Spring is here.
In the U.S Northwest, in the crevices of the Cascades, Yakima, Snake and Columbia river, there is no mistaking the Spring. It is everything your books ever told you. Balmy days--with a nip in the morning-- dews, blooming trees and here, the story end. Very very windy days. I actually time my arrival and departure with the winds. No its true :)
But by far the best is the spring vegetables, incredible fish (Salmon) and great wine. I start again with this spring celebration of the Pacific Northwest. At my new home in Eastern Washington.
You will need
A good fresh fillet or steak of Salmon (about a lb)
One lb of asparagus
1/3 lb of red skinned baby potatoes. Cut into halves.
2 cloves of garlic
6-10 thyme sprigs (take the leaves off about five of them. Chop. Leave the rest intact)
Zest of one maybe two lemons
3-5 tbsf olive oil
½ tsp of butter
A hint of cayenne
Preheat the oven to 420 F
In an oven proof baking casserole, place potatoes cut side down. Drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well. Be liberal. Always helps
Bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile peel (or not, peeling does make the eating a better experience) the asparagus. Cut out the thick bottoms. Then slice diagonally. Once. Toss with the thyme, lemon zest, cayenne, salt and pepper and olive oil
Heat a skillet. Make it pretty hot. Smear a brush of butter, once skillet is hot. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Place seasoned side down. Cook for 2-3 min, till it is easy to flip it. The browning helps with the flipping. So if you are not being able to flip your fish, wait. Also its good to season the face up side, while waiting for the other to brown.
Flip and cook for another two minutes.
All of this should be timed (about 10-15 minutes) to be ready for the potatoes to come out. This is the only thing to remember, by the way.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 F
Take out the potatoes—place the asparagus above and within the potato spaces. Places the fish gently on top of everything. Spoon the remains of the garlic oil as well as any butter on the skillet—right on top of the fish. No particular way. Just do it. Thrown in the rest of the thyme sprigs
Back in the oven at 350 (do reduce that temperature) for ~ 12-15 minutes to gently finish cooking. A knife should go through the fish and potatoes easily. No resistance.
Squeeze the lemons all over. Wait for 5-10 mins for the flavors to come together. Serve with some brown crusty baguette. And some Riesling. Enjoy Spring while it lasts :)
Happy eating and healthy living