative Commons license.
I hate cooking and this is a simple meal that Megans can totally handle.

INGREDIENTS:

  • baking dish
  • foil
  • fresh salmon
  • jar of salsa (preferably with a citrus flavor like mango or peach)
  • rice
  • a veggie (I like glazed carrots with this, but broccoli works too)


DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Lay a piece of foil in the baking dish. It should be big enough to fold over the salmon, so at this point the ends are hanging out of the dish.
  3. Place the salmon in the center of the foil. Sometimes the fresh stuff comes with skin, sometimes it doesn’t – it depends on where you buy it. If it has skin, put is skin-side down on the foil.
  4. Pour the jar of salsa all over the salmon.
  5. Close the foil up like a little tent — fold the ends in, too. This means that everything will cook inside the foil and you barely have to clean your baking dish, yay!
  6. Cook for about 20 minutes. It should be flaky when cooked through.

Serve over rice and eat with a veggie and you have a quick and easy meal — yum!

Comments on Salmon and salsa: a Megan-simple recipe

  1. I make mango salsa, and I promise that it’s pretty easy stuff. It’s uhmayzing on grilled pork chops and chicken.

    1 mango, diced
    1/2 an onion, diced (white or red)
    A sensible looking bit of cilantro with the stems removed and chopped up

    You can add in other stuff if you want. A red bell pepper, cucumber, tomato, a jalapeno. But I like the plain version.
    As a note, I know that I linked to the proper method for cutting up a mango. But I just hack the shit out of the mango, and it comes out just as delicious.
    As a second note, I HATE mangoes. But I like this salsa. Cilantro is possibly what alchemists were missing when trying to make gold.

    • I make the same salsa all the time, I usually add in avocado, red pepper and jalapenos as well. It is a great basic recipe! Definitely worth a shot

    • I’m going to try this. It sounds great. A cucumber sounds intriguing with the mango. Thanks for the recipe!

    • I too HATE mangoes but love mango salsa.

      Plain mangoes taste like floor cleaner to me. Bleh.

      • Then you can’t have ever had a ripe mango. Because mangoes TASTE LIKE YOU’RE EATING SUNSHINE.

        But cilantro, on the other hand, tastes like I just ate chemical-treated plastic…. 🙂

          • I read that it is genetic. But this article talks about other reasons.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/dining/14curious.html

            “The senses of smell and taste evolved to evoke strong emotions, he explained, because they were critical to finding food and mates and avoiding poisons and predators. When we taste a food, the brain searches its memory to find a pattern from past experience that the flavor belongs to. Then it uses that pattern to create a perception of flavor, including an evaluation of its desirability.

            If the flavor doesn’t fit a familiar food experience, and instead fits into a pattern that involves chemical cleaning agents and dirt, or crawly insects, then the brain highlights the mismatch and the potential threat to our safety. We react strongly and throw the offending ingredient on the floor where it belongs.”

    • This method will also work with other squishy fruits like ripe nectarines, peaches, papayas, and plums… basically, any fleshy fruit with a big, hard pit in the middle. So you could even do cherries, but I’d start with canned or frozen for that, as pitting cherries is tedious.

      Yay for “Megan-simple” becoming a metric!

  2. Awesome! If rice is too hard (and Lord knows I still can’t get rice right) then this would be really tasty with a baked potato or fresh bread as well.

    • I *always* failed at rice until just about a month ago, when I happened across a different way to cook it:

      – put some rice in a pot
      – put enough water in to cover it to the depth of about a finger-segment above the rice (I have tiny hands, but this still works for me!)
      – put on lid, boil
      – once boiling, turn down to simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes
      Rice is done when there are tunnels (they look like small, sunken pockets almost?).

      I don’t know what it is, but the 2:1 water:rice ratio never, EVER worked for me. My rice was always dry and gross. But now I can make fluffy rice! 😀 Hopefully this helps others!

      • Ok, I have always wondered – are you supposed to STIR the rice ever? I have this mentality that anything on the stove must be stirred frequently, but no matter what I do my rice is wet or dry. 🙁 Maybe I shouldn’t be stirring? Nobody ever specifies…

        • Never ever stir the rice ever! In fact, don’t even lift the lid! (This is especially difficult if you don’t have a see-through lid. You can lift the lid after like 10 minutes of simmering if you suspect it to be finished, but be very quick and then close it up right away.) Every lift of the lid will let valuable moisture escape.

          I haven’t found a good solution to boiling over, yet, as usually my solution is remove lid and blow repeatedly on the rising bubbles, so I’ve just been standing by and lifting it off the burner, waiting til the bubbles go down, setting down, waiting for it to return to boil, rinse and repeat until the simmering temperature has settled.

          • Yes, if you have super heat holding pots (like ours) or a relatively high “low” setting, you might need to occasionally just turn the heat OFF (as long as you don’t remove the top. With our pots I’ll often bring to a boil, turn to low til it boils over, turn off for 5 minutes, and then turn back to low. Or, if I’m willing to take the extra time, just turn it off and leave it un touched for about 20 minutes. Its all about getting to know your pots and your range.

    • You can cook rice with the pasta-method. I’ve tried it a few times after I read it on a blog somewhere recently, and it makes super-fluffy rice!

  3. Damnit! I don’t eat fish. BUT! I just might find a willing victim who does and attempt this. The video will probably show a lot of squeamishness with me dealing with raw fish. 😉

        • Damnit, I don’t eat chicken OR pork. I only eat turkey and cow when it comes to animals. I’m a freaking weirdo. This is why we made the challenge week mostly vegetarian, in order to not drive Cat nutso.

      • If Megan doesn’t eat chicken, white meat turkey cutlets are possible.

        In general, for raw-meat squeamishness, if you buy it in roughly the form you intend to use (so, boneless, skinless fowl bits rather than the on-the-bone kind) so you can toss it straight into the pan with minimal direct contact, life is just plain nicer. The cost-per-pound looks higher, but you’re not paying for parts a casual cook won’t use.

          • Yes, but I’d Google for a similar chicken recipe to check the cooking time. Some general guidance:

            1. If the recipe calls for a slab of fish in a sauce, you can usually substitute fowl, but it’s likely to require a longer cooking time for the same size piece of food.

            2. If the recipe calls for de-skinned, de-boned chicken breasts, you can virtually always substitute the boneless, skinless turkey cutlets from the packaged meat section (Jennie O is one brand) and the cooking times will be about the same.

            3. If the recipe involves putting pork chops in a 350 oven with a stuffing/dressing or sauce, it should also work for turkey cutlets. But this is only for recipes that started with a pork chop — not a big hunk of meat like a pork loin.

  4. We’ve started cooking all our fish in the toaster oven. (The kind with the door in the front, not the stand up bread kind)

    If we’re only making two pieces, why heat up the place with the oven. Especially in Summer.

    Spray the little baking pan with cooking spray, lay out the fish, cover with dill-mustard or in this case salsa, & bake on the same 350. (Bake for a similar amount of time, I’m not sure on the timing.)

    But Salmon is done when the white part starts to ooze out. If it all comes out, it’s over cooked.

    This is our favorite new rice – http://www.lundberg.com/products/rice/Lundberg_Black_Japonica%E2%84%A2.aspx

    Never sticky & the coating makes a little crunchy texture. Though is does take an hour to cook.

    • OMG I love my slow-cooker in the summertime. I had an apartment that the kitchen was in full sun, all the time, and in the middle of a super-muggy Michigan summer (while in the hardest semesters of culinary school no less), the last thing I wanted to do was heat up my house with the oven and certainly not stand in front of it!

      I think we lived off the crockpot that year. It’s certainly come in handy since.

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