Monday, July 21, 2014

Slow Bake Asparagus and Shallots w/ Rosemary and Lemon Basil Salmon

I know what you're all thinking. You're thinking that you need a shallot and asparagus recipe that you can combine with a salmon recipe that you can cook all at the same time, on the same baking sheet! It's here friend. Let me revolutionize the way you cook asparagus and salmon together. Introducing my Slow Bake Asparagus and Shallots w/ Rosemary and Lemon Basil Salmon! 

Image 2A

1/2 bunch of asparagus
1 large shallot
2-4 cloves of garlic (How much garlic do you like?)
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of fresh basil
? olive oil
12 oz salmon fillet

Instructions for experienced cook:

See Image 2A above: Replicate. Cooking Temp: 275° Cooking Time: 21-23 min. 

Instructions for inexperienced cook:

Image 2B
Preheat oven to 275°. Place your baking sheet on your counter top. Take out your roll of aluminum foil and unroll it to approx. 2 inches longer than your baking sheet. You likely won't have to worry about the vertical size. Rip off sheet of aluminum foil. Place the foil on the baking sheet. Place your left hand securely in the middle of the foil pinning it down to the middle of the baking sheet. Use your right index and middle fingers to press foil down around the inner perimeter of the baking sheet to line the inside. This will create a "pool" for extra oil and juices that will be easy to contain and clean when you're finished. Take your bunch of asparagus and remove the rubber band from around the circumference of them. Some people take this opportunity to run them under cold water to "clean" them. Once they're clean shake them about a bit over your sink to get the loose water droplets off. Hold the asparagus loosely and pat the blunt side of them gently against your counter top. To even out the bunch. Now lay them out on a safe cutting surface. I use a cutting board. Once they're laid out you can cut the ends off the bottom of them all simultaneously (See Image 2B for example). Now that your asparagus is ready place them on the left side of your baking sheet. (See Image 2A for example). Locate your shallot. Cut off both ends and remove the outer layer. Slice your shallot into pieces roughly 4-5mm wide. Scatter shallot pieces generously across the top of your asparagus which are now where? That's right, on your baking sheet! Drizzle olive oil over the top of your shallots and asparagus. Use your judgement. You don't want your shallots and asparagus to be "soaked" with olive oil, though you also don't want them to be dry. If you feel this is a fickle distinction then you can pour some olive oil into a small bowl and using a brush simply paint a healthy amount of oil over the shallots and asparagus. Add salt and pepper (to taste). Locate your cloves of garlic. Cut the end off and skin 1-3 cloves. Mince your garlic cloves, or as I prefer you can use a garlic press. Take the sum of your garlic efforts and spread them over your asparagus. Take your rosemary and hold it by the top of the stem above your cutting surface with your thumb and your forefinger. Use the same fingers on your other hand to strip the stem of the needles in a downward motion. Collect the stems into a pile on your cutting surface and chop them into small pieces. Sprinkle them over the top of your shallots and asparagus. Now you're ready for your salmon. You're going to be reusing a lot of the techniques we just discussed for the asparagus on your salmon so this part should go fast. Remove from package and place salmon skin side down on the right hand side of your baking sheet (See Image 2A for example). "Paint" olive oil over the top of your salmon using your brush. Add salt and pepper (to taste). Chop up your basil and sprinkle over your salmon. Take 1/2 of a lemon and squeeze roughly 2 tablespoons of juice onto your salmon. If you would like you can follow the previous garlic step and add some garlic as well. Make sure everything is evenly distributed throughout the landscape of your salmon. By this time your oven should be heated to the desired 275°. Open the door to your oven and place tray inside. Close door, and set timer for 21 minutes. Cook your salmon until it's opaque in the center. If you have a thermometer that should be about 135°. It may take a little longer than 21 minutes. Use a fork to check the density of your asparagus when you're checking your salmon. When finished, let rest for a minute or two, plate it, and enjoy!

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