I’m a bad blogger buddy! Jaden Hair’s lovely new cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook , has been on the shelves for three weeks and I’ve yet to post about it. Jaden was the first food blogger I ever met way back before SGCC was even a thought in my head. She lives about 15 miles away from me, so when I stumbled upon her blog a few years ago, I immediately emailed her to introduce myself. Jaden was kind enough to invite me to attend one of her cooking classes that just happened to also be a taping for a television feature  on her. I didn’t think twice before accepting! I had a blast! Plus, I got to be on TV ! That was when the blogging bug really bit me. A few months later, with Jaden as a major inspiration, I decided to try blogging for myself – and SGCC  was born.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Jaden’s recipes – and I’ve tried a whole lot of them. When she announced that she was writing a cookbook, I was thrilled for her! I was even more thrilled to be among her many recipe testers for the book. During that time, I tried out some awesome recipes and it drove me crazy that I couldn’t share any of them with you, because…well, you know…because they were top secret, hush-hush recipes for the cookbook! I wish now that I had taken photographs of some of those wonderful dishes I made.
A few weeks ago, Mini SGCC was feeling under the weather, so I whipped out the cookbook and made some Quick Vietnamese Chicken Pho for her. The next day, I tried Jaden’s recipe for Banh Mi. Both were excellent. I’d planned to post about them both in depth, but then my United Airlines fiasco  happened and I was too preoccupied with that to take pictures. By the time I got around to it, all I found were the empty Tupperware containers in the garage fridge!
One of my favorite “Steamy Kitchen ” recipes is Jaden’s slow-cooked salmon. In the book it’s been transformed into Tea Smoked Salmon, but the original method is explained there as well. I’ve made this dish about a dozen times so far, and it is one of my favorite ways to prepare salmon. The fish is baked on a bed of onions and sliced oranges in a very low oven for about 30 minutes. I also like to add sliced fennel and fresh tarragon sprigs too. The result is a soft, lush, melt-in-your-mouth salmon that retains its gorgeous color and texture.
I decided to try the recipe again the other night and played around with the presentation a little. Since our temperatures around here are still hovering up in the high 80’s, I dressed some of my salmon up for a day at the beach. The rest got dolled up for a swanky cocktail party coiffed with some crème fraiche and fresh dill. Either way, they were both delicious! I always try to find fresh, wild salmon, which is healthier and tastier than the farm-raised kind. But, this recipe works well with that too.
I’ve got lots more of my Steamy Kitchen faves still to share, but all in good time!
And, if you haven’t already bought your copy of The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, what the heck are you waiting for? It’s a beautiful book for the pictures alone! And it’s chock full of terrific recipes too. You can find it at all of the major retailers, including Amazon , Barnes and Noble  and Borders.  And, please don’t forget your local independent book stores. Remember, they are often your friends and neighbors who are struggling to compete with the big guys. To find indie booksellers in your area, you can go to Indie Bound .
Slow Cooked Salmon
adapted from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook
4 (8 ounce) salmon fillets
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 navel oranges, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 large or 2 small fresh fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
3-4 sprigs fresh tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste
Assorted garnishes such as crème fraiche, sliced oranges or fresh herbs
Preheat to 250F. Lightly brush salmon with oil and season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
Grab a baking pan big enough to hold all fillets in single layer. Make a bed on the pan by layering the onions, fennel and two of the sliced oranges. Place the salmon fillets on the bed and tuck in the tarragon sprigs.
Bake for 30 minutes. (If you’re cooking more than 4 fillets, just add another 2 minutes per additional filet.) To test for doneness, stick a sharp paring knife in, if it goes in and out, its done.
Top with whatever finishing herbs, spices or ingredients you’ve chosen. After cooking, the salmon is going to look almost exactly the same as when you first put it in. Don’t worry, after 30 minutes in the oven it is cooked.
Dress up your salmon however you like.