Monday, February 28, 2011

You CAN cook fresh fish at home: Homemade Salmon Fillet with Sweet Potato Fries

I recently read in my friend Louise's blog that she didn't cook fresh fish at home. In the same week I spoke with at least 3 other friends who said a similar thing about being intimidated by cooking fish or thinking that cooking fish would stink up their house. I think I even remember my mom saying that to me a while back when I said I'd made salmon for dinner. Well, I want to set the record straight right here and now! Cooking fish is easy and it does not stink up your house if you do it right! Let's address these issues one at a time.

1. Myth: Cooking fish will stink up your house. There are two things you can do when handling and cooking fish that will leave you with a kitchen that smells only of the wonderful aroma coming from your oven.  The first rule of a non-smelly kitchen is to remove the wrapper that your fish came in and put it in your outside trash. Most smell from fish comes from the wrapper in your trash can. The second rule is never fry fish in your house! I grew up in the south, and know that there's nothing better than fried fish. But like we do it in the south, have your fish fry outside, not in your house.

2. Myth: Cooking fish is hard and should be left to professionals in restaurants. If you can turn on your oven, you can cook fish. The key to cooking good fish is to not over-cook it. I've cooked both farm raised and wild salmon and have found that the wild salmon needs less cooking time. As long as you watch the clock and take your salmon out of the oven at the right time or even a little early you'll have a delicious, healthy dish.

I tend to be more of a naked cook, meaning that I don't like a lot of sauces or embellishments on a good piece of meat or fresh veggies. We eat a lot of steamed or roasted veggies with little more than salt and pepper on top. The same goes for a nice piece of meat or fish. That said, below is a recipe for salmon with a simple sauce for those of you who prefer toppings on your fish. Along with that is a recipe for very simple sweet potato fries that my kids love! Speaking of kids, a family member said the other day that kids don't like fish. Well, I beg to differ! Salmon is one of my daughter's favorite foods. Maybe it's because we live in the Pacific Northwest, but fish is not an icky food in my house; quite the opposite.

Hopefully some of you out there who believed Myths #1 and #2 above will give this recipe a try and see how easy it is to prepare your own fresh, healthy, tasty fish in your own home!

Salmon Fillet with Dill Mustard Sauce
1 lb salmon fillet (preferably wild, but farm raised is ok)
1/4 C prepared ranch dressing (organic preferred)
1 Tbs prepared Dijon mustard
1 tsp dried dill weed
(if you prefer a crunchy topping, you can mix in a few Tbs bread crumbs to the sauce)

1. Run your hand across the top of the fillet to make sure there aren't any bones. If you feel a bone remove it with your fingers or a pair of pliers used in the kitchen.
2. Mix ranch dressing, mustard and dill in a small bowl. Mix in bread crumbs if you are using them.
3. Place fillet skin side down on a greased cookie sheet. spread mustard mixture evenly over top of fillet.
4. Place fillet in an oven preheated to 350 degrees and cook for about 15 minutes for wild salmon and 20 minutes for farm raised or thicker fillet. Salmon should flake easily with a fork when finished. If the salmon does not flake when you take it out and still looks too dark on the inside, put it back in the oven for 5 minute intervals until it's done to your liking.

Sweet Potato Fries
1 large organic sweet potato (red or white sweet potatoes are ok, red are sometimes called yams in the grocery although they really aren't yams...but that's a story for another time)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 gallon zip top bag

1. Cut sweet potatoes into sticks that are fry sized making sure that no stick is more than about 1/4 inch thick in either direction.
2. Put fries into zip top bag then add oil and salt. Squeeze out all the air and zip the bag. Squish potatoes around until they are well coated with oil and salt.
3. Pour potato sticks onto a cookie sheet or baking dish in a single layer then roast for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees turning sticks over half way through cooking.


Check out Daily Organized Chaos' Wednesday Recipes as well


  1. looks so good. We made some sweet potato fries on Sunday night and everyone loved them! This whole menu looks great to link up with tomorrow! ;-)


  2. Hi,

    I have a question about your site, would you mind emailing me back @


  3. Salmon and Sweet Potato fries is a great combination.

    I put my fish into milk bath to get rid of the smell and fishy taste for 30 minutes.

    Thank you for linking up to Foodie Wednesday.

  4. That salmon fillet looks STUNNING! I want to gobble it up right now!



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