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Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Birds Eye "Bake to Perfection" Wild Pink Salmon Fillets

Funnily enough, I'm no stranger to baking salmon... I'd done it a couple of times before this blog existed, simply because it's a reasonably easy way to prepare the fish in steak form. Season to taste, wrap it loosely in foil, then slap it in the oven for a while.

However, when these things came along, in their "Bake Perfect Bag" ("real foil to lock in flavour", the packaging states emphatically), I figured they had to be worth a try... if for no other reason than to give me ideas for making something similar from scratch.

The idea behind "Bake to Perfection" is that you take these bags straight out of the freezer and put them into the oven. Everything that's needed to produce the perfect salmon steak is inside the bag. Essentially, this appears to be a generous serving of lemon and dill infused butter. As it cooks, this butter is intended to melt over and seep into the salmon, while being safely contained in a bag so it doesn't spill away. The fact that it's a foil-based plastic bag means you can keep a close eye on the fish as it cooks.

And I have to say that, compared with cooking the salmon separately and then adding dill sauce, or any kind of buttery accompaniment later, these things are awesome. I don't know that the butter truly gets into the salmon, or if there's just enough of it on the outside to influence the flavour. It certainly separates itself from the dill, leaving a nice layer of the herb sat on top. And, while the dill is the second most evident ingredient in the butter, the lemon flavour is very apparent. It's very well-balanced, though. Neither flavour overpowers the other, and the pairing complements the salmon perfectly.

Having tried this, I'm tempted to experiment with a block of garlic butter I picked up a while back, and the salmon steaks I still have lurking in my freezer... it's just going to be a matter of deciding what to add to that garlic butter (other than dill, which would be rather obvious) and ensuring it's all well enough contained in foil when I start it cooking.

Birds Eye have added to their range with a "Bake to Perfection" Chicken with Chasseur sauce... so I expect to be sampling that sometime soon...

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