Tuesday, October 9, 2012

French Onion Crusted Salmon

salmon with french onions
Living on the Oregon coast, seafood and salmon is readily available in the market.  During the fishing season it's a hot topic among friends, family, neighbors, and in daily news.  There's always several news pictures of folks catching 30 to 40 pound salmon during the annual fall run!

I'm lucky that relatives fish and share some of their catch.  But when on sale, I also stock up as we enjoy making smoked salmon.  Years ago I obtained this recipe from a friend who hosted an annual outdoor salmon bake for around 120 people. 

Large fillets were prepared with this topping, placed in foil boats, then baked on an outdoor grill.  I adapted the recipe for personal use serving smaller quantities.  The topping is also good on other kinds of fish.


French Onion Crusted Salmon 
4,  4 to 5 oz. salmon fillets or one large fillet (1 to 1/2 pounds)
1 pkg. French Onion soup mix
1 stalk of finely diced celery
3 cloves of finely diced garlic
3/4  cup of melted butter
salt and pepper
Baking sheet or dish and foil

Preheat oven to 450.  In a small fry pan, saute celery and garlic in a tablespoon of butter until translucent.  Remove from heat then stir in remaining butter and onion soup mix until combined.

Light salt and pepper fillets. Line baking sheet/dish with enough foil to lay out and hold fillet/s skin side down. Fold up sides of foil so it holds melted butter and juices. Spoon mixture over the top of each fillet to cover with an even coating of the onion mixture.  Bake uncovered for about 10-15 minutes. Do not turn over fish while baking.

Butter and juices from fish will blend as it bakes, so about every 5 minutes open the oven and with a spoon, pick up juices and baste fillets until top is browned and mixture forms a moist crusty top. If not enough basting juices, add a little bit of water. Fillets can vary in thickness, so allow 5 to 6 minutes of cooking time for each 1/2 inch of thickness.  Bake until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.  Serves 4.

Alternately, for just one or two small fillets I've also prepared in a pan on the stove top on medium high heat, basting the fish as it cooks.

Estimated cost: Salmon here can range from $4 - $8 a pound during the year. If purchasing, I never pay more than $5 a pound, then stock up. This recipe costs around $6.50 or about $1.62 per serving.