At about 5 o’clock, put down your book and come in off the deck. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take about two pounds of new red potatoes and scrub well, but do not peel. Place in pot and cover with water and bring to boil. Once water is boiling, set timer for 20 minutes.While you are waiting for the water to boil, take a pound and a half of salmon, wild if available and affordable. Rinse well and pat dry. Spread on a thin coat of good mayonnaise (Duke’s or homemade). Mix together about a fourth of a cup of brown sugar, a tablespoon of dried rosemary, and a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Press dried mix into mayo. Bake at 375 about 20 minutes—you may have to adjust the time depending on the thickness of the salmon.
Next, take a large bunch of fresh asparagus, wash and trim tough ends. Place in shallow baking dish and drizzle with good olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and black pepper. Place in oven to roast while salmon is baking. You should have about 10 minutes left, if you haven’t had a phone call or been otherwise distracted. Check the potatoes for doneness. Drain water, toss in two tablespoons of real butter and about a half cup of milk. Mash with an old-fashioned potato masher.
This is one of our favorite meals, every bite tastes better than the one before. The carmelized sugar crust on the salmon is incredible; the smoky roasted flavor of the asparagus is delicious; and the mashed potatoes? C’mon, they’re real mashed potatoes—even Jamie Oliver would approve. When this is dinner, there’s never a forkful left on anyone’s plate.
“Recipes” courtesy of my dear sister-in-law, K; Ina Garten; and me.