Ess, Ess/Eat, Eat

Jewish World Review Oct. 18, 2001/ 1 Mar-Cheshvan 5762

Simple, Stylish Salmon

By Ethel G. Hofman -- One of my most precious possessions is a cookbook passed down to me from my mother. In a well-thumbed copy of "Cooking the Jewish Way," Spring Books, 1961, the author, Ann Wald, regards salmon as the "King of Fish" citing it as the most expensive fish.

Not so forty years later.

Today, salmon farming makes salmon plentiful and one of the cheapest fish available. Much of the salmon farming is located in Canada and Norway. Wild salmon which is much more expensive is caught in the pristine rivers and oceans of Scotland and the Pacific North West.

Besides being rich in flavor, color and eye appeal, fresh salmon is a nutritional bonanza. It is a valuable source of the essential Omega-3 fatty acids which have been linked with protection against heart disease, alleviation of arthritic pain, protection against certain kinds of cancers and provides a boost to the immune system. Salmon is low in salt but high in protein, containing all the amino acids needed in the human diet as well as rich amounts of thiamin, niacin, vitamins B12, D and E.

To preserve the natural flavor, Escoffier noted that "salmon should be served as plainly as possible"...but goes on to suggest it be fried in butter. The recipes below bypass the butter, but flavors are boosted and retained with the addition of fresh dill and easy cooking methods. Besides, you'll find home made gravlax a whole lot cheaper and tastier than that bought in the supermarket.




Preheat oven to 400F. Spray 4 squares (18x18 inches) heavy duty foil with non stick vegetable spray. Place a salmon fillet on each piece of foil. Arrange potatoes, tomatoes, sugar snap peas around. Sprinkle with scallion and dill. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning. Fold foil over fish and vegetables to form a loose package. Tuck in ends to seal. Place on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes. Steam is hot so open carefully.



  • 1 pound salmon fillet, skin removed
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 tablespoon dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Cut the salmon in 4 pieces. Place in enough boiling water to almost cover. Add the vinegar. Bring to simmer and cover. Cook 10-15 minutes or until salmon is opaque throughout. While salmon is cooling, combine the mayonnaise, vinaigrette dressing and mustard. Set aside. Remove salmon from the cooking liquid. Separate flakes with a fork and place in a medium bowl. Pour the mayonnaise mixture over. Add the onion, capers and parsley. Mix gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with brown bread or pumpernickel rolls.



  • 3/4 pound salmon, cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound small red potatoes, cut in 1/2-inch chunks
  • 4 small white mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place the salmon, onions, potatoes, mushrooms and dill in a medium saucepan. Add enough boiling water to barely cover, about 2 cups. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover and continue cooking for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Combine the butter, flour and sour cream to a make a smooth mixture. Drop half teaspoonfuls into the salmon mixture. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


SERVES 10-12

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless salmon fillet
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 bunch fresh dill

Rinse salmon and pat dry. Rub a little vegetable oil over surfaces. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix the salt and sugar and tiny pinch nutmeg. Spread half the dill over the bottom of a 2 quart, non-metal, shallow dish. Cover with half the salt mixture. Place salmon, skin side down, on top. Cover with remaining dill and salt mixture, pressing into the salmon. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Weigh down salmon with a 5 pound weight (such as a bag of sugar or flour wrapped in a plastic bag.) Refrigerate 2 days, turning once. Unwrap and run under cold water to remove the dill and salt mixture. Pat dry. Using a sharp knife, slice salmon as thinly as possible on the diagonal. Serve with bagels, cream cheese and sliced sweet onion. May be refrigerated 3-4 days or wrap tightly and freeze. Remove from freezer to refrigerator, at least 24 hours before needed.

JWR contributor Ethel G. Hofman is the former president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, whose members include the likes of Julia Child. She is the author, most recently, of Everyday Cooking for the Jewish Home: More Than 350 Delectable Recipes.


© 2001, Ethel G. Hofman