If you have ever been nervous about cooking fish, this is the recipe to help you overcome your fear. Baking salmon in its marinade is a foolproof way to ensure your fish stays tender and moist.
While marinating fish adds moisture and flavor, keep in mind that fish is delicate. Whether baking or grilling your fish, these basic tips will help you do it like a pro.
Baking a fish like salmon in its own marinade ensures the fish stays tender and moist. Make sure you use a nonreactive container to marinate the fish.
First, fish should never be marinated longer than 1 hour. A highly acidic marinade, one containing lots of vinegar or citrus juices, can actually cook the fish or seafood, so you need to use such marinades only for short periods.
When marinating anything in an acid, such as lemon juice, wine or vinegar, be sure to use a nonreactive container. Cookware made from glass, ceramic, plastic or stainless steel is all nonreactive and safe to use. Plastic storage bags are also a great, mess-free option. Avoid cookware made from aluminum or copper when marinating because those metals will react with the marinade and give your food a metallic taste.
Most marinades are interchangeable with different fishes. The lemony marinade in this recipe is also delicious with other types of light and flaky fish such as tilapia, orange roughy and halibut, as well as shellfish like scallops and shrimp. The cooking times may vary slightly depending on thickness.
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tbsp. dry white wine
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced into rounds
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 boneless salmon filets (4 to 6 oz. each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a shallow nonreactive baking dish, whisk together the lemon juice, white wine and oil. Scatter the shallots, lemon slices and thyme sprigs evenly across the bottom of the pan. Place the salmon filets, flesh side down, into the pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but no longer than 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 385 degrees.
Remove the pan from the fridge, and let it stand until the fish is to room temperature, about 10 minutes on your kitchen counter. Turn the fish over, so the flesh side is up and the skin side is down, and place it back in the marinade. Generously season the fish with salt and pepper. Bake the fish in the marinade for 30 minutes, or until cooked to desired temperature. Serve immediately.
Source: "Simply Suppers" by Jennifer Chandler
Jennifer Chandler is the author of "Simply Salads" (Thomas Nelson, $24.99) and "Simply Suppers: Easy Comfort Food Your Whole Family Will Love" (Thomas Nelson, $24.99). She is the national spokeswoman for French's Mustards and French's French Fried Onions. She lives in East Memphis with her husband and two daughters.