Friday, April 12, 2013

Alaska: Baked Salmon with Lemon and Dill

Bishop's Beach, Homer
We spent the last ten days of March roaming around Alaska.  We flew into Anchorage 8 hours late after missing our flight out of Denver the night before, and headed south towards the Resurrection Pass Trail.  After a hut-trip-gone-awry with too much snow and moonlight skiing, we crashed in the town of Kenai.  We spent the next few days cross country skiing and exploring the beautiful Kenai Peninsula, especially Homer where our friends Katie and Grant live.  Homer has amazing food.  We gorged on Seafood at the Mermaid Cafe, ate delicious baked goods at Two Sisters Bakery, and sampled local beer and wine (we would recommend the beer... Alaska should maybe leave the wine to warmer climes).

We also spent a couple nights in where we cooked wild crab and baked local salmon.  I grew up with salmon a weekly staple.  My mom barbecued it, baked it, broiled it, poached it, and served it smoked.  The most valuable lesson I learned from her cooking was that you should never over season a good piece of fish, or you will ruin it.  The below recipe is tried and true.  I have made it at least twice a month for many years, and my mom made it many years before me.

Baked Salmon with Lemon and Dill

  • 1 salmon fillet (I usually buy 3/4 pound for 2 people)
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 lemon
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Place the fillet in a large baking dish taking care to avoid the flesh touching the edges of the pan.
  3. Cut the butter into small pieces and divide evenly over the fish.
  4. Coarsely chop the dill and spread over the fish.
  5. Thinly slice the lemon and place on top.
  6. Grind some pepper on top and season with a very small amount of salt.
  7. Cover with foil or a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
  8. Uncover and bake for another 5-10 minutes (depending on thickness) until you can see white fat emerging from the flesh, and when the flesh is divided with a fork the very middle is still slightly dark.
We spent the rest of our time in Girdwood, Anchorage, and Talkeetna skiing and dog sledding.  We ate wonderful pub-style seafood at F Street Station in Anchorage and enjoyed excellent beer at the Denali Brewing Company in Talkeetna.

Homer Marina

View of Iliamna Volcano, Kenai Peninsula
Lake Ski, Soldotna
Diamond Beach

Moose in Homer
Homer Overlook
Night Drive: between Homer and Girdwood
Turnagen Arm

Talkeetna, AK
Girdwood, AK

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