Until just recently, my children knew of only two types of animal protein: “chicken” and “meat”. The chicken category included not only chicken, but also fish, pork and turkey. And the meat category included beef, venison, and sometimes ham. They were told to “eat your chicken” or “eat your meat”, no matter what it was. This was mainly to avoid the whole “eeewww, I don’t like fish/pork/turkey” reply for as long as possible.
Apparently, Jessica Simpson’s mother never got past this point with Jessica, but we have now started to call things by their real name, and the kids have become curious as to where all their food comes from, so we have to tell them that, too. And since they have eaten these things before and like them, they can’t really argue about eating it just because it has a strange name.
It actually worked pretty well, and now they even have favorites, like salmon, their favorite fish. I have to agree with them. I’m a big fan of salmon, too. Especially when I can get it fresh to cook at home, like this Scottish Salmon I bought at Earth Fare. I took the idea to make an herb butter for it from my newest cookbook, Scots Cooking: The Best Traditional and Contemporary Scottish Recipes by Sue Lawrence. In her book she uses lemon thyme, which I think would be great, but I substituted dried dill and it was delicious also. I used some of the leftover butter on tuna steaks and that was fabulous, too.
This method for cooking salmon is the best, in my opinion, because it makes the top of the fish crispy and golden. You can then top it with any sauce you like, and it will be a hit with the whole family. Even if you call it chicken.
Scottish Salmon With Herb Butter
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 teaspoon dried dill (or 2 tablespoons fresh, finely chopped)
- 4 salmon fillets, 8 ounces each, skinned
- olive oil
- Beat butter until smooth, then beat in dill and add some salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon on to a piece of aluminum foil or plastic wrap and mold into a log, roll up in the wrap and chill until solid.
- Rinse and pat dry the salmon, and put it on a plate. Rub it all over with olive oil and set aside for 30 minutes.
- Heat a heavy skillet until very hot. Rub some oil in the bottom with a paper towel and add the salmon, top down.
- Turn after about 2 minutes, when a nice crust has formed and season with salt and pepper.
- Continue to cook until just done, about 2-4 minutes, depending on the thickness.
- Cut off discs of the butter and serve on top of the salmon.