Color Me Salmon

As a child, my dad and uncle would take me fishing. I learned everything there was know including new colorful words. Worm on the hook didn't gross me out. Mosquito bites, eh. No big deal. Packed sandwiches and chips. Beef jerky and Charleston Chews. The smell of the lake water. Muddy shoes.

I loved every minute of it. 

I grew up in the Midwest. Trout was the main dish we ate. Grilled. Oven. No matter what it was always delicious. I haven't had Trout in many moons. Now my favorite fish fillets are Sockeye Salmon, Halibut, and Alaskan Caught Cod. All wild caught. Farm raised fish is not the best option. Fish farms have been deemed both ecologically and economically unstable, with “an unequal tradeoff between environmental costs and economic benefits” and high levels of contaminants are common in farm-raised salmon; the Norwegian Health Department went on the record recently warning against eating too much farmed salmon for this reason. Don't get me started on tilapia. 

Let's talk about salmon. When it is out of season markets will carry frozen wild caught. Publix is one of them. In the meat department is where you will find it. There are other options in the frozen food section. For instance, at Target the brand Simply Balanced has a pack of three individually wrapped wild-caught Alaskan sockeye salmon filets.

My mom isn't a huge fan of plain fish. She prefers breaded. Understandable. I was thinking about a recipe to make for my parents when they visit in May. I had leftover homemade breadcrumbs and decided to use them for the salmon filets. Popped the filet in the air fryer and voila, a perfectly crispy but not dry salmon dinner.

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In previous posts, I've detailed my breadcrumbs recipe. You absolutely can purchase panko or breadcrumbs. If you know me, you know I use CampMIX with everything. The company also has a Lemon Pepper mix. Nothing funky added in like some lemon pepper seasonings and turmeric is a lovely add to the blend.

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When I add the breaded filet into the air fryer, I also add a few sprigs of rosemary, a clove of garlic, and half a lemon for aromatics. Plus, the house smells like herbs and not fish because we all know what that smells like when cooking fish in the oven. It lingers for days. 

Not with the air fryer.

Even my teenage anti-fish son enjoys the breaded salmon. Well, at least a few bites. I'll take it. 

On occasion, I'll make a garlic butter to melt over the filet.  

Ingredients

Sockeye Salmon Fillet - preferably wild-caught

Lemon Pepper Camp Mix (garlic, onion, black pepper, salt, celery salt, white pepper, citric acid and turmeric) or your chosen lemon pepper blend

One lemon

Fresh rosemary

Fresh garlic

For the breadcrumbs

1/2 loaf of cubed sourdough (I purchase mine at Publix because it's soy-free) Also, Panera's Country Loaf is an excellent option. It's also soy-free. 

A teaspoon of Camp Mix or a blend of garlic, onion, black pepper, salt, white pepper and celery salt. 

Olive oil

Instructions

Follow my breadcrumbs recipe or use pre-prepared breadcrumbs or panko. In a bowl mix the breadcrumbs and seasonings.

Take the salmon fillet, place it on a plate, prep board, whatever you choose and cover it with olive oil. Squirt 1/2 a lemon on the salmon. Sprinkle the lemon pepper seasoning on. More is better. What I've discovered with fish is it absorbs the seasoning and when cooked a person can hardly taste it. Cover the top of the salmon in the breadcrumbs mixture. Dump it on. All over.

Set the air fryer to 370 for 15 minutes.

If you have an air fryer accessory pan, use it otherwise right in the basket works. But I'd rub a little extra olive oil on the bottom because the salmon skin can stick easily. Put in the sprigs of rosemary, garlic, and lemon in the basket.  

Depending on your air fryer, I'd check the fish at the 10-minute mark. I know my larger one cooks a bit faster than my smaller air fryer. Once the breadcrumbs or panko are golden brown, your salmon is done. Which is about 15 minutes.

Be careful removing the salmon from the air fryer basket. A spatula works great.

You can add an extra squirt of lemon or the butter I mentioned above. Or nothing at all. Either way, it's delicious. Not fishy at all. Crunchy. The lemon, garlic, pepper is on point. 

The next few recipes on here will be essential items people have requested from me. Sauces, mixtures, and condiments I use in my everyday cooking and how I add them to my meals.