Panko-crusted Parmesan Salmon

People, myself included, eat more seafood in the summer months. Mostly—although I’ve yet to find a real hard study on the topic—but mostly it’s because seafood screams summer. It is, after all, from the ocean and most people think of warm sunny days on the beach when they think of the ocean. (Yes, yes, I know … some “seafood” comes from rivers and lakes—but all fish, no matter where it comes from, sans maybe your neighbor’s fish tank, is still considered seafood.)

But, to be fair, those of us who maintain a steady seafood diet—and those of us with satellite TV who may or may not be addicted to Wicked Tuna and The Deadliest Catch—know that not all seafood comes from a sunny place … I mean hello, the great Bearing Sea … the Scottish Isles … Maine’s uppermost northern coast … those places aren’t exactly booked during spring break, yet they’re all chalk full of oceanfront property—and delicious seafood. Point is, although seafood may scream summer, a large amount of the fish (shellfish included) that hits our plates doesn’t come with a sunny disposition (that was a pun, in case you didn’t quite follow).

And if you ask any fishmonger, they will tell you they sell more fish during the summer than in the winter. But why? Why when the weather turns cold in the lower 48, why do we turn our backs on the sea and reach for more land-based proteins?

Why do we eat more seafood in the summer?

Because we get cold. Duh. And since more people grill seafood rather than cook it indoors, we have a tendency to reach for proteins we know how to cook in an oven or slow cooker.

Myself … I love to grill everything from diver scallops to sockeye salmon. And truth be known, when it comes to cooking seafood, I don’t use my oven all that much. Mostly because I’m a card-carrying member of the “Keep it Simple” club and prefer my seafood tossed with a touch of olive oil, a few fresh herbs and grilled … I’m not much of a sauce girl nor do I typically care for most marinades. I like to taste what I’m eating and I love the diverse flavors that spring from fresh seafood. So naturally, when it’s warm out, the grill gets used more and well, you guessed it, fish gets cooked more often than not.

But, while I’d still opt for a grilled piece of Alaskan salmon over just about anything cooked in an oven, there are some simple ways to cook seafood inside … and I’m going to show you how. Every Monday, I’ll post a simple way to cook seafood indoors … essentially I’ll show you how to replace one of those other proteins (poultry, beef, pork) with seafood. It’s that simple. I promise.

Panko-crusted Parmesan Chicken Salmon

Panko bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Light mayonnaise

Combine panko, Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, and garlic in flat “bowl” and set aside.

Place salmon filets, skin side down, on lightly oiled aluminum foil, on baking sheet.

Lightly brush tops of filets with mayo then coat with panko mixture.

Bake for about 20 minutes, 400 degrees F, on the middle rack.

Done. Eat. Enjoy. Simple.

Serve with whatever else floats your boat ; )

A note about my recipes … most of what I cook isn’t a precise science. It’s look, taste and feel. And I encourage you to cook the same way. Add a little more of this, or a little less of that … and pay attention … and before long you’ll be a wiz at cooking seafood.

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Hey there. I’m Shauna—a West Coast transplant in the landlocked state of Indiana … when I moved here I missed the beaches, the mountains, the desert, the rivers … and it took me a while to find places nearby that paralleled my old stomping grounds. BUT. Now that I’ve lived here for over 15 years, I’ve had time to explore the region and you know what? It’s amazing. There’s so much to do—from skiing in northern Michigan to relaxing lakeside in southern Kentucky to rocking the nightlife in one of the many metropolitan areas. And I love it here. I really do. BUT. I do miss the sea … and the sand and the rush of the waves … the smell of seawater … even the sting of too much sun after a day spent lollygagging at the beach. And I miss the constant supply of seafood and shellfish and riverfish? About that … since I’ve moved to the Midwest I’ve noticed that a lot of people here don’t consider fish that come from the river seafood … I’m not sure I agree, but hence the new word I’ve created, “riverfish” … time will tell if Webster picks it up ; ) So my blog, Seafood is The New Black, is my way of bringing a little bit of sea life (or is it sealife?) to the Midwest. And over on Seafood in the Circle City, you can read up on my favorite Indianapolis restaurants that serve seafood, and serve it well. As you read along, you’ll find all kinds of information … some that you might find more useful than others—and some, you might just find amusing … or not. Either way, and if nothing else, I hope you leave my little space here on the world wide web a little refreshed and maybe even a little inspired to bring a little bit of the ocean home with you. (Yes, I did use the word “little” four times in one sentence … it’s OK … mermaids like to repeat themselves.) Cheers! The Midwest Mermaid Oh, and if your curious, yes, I do actually write for a living … if you want to know about the organizations I work with and the publications where you can find my land legs, swim on over to the “Portfolio” tab … and thanks for visiting.

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