Salmon Two Ways or Whenever I see an orange fish I always think of Nemo.

Salmon Two Ways
Salmon Two Ways

Orange fish is one of my favorite fish to eat.

But, don’t worry, this post is not about eating Clown Fish…or even goldfish.

Orange Fish Two Ways
Orange Fish Two Ways

I found this photo on Facebook, but I do not know who to credit.  Here’s a link:  Fish Face

As I’ve mentioned before, I am a photographer and I do weddings.  (And I love them!)  However, just about every wedding I’ve ever attended as a guest and as a photographer serves salmon in the buffet line.  Salmon does not hold up well in those steamers in the buffet.  And generally, the photographers and other riff-raff eat last, which by the time we get to the salmon, it’s a sad state for the orange fish.

When salmon is not cooked properly (overcooked) then it’s brack.

Beautiful Wedding buffet
Beautiful Wedding buffet

Yes!Chef! loves to cook salmon and he does it very well.

The other day I was heading down the hill to meet my daughter for her final bridal dress fitting and so he asked me to pick up something for dinner. I was quite honored when he said I could pick out whatever I wanted for dinner.  He does most of the shopping because he does most of the cooking.  Usually when I am downtown and he asks me to pick up something for dinner, he tells me exactly what he wants.  This time he didn’t. 🙂

When I walked into the grocery store, and after checking into the Starbucks Cubby to speak briefly to my youngest son who works there, I headed down to the meat department.  I was feeling almost giddy with excitement as I had not picked out anything for dinner in a very long time.   I felt…powerful.  But then, the responsibility hit.  What if he sighs from disappointment when sees what I have purchased?  What if he screams, tears his clothes and rips out his hair when he spies the inappropriate meat choice.  What if…oh, who am I kidding?  He never does that sort of thing  He would be satisfied with anything that I brought home (aside from a live chicken or offal from a goat.)

I love seafood, so I sauntered over to the butcher case and saw that salmon was on sale.  That’s it.  Didn’t need to look at anything else.

I was happy that Yes!Chef! was pleased with my purchase.  He said something about the fact that we hadn’t had fresh salmon in a long time, so he was anxious to get cooking.

This reminds me…when I was growing up and my mother cooked fish for dinner, she would never season the fish.  If I asked someone to pass the salt at the dinner table so that I could season my fish she would say, “You don’t need to salt the fish, dear.  Fish comes from the sea, so it’s already salty.”  I think she believed it, too.

My mom and dad at Fallen Leaf Lake when they became engaged
My mom and dad at Fallen Leaf Lake when they became engaged

Back to Yes!Chef! and cooking the salmon.  The first night he found a recipe on entitled Tomato Basil Salmon, from which he took his inspiration.

20130606-_LS_7440 webThis is probably one of the easiest recipes for salmon that I have ever seen and it tasted so fresh and wonderful.  If you serve this to your salmon loving guests, they will ask for the recipe and want to serve it to their friends.  I’ve always been told that cheese and fish do not mix, but don’t believe it.  The Parmesan is the perfect finish for this tomato and fresh basil topped salmon.  Don’t cheat by using dried basil.  Use fresh for the best flavor.  Yes!Chef! seasoned his salmon before adding the toppings, even though the original recipe did not call for it.  I would strongly advise seasoning your salmon with salt before topping it with the remaining ingredients as it really brings out the flavor of the salmon.

Also, the original recipe calls for placing the fish on a foil lined baking sheet.  We use parchment paper and wouldn’t use anything else.  Once you start using parchment, you will never go back, except for those occasional recipes that must use foil.

Here’s Yes!Chef!’s new and improved recipe:

Salmon with Tomatoes, Basil and Parmesan Cheese

serves 2


  • 2 (6 oz portion) salmon filets
  • 1 Tablespoons chopped, fresh basil
  • 1 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoon grated fresh Parmesan Cheese
  • Kosher salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the salmon fillets onto the parchment and season with salt
  3. Sprinkle with basil, then layer tomato slices.  Drizzle with olive oil and finish with Parmesan Cheese.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the salmon is opaque in the center, and the Parmesan cheese is lightly browned on top, about 20 minutes.

Voila!  Great tasting salmon that your guests will love and they will beg you for the recipe.

Tender, tasty Salmon with tomatoes and Basil
Tender, tasty Salmon with tomatoes and Basil

The fresh taste of the basil with the tomatoes will remind you of Italy, especially with the addition of freshly grated Parmesan.  Add that to fresh baked salmon and you will feel like you are on vacation in Tuscany (where I wish Yes!Chef! and I were going this year.)

