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Baked salmon with a twist

Hagerstonian found recipe in Chinese newspaper

Hagerstonian found recipe in Chinese newspaper

March 11, 2007|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

Tired of the same old baked salmon? Add some brown sugar.

"It takes away the fishy taste and lets the taste of the salmon come through," said Frederica "Freddie" Erath, who years ago found a recipe at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., that paired brown sugar with salmon.

Erath, who lives in Hagerstown with her husband, John Erath, employs a combination of brown sugar and chili powder with a marinade of fresh-squeezed orange and lemon juices.

She also approaches salmon as many people approach steaks - cooking it at high temperatures for a short amount of time.

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"The thing that most people do with fish, they cook it slow at a low temperature. That tends to dry it out."

Unlike steak, you can check the doneness of the fish by cutting a sliver in the middle. The fish will appear opaque and will have lost its glassiness.

The Eraths, who have five adult children, are in the wood veneer business. They purchase and treat wood used for cabinets and furniture. Freddie Erath said she likes to cook homemade meals as often as she can.

Erath happened upon the salmon recipe six or seven years ago during a business venture at the Chinese Embassy. She was reading an English-language, Chinese newspaper when she happened upon the recipe.

"Everybody in my family loved it," Erath said.

While preparing the dish in her kitchen a few weeks ago, Erath took some time to answer a few questions about the dish and cooking.

Q: You mentioned you have a process for removing the skin.

A: If you don't buy it that way, you should always take the skin off. That's where the fishy taste comes from.

Place the salmon skin side down. Grab the tail and grip. Holding the knife at an angle, go back and forth in a sawing motion. A sharp knife helps.

Q: Do you really need to use freshly squeezed orange juice for this recipe? What about the orange zest?

A: Your husband isn't going to notice, your kids aren't going to notice, but your guests will if you're serving a nice dinner.

Q: So what kinds of things do you typically eat?

A: We eat pretty simply during the week, because as you get older, you are more conscious about what you eat. I cook very simply and very healthfully.

We do go out to eat, though.

I'm not a very creative cook. I've just basically done things from recipes. I don't fiddle around in the kitchen trying to come up with my own stuff.

Q: If you were a young newlywed today, do you think you would cook as often?

A: Times are very different. There was just the expectation that the woman cooked. In this day and age, I probably wouldn't cook as much. I enjoy cooking, but it's not my highest priority.

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