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How-To

Cooking Salmon Simply for Full, Rich Flavor

Easy to find and quick to prepare, salmon tastes great baked, braised, or sautéed

Fine Cooking Issue 19
Photos: Phillipe Houze
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Salmon is an easy fish to love. When cooked, it has a delicate pink color, a tender texture, and a rich flavor. It’s also relatively inexpensive, it’s easy to handle, and it can be prepared almost any way (but not deep fried). James Peterson is our instructor for Salmon 101, and he begins with how to buy salmon, whether a whole fish or, more likely, fillets and steaks. He then addresses the removal of small bones from fillets, and larger ones from steaks. (The larger bones in steaks are easy to eat around, but for a nicer presentation, you can remove the bones and shape the steaks into medallions; a series of photos shows you how.) He outlines three quick ways of cooking salmon during winter: baking (the simplest), braising (which creates a sauce base), and sautéing (which brings out flavor). The downside of sautéing is salmon’s tendency to stick even to a nonstick pan, and Peterson offers some tips to help solve that problem. He also shares his ways of determining doneness. Recipes include: Soy-Glazed Sautéed Salmon; Braised Salmon Steaks with Cilantro; and Baked Salmon with Garlic & Herb Crust.

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