Did you have a favorite dish growing up?
Did you ask for this meal anytime it was your birthday? I did.
When I was growing up, every year, I wanted my mom's special lasagna and a homemade chocolate cake.
Wendy Monro’s daughter, Daphne, is pictured here eating salmon cooked in foil. Wendy and Daphne have each chosen this dish as their special birthday meal.
For many years, it never changed. Her lasagna contains about five different cheeses. I have always been a huge fan of cheese.
My favorite was the ricotta which she would just clump all over the top of the lasagna and when it heated up, there would be a little crust on the outside edge.
I would bite into a big ball of ricotta, break through the crust, and sink into the creamy deliciousness inside. It was so perfect.
Recipe for Salmon in Foil:
2 pieces of aluminum foil (about 12 inches square)
2 pieces of salmon fillets
1 leek, sliced lengthwise and then on the bias
2 tsp butter (optional)
4 slices of ginger
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 slices of lemon
2 spring onions, chopped
1/2 C. soy sauce or low sodium soy sauce
1 large bunch of cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the leeks onto the foil. Place the salmon on top of the leeks. Divide the butter onto each piece of salmon. Layer the ginger, garlic, onion, lemon slices and spring onions. Top with a generous amount of cilantro. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Fold up the sides of the foil to create a pouch in which the soy sauce, when poured in, will not drip out. Pour in the soy sauce. Place on a cooking tray.
Put into a 350 degree preheated oven for 15 minutes. Check at 15 minutes to see if the salmon is cooked to your liking. The middle should still be a bit pink.
Place over a bed of rice or mashed potatoes. Pour the sauce on top. Discard the ginger and lemon rind.
For at least five years, on my birthday, we went to the roller rink. I'd invite about ten friends. We'd boogey on skates to Devo's "whip it."
We wore the four-wheeled skates (not inline) and mine had a pink toe guard and pink pom poms.
I wore pony tails in my hair and had a favorite rainbow sweater where the rainbow ran from one sleeve through the middle and onto the other sleeve.
Then, we'd head back to my house to eat lasagna and chocolate cake. It was perfect.
Then, about the time I was in college, my tastes changed.
I had a horrible perm in my hair and wore shorts under shorts and little boot shoes. They were not boots but they weren't shoes either.
I seemed to have a lot of polka dotted clothes.
Life wasn't just about cheese and pasta or chocolate for that matter.
I learned about other delicious meals that were healthier.
I started choosing these meals not just for their health benefits, but because they were so tasty. In my twenties, my mom still asked me what I wanted for my special birthday meal.
Suddenly, it became her salmon cooked in foil. This was also about the time I fell in love with red wine.
Salmon in foil has been my consistent choice for a special meal ever since.
I won't talk about my fashion sense now. It always seems normal at the time.
The first day I brought Claud over to my parents' house for dinner, I asked my mom to make salmon in foil for him.
I had to impress Claud and show him that I knew about food too.
He was a chef and I was intimidated. It worked: he loved it.
The smell of the ginger and cilantro penetrate your senses as soon as you open the foil.
The combination of the soy sauce with the garlic, herbs and lemon make the sauce so delicious; you have to sop up every last drop of it.
Then, you are sad when it is finished.
Now, that I don't rely as much on my mom's cooking, I make this meal for my family.
The best part of all of this is that this dish is so simple to make and takes about 30 minutes.
Daphne has chosen this meal as her special birthday meal. She doesn't have that cheese loving gene I have.
This will help her in her thirties when extra weight doesn't come off as easily as it used to.
If you go to my blog at www.yovia.com/blogs/simplyfood, you can see a video where Daphne and I make this salmon dish together.
I ought to mention how helpful salmon is to your health.
I'd hate for you to think you should make this just because it is beneficial to your health and not for the love of it; though, the health benefits are a huge bonus.
This meal could stand on taste alone.
However, it should be mentioned that salmon is an excellent source of Omega3 fatty acids.
It is a great source of lean protein. Eating salmon is a perfect way to adhere to a Mediterranean diet.
The Mediterranean diet has been studied extensively and has been proven to promote longevity.
This can be seen in the lifespan of those who live in Sardinia.
There are more people living over the age of 100 years in Sardinia than almost anywhere else in the world.
For more information about this, please read The Blue Zone by Dan Buettner.
This is an excellent book which reveals different cultures and lifestyles.
In it, Buettner promotes good food, family and friends, and the importance of humor and laughter.
You will love this recipe for the simple reason that it is beyond delicious.
I thought it really should have a better name than salmon in foil; but this is what we have always called it in my family.
Besides, there is something to be said about the simplicity of the name and how it correlates with the ease of making this dish. So, I think we'll keep it that way.