A couple of weekends ago, my mother-in-law celebrated her 83rd birthday and there was a potluck dinner affair. I brought a large tray of pastel del pollo, there were rice noodles, fish, lasagna, camaron rebosado and a tray of baked salmon ordered from Conti’s. Salmon is my favorite fish and, baked a la Conti’s, it was even more delicious than usual — buttered, topped with a slightly crusty cheese mixture and surrounded by vegetables. I decided I’d try to make my own version and the result (below, right), while not exactly the same, is something to be proud of.
Granted that with the price of salmon, this baked salmon with buttered vegetables probably isn’t something my family can enjoy more than a couple of times each month. But if I were to draw up a list of dishes for special occasions, dishes that require little preparation but strong in taste, textures and visual appeal, this baked salmon with buttered vegetables would be high on the list.
Baked salmon with buttered vegetables a la Conti's
Preheat the oven to 400oF.
Melt half of the butter in a pan. Add the bread crumbs and fry gently, stirring, just until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate.
Melt the remaining butter in the pan. Gently place the salmon fillet in the pan and cook one side only for about four minutes or just until the lower half of the fillet turns opaque. Transfer the salmon to a baking tray.
In the remaining butter, pan fry the vegetables for about a minute. Arrange the vegetables around the salmon fillet in the baking tray.
Sprinkle the fish and vegetables with salt and pepper. Cover the fish with the grated cheese. Top with the bread crumbs. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes.
Allow the fish to rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.