The next night he decided to grill the rest of the salmon on the barbecue.  So, he searched around for a good recipe that would inspire him again.  He found a few, but decided to marinate the fish using his own creation and then grill it.  It was a great decision.

Here’s his recipe:

Asian Marinated Salmon on the Grill

serves 2


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger or 1 inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 2-6 oz. salmon filets


  • Season fish with Kosher salt
  • Mix first 8 ingredients in a zip lock bag
  • Place salmon in bag and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for about 1/2 hour and then at room temp for 1/2 hour
  • Remove fish from marinade and pat dry
  • Grill fish on barbecue over direct heat for about 4 minutes on each side or until desired doneness (don’t overcook it.!)
  • If, after 4 minutes on each side, the fish is not to your liking, remove to a cooler part of the grill and continue cooking until you are satisfied

Boom!  Another fish dish with no fuss nor muss.  I loved the Asian flavors mixed with the smokiness of the barbecue.  It was the perfect summer meal, paired with spicy seasoned asparagus.

Grill salmon until it is flaky and opaque but not overcooked
Grill salmon until it is flaky and opaque but not overcooked

Oh!  You want that recipe, too?

Here it is:

Yes!Chef!’s Seasoned Grilled Asparagus

  • Snap off tough ends of asparagus
  • Place in bowl and add about 2 tablespoons of oil
  • Mix around until fully coated
  • Add Kosher salt and mix it around again
  • Add about 2 tablespoons, or more, of Emeril’s Essence (you can also purchase Emeril’s Essence at the store) and mix it in until the asparagus is fully coated
  • Throw the asparagus in a vegetable grill pan and place on the grill over direct heat.
  • Cook and toss around until desired doneness, 5-8 minutes depending on how hot your grill is
flaky, smoky, Asian flavored salmon
flaky, smoky, Asian flavored salmon

The spiciness of the asparagus is great with the marinated fish.  It does not overpower the fish, but does add a little kick to the meal.

You might even lick your plate.

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time you already know that my only daughter will be getting married in less than two weeks.  So, there is quite a bit of excitement around here.  You should know that she has given me strict instructions to just be the mother-of-the-bride and not a photographer.  She has also admonished Yes!Chef! to stay away from the caterers and be her dad.  We have both agreed to do this, although a bit reluctantly.

The happy couple checks out the venue and does a little practicing.
The happy couple checks out the venue and does a little practicing.

We also passed a milestone with my youngest son turning twenty this month and another milestone will be hit in August when my husband and I celebrate 30 years of marriage.  This got me to thinking about how our family interacts and how important my family is to me and to Yes!Chef! Although we have been thru ups and downs in our family life, we greatly love each other and value being together.  How does this happen?  Lots of love.  Lots of forgiveness. Lot’s of sharing meals together.  And, remembering that our relationships are the only things that are eternal…relationship with God and relationship with each other.

But, here’s a few handy rules that our house follows…for the most part.

Schmautzhaus Family Rules
Schmautzhaus Family Rules

Feel free to use them.


Updated:  Here’s a great post on how to cook salmon many different ways.  Check it out.

Published by

Karen Schmautz


9 thoughts on “Salmon Two Ways or Whenever I see an orange fish I always think of Nemo.

  1. Funny, we just grilled salmon with the same Asian flavors profile a couple of days ago, always a good match. I have to admit I far prefer wild salmon–it’s less fatty and the flavor is more intense. By the way, at public events my wife is always warning me not to go up and bother the photographer. Nice post. Ken

    1. I love salmon pretty much any way it’s cooked, except over cooked. Wild salmon is not always available to use here in the hinterlands, but we do like it. In the wedding industry we talk about “Uncle Bob”. He (or it could be a she) is the guest at the wedding who has a fancy camera and fancies himself a “photographer” because of his camera. he is constantly in the way and appears in many of our pictures. One time I had an Aunt Bob who stood at the end of the aisle next to the pastor during the processional. Every dang one of my pictures of the wedding party walking down the aisle had her in it. She followed us everywhere even after we had admonished her several times. Our wedding photog says he won’t mind if I’m an uncle Bob, but he will. I promise to be good.

  2. Lovely work! Would you be happy to link it in to the current Food on Friday which is about all things BBQ? This is the link . I do hope to see you there. Cheers

      1. Karen, thanks for bringing this to the big BBQ. I sorted the linke for you. I hope to see you again soon. loved the family rules. Cheers

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