That “he” in my title is my husband, Phil. He has never liked salmon. We have been married 50 years and he just doesn’t like salmon, tuna or any meaty or oily fish. In fact, when we were first married, I loved to make salmon patties with a creamy white sauce and peas. It was canned salmon; a really economical dish for two broke, 18-year-old college students. Unfortunately, try as I may, he would take a couple of bites, eat the peas, sop up the cream sauce with a slice or two of bread, and proceed to helping himself to a big bowl of ice cream. That was how I always knew if he didn’t like something I cooked. He is not a sweets guy and only ate ice cream when he didn’t like what I made for dinner. Jump forward a few decades and he still didn’t like fish, especially salmon. But soon that would change.

Finally, a salmon dish my husband liked, and it wasn’t even my recipe. When we were visiting our families — my sisters, his brothers and sisters and two family reunions in Ohio a few years ago, we stayed with my sister, Paula, and her husband, Roger. One evening she decided to bake a beautiful, 2-pound salmon filet that she bought the day before to make for us. Now Phil, the nice guy that he is, didn’t tell her he hated salmon. At dinner, to my surprise, he loved my sister’s salmon dish. I mean he really, really, really liked it. I had never cooked salmon that way. I usually marinate, grill, broil, pan fry, poach or bake it en croûte and top it with one of several amazing sauces or salsas and crab, shrimp etc., you get the point. So, when she served this baked salmon and Phil liked it, I had to get the recipe from her. She was a bit hesitant; I think because it is so fast and easy. So here it is, Paula’s baked salmon. Thanks sis, it was delicious! So now, “Please join our table” as we enjoy Paula’s Salmon and a few other dishes.

Sister Paula’s Easy Baked Salmon

2 pounds fresh wild salmon, pin bones removed, or 4 salmon filets approx. 6 ounces each

1/3 to 1/2 cup Duke’s Mayonnaise (or any real mayo of your choice)

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning

1 lemon, juiced and then sliced thin (save the juice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and pat salmon dry. Place on a baking sheet, spread mayo on top of salmon, and sprinkle with lemon pepper and lemon juice. Lay lemon slices on top of the mayo-coated fish. Bake in oven approximately 20 minutes or until well done. If using 6-ounce filets, your baking time will be about 7-10 minutes. (I made this with the larger fish but put 1/2 teaspoon hot sweet mustard on the salmon before spreading on the mayo).

 

Salmon with a bouquet of added herbs and flavors.

Fancy Flavors Mayo Salmon

2 pounds fresh wild salmon, pin bones removed, or 4 salmon filets approx. 6 ounces each

2 teaspoons lemon pepper

1/4 teaspoon kelp flakes

2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped (I don’t use the stems)

1 teaspoon capers, chopped

1/2 cup Duke’s Mayonnaise

1 1/2 tablespoons (approx.) lemon juice, (juice of 1 lemon)

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 lemon, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pat the salmon filets dry and place on a parchment paper-lined baking pan or sheet pan. Season each with salt and kelp flakes. Finely dice the capers and dill. Add the mayonnaise and lemon juice to a bowl and stir in the capers, dill and garlic; mix well. Spoon the mayo mixture onto each of the salmon filets and spread it out evenly in a thin layer. Top each of the salmon filets with a slice or two of lemon.  Bake the salmon in the oven for 7 minutes. Sprinkle with additional dill before serving. 

Note: You can always make a pocket meal on your outside grill of any of these dishes. Simply place the salmon on heavy-duty aluminum foil and add all the ingredients per recipe. Wrap the aluminum up around the salmon, creating an airtight bag and place on pre-heated outside grill. Cook to desired doneness.

Karen Boughton
Author: Karen BoughtonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I grew up in a big, Greek, cooking family. I married my high school sweetheart and soon had three daughters. My husband and I worked in the family’s Greek restaurant, “Zorba’s,” for several years before moving to Baton Rouge and eventually Corpus Christi. There I taught microwave cooking classes for Amana.in studio and on television for three years before moving to Kingwood in the late '80s. I reached out to learn more about regional and international foods, spending 16 years in management in private athletic/dining/country clubs for ClubCorp, where I embraced health and cooking. In 2008 I joined the Tribune Newspapers as food editor, the same time that I became a nutrition advisor and USANA Health Sciences Associate. These two passions have given me better health and the freedom to live life my way.

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