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A Treat to Cook, Photograph, and Eat!

If you enjoy cooking and photographing your dishes as much as I do, it’s likely you’re hesitant to declare a favorite.

That may have all changed for me today!

It was the first time I’ve cooked this particular sheet pan supper of salmon, assorted fingerling potatoes, onions, portobello mushrooms, Campari tomatoes, lemon, and fresh dill – and I honestly cannot say whether I most enjoyed cooking it, photographing it, or eating it!

Last week I posted about sheet pan suppers, and showed photos of a shrimp/red potato/corn-on-the-cob/Andouille sausage one, and a chicken breast/Andouille sausage/red onion/red potato one I’d made. While they were delicious in their own right, today’s was my favorite so far.

High-temperature oven roasting at 450 degrees – all on one sheet pan – causes the food’s natural sugars to break down and caramelize, leaving a tender inside with a deliciously textured outside. All the flavors marry in a remarkable way. In the previous post, I covered some tips for this kind of cooking, and if you’re interested in making a sheet pan supper, I encourage you to read them as I learned by trial and error, and they should be helpful.

For today’s post, I’m excited to share some of my photographs of the absolute deliciousness when you bring together salmon, fingerling potatoes, Campari tomatoes, portobello mushrooms, onion, and fresh dill – roast them in 450 degrees – and serve the dish with a creamy dill dipping sauce.

The only challenge I had was waiting to serve and eat some of it while I shot the photos!

A Little Bit of Prep

With four pieces of salmon and a good amount of the other food items, I used a 2/3 Size sheet pan, measuring 16″ x 22″. This is the largest residential cooking sheet pan of the five industry-standard sizes. Others are the Full Size (18″ x 26″ for commercial kitchens); 1/2 Size (13″ x 18″); 1/4 Size (9 1/2″ x 13″); and 1/8 Size (6 1/2″ x 9 1/2″). You can use any of these sizes that fit your needs for a sheet pan supper.

To prevent sticking, I used non-stick cooking spray on the sheet pan; covered it in parchment paper; and then sprayed the top of the parchment paper. I’ve found this gives the best results, and the clean-up was a breeze.

Given the different textures and cooking times for the various foods, I decided to cook mine in three stages of adding items. Before the cooking started, though, I made a sauce of olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, Everglades Seasoning, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and chopped fresh dill. (Don’t use all of your dill for this part; more information follows below.)

Cooking Stage One (10 Minutes)

Starting with the purple and yellow fingerling potatoes, I cut them in half longways, and again in half sideways for the larger ones. You want the various foods (with the exception of the salmon) to be cut to similar sizes for even, consistent cooking.

Next, I used tongs to dip and turn the potatoes in the olive-oil-based sauce described above, and laid them cut-side down on the pan. The only other food for this first cooking stage was the onion, which I’d chopped into large chunks. After the onions were added to the pan, I brushed them with the sauce.

Into the 450-degree oven it went and roasted for 10 minutes.

Cooking Stage Two (8 Minutes)

After the 10 minutes, I removed the sheet pan from the oven, and added the whole portobello mushrooms (approximately 2″ across) stem-side up – and the whole Campari tomatoes (also around 2″ in diameter). I brushed the mushrooms and tomatoes with more of the sauce, and laid long, uncut dill sprigs on top of items across the pan.

It had occurred to me at this point that leaving the dill sprigs now uncut would allow them to cook with the delicious flavors on the sheet pan, and then I could remove and chop them to add to my creamy dill sauce at the end.

The pan went back into the 450-degree oven for another 8 minutes.

Cooking Stage Three (10 Minutes)

The house was smelling amazing by this time, and it all was happening with literally one sheet pan in a really hot oven!

After the 8 minutes of cooking, I removed the pan for the final addition of the salmon (skinless bottoms), and the tomatoes. I brushed sauce over them, and moved some of the previously cooking dill sprigs onto the tops of the pieces of salmon.

The lemon was squeezed over everything, and I placed each half (cut-side up) lemon onto the pan next to the fish, mushrooms, potatoes, onions, and tomatoes.

This final cooking stage was for 10 minutes, just until the salmon easily flaked apart with a fork. During the 10 minutes, I mixed sour cream with salt and pepper, waiting on the final ingredients from the sheet pan for the creamy dill sauce.

And before you know it – Ta Da – the sheet pan supper was ready!

Photography before Eating

When the fully cooked meal came out of the oven, and to finish the creamy dill sauce for dipping, I used tongs to carefully remove the cooked dill sprigs from the pan, and finely chopped them. I took some of the sheet pan drippings and added them along with the chopped dill to the sour cream, not enough pan drippings to turn the dipping sauce brown, but enough to give it a delicious roasted flavor.

So, at this point most people with much sense would plate the food and immediately serve (and eat) it – but for me, there’s a relatively brief period when I photograph the finished dish from various angles, and today was no exception. (Earlier I’d photographed the uncooked foods selected for the dish.)

If you have guests who are eagerly waiting for their filled plates, you want to move quickly with the camera. Besides, this salmon sheet pan supper smelled so amazing that I didn’t want to wait too long either!

A Delicious Meal

Let me just say that I highly recommend you try this salmon sheet pan supper – it was delicious! The roasted flavors, beautiful colors, carmelized finish, and creamy dill sauce for dipping all came together in a way I won’t soon forget. It’s a simple way to cook an amazing meal, with this one taking just under 30 minutes in the oven.

And, when the time came for kitchen cleanup, other than the serving plates and utensils, there was one bowl and a whisk where I’d mixed the cooking sauce – one large sheet pan – and one pair of tongs to wash – and that was it!

Bon appetit!

What food combinations do you think would make a delicious sheet pan supper? Be sure to comment below!

January 24, 2022



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