Food & Wine Magazine – Shallow Poached Salmon (A Review)

I am subscribed to the Food & Wine magazine, and I absolutely love getting it in the mail every month. A few days again I received the April edition and was immediately drawn to the poached salmon recipe. I enjoy salmon, but often cook it the same way every time, seasoned and seared in a pan with olive oil. The picture of this dish was so enticing that I knew I had to make it as soon as possible and tell all of you about it.

See link to the recipe here:

I won’t go into too much detail on the recipe, because it is not mine. But I wanted to share my thoughts and experience with it.

The Process

I began by reading through the recipe. Reading through the entire recipe before starting will help you figure out what is going to be needed beforehand. This way you can better plan out the steps. For each step think about what tools are necessary. I made a short list of what would be needed before even starting to cook. You’ll also be able to see what ingredients you’ll need before starting. There is nothing more annoying than realizing you need something that you do not have, going back to the store, and getting stuck in traffic (in aisle or highway).

I was in luck, the only thing missing from my pantry was the cherry tomatoes. Once I had those all I needed was to defrost my salmon and get cooking. I picked up some asparagus to serve with the salmon, it’s in season and at a reasonable price. I used frozen salmon because I’m in a land-locked state and often don’t have good access to fresh salmon. They were also conveniently frozen in perfect portion sizes.

Ingredients and Tools

  • Salmon
  • Lemon
  • Leeks
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Thyme
  • Rice
  • Asparagus
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Bowls (2)
  • Plate
  • Scissors
  • Parchment paper
  • Spatula
  • Oven Mitt

Step 1

Heat up the oven to 500F. My oven takes nearly an hour to get to that temperature. There is also a discrepancy in my oven temperature, 450F is actually 500F in my oven. I found this out when I used a temperature probe. Turns out that it is pretty common for ovens to be up to 20% away from the set temperature. Since my oven takes so long to heat I was able to get everything prepped long before I needed it.

I started with the salmon. I took the fillets out of the packaging and patted them dry with paper towels. After putting them onto a plate I seasoned them with salt and pepper. I set this aside, washed my hands, and continued on to the rice and produce.

I chose brown rice to serve with the salmon. For this, I went by the package instructions. The rice needs to be started before the rest of the dish because of how long it takes to cook (15-20min). It should be finished by the time the salmon and sauce are done.

Thinly slice the lemon and leeks. They can go into separate bowls while waiting. I stripped my thyme off of the stems and set that aside in a glass. To the pan, I added butter and olive oil. I prepped my asparagus by chopping it into thirds, tossing it with olive oil, seasoning it with a spice blend, and placing it onto a sheet pan. I stuck the asparagus into the oven while it was still heating, it needs longer to cook than the salmon does.

Step 2

Once everything is prepped I began cooking. The butter and oil in the pan should heat up together before the lemons go in. Once melted and bubbly the lemons went in and cooked for 3 mins. Then I added the leeks and cooked them until they wilted. Last to go in was the thyme, salmon, and wine. The pan is then topped with parchment paper and brought to a simmer. Once simmering the whole pan can go into the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes (thicker fillets take longer). While that baked I cut the cherry tomatoes in half.

Once the pan is removed from the oven remember to always use an oven mitt to move the pan, it will be hot for a long time. I removed the parchment paper and took the salmon out of the pan. To the pan, add the rest of the butter and cherry tomatoes. I let this simmer on medium-high for 5 mins. The sauce thickened up nicely. By this time the asparagus was also done.

Step 3

Serve the salmon on top of the rice and spoon the sauce over top of it all. The asparagus can be served to the side of the salmon.

How was it?

I loved this recipe. The salmon was perfect, the lemon and leeks were amazing. The little cherry tomatoes were the perfect hint of sweetness. The rice soaked up the sauce and added texture to the dish. The original suggestion was to serve a salad, but with asparagus looking me fresh in the face at the store there was no question that I would be using that instead. The lemon could have been cooked through more (or maybe sliced thinner), it was just a little bit bitter. But when combined with the salmon in one bite it was delicious. I’m so happy to have another salmon recipe to go to. This looks so fancy on the plate, it’s sure to impress family and friends at your next dinner party (or Instagram post).

I do wish I had some garlic bread on the side. I served my dinner with the same wine that I used to cook the salmon, which is a great way to bring the whole meal together and get through that open bottle. If you don’t want wine, lemon water would also go well with this. Any light beverage would be fitting, something that won’t overpower the delicate flavor of the dish.

How long did it take?

This question is a little difficult to answer this time because my oven takes so long to heat up. So for me, the longest part was waiting for the oven. That took an entire hour.

I spent about 5 mins getting out my ingredients and tools. it took about 15 mins to prep the ingredients. The total cook time was 20 mins. In all the prep and cook time came to 40 mins. Not bad for a week-night dinner. It’s always nice when the time put in turns out such a great result.

But at what cost?

So what did this fantastic meal cost me? Let’s break it down

  • Salmon (4-6oz fillets)- $16.50
  • Leeks (3 in a bunch)- $2.98
  • Lemon – $0.57
  • Butter (almost 1 stick) – $0.87
  • White Wine (1 Bottle) – $9.99
  • Asparagus (2 bunches) – $3.00
  • Brown Rice – $0.40
  • Cherry Tomatoes – $2.98
  • TOTAL – $37.29
    • 4 servings, price per serving – $9.32

With the cost of salmon being so high, I would call this a special occasion meal. At any rate, it is delicious.

Let’s talk nutrition facts next. One serving (there are 4 here) comes to 350 calories. These calories are made up of 14g of fat, 18g of carbs, and 36g of protein.

Happy Cooking Everyone!!!

Let me know if this is something you like reading. Reviewing recipes is fun and I’m thinking about making a video to go with it.

Published by Elemmire Anini

I'm a scientist working on my Ph.D. In the meantime, I like to write, garden, cook, and explore the world around me. Join me on my adventures!

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