I’ve always been a big fan of salmon. It’s a mild fish that can be prepared in a variety of ways and, in my estimation, easier to cook than other types of fish. So this past weekend when a new high-end grocery store opened in our area, I decided to try some of their fresh fish. The salmon looked superb, as you can see from the photos, and that prompted me to look for an easy but flavorful salmon recipe.
I found a great recipe on, you guessed it…, The Food Network Site (thought I was going to say Pinterest didn’t you?) The basis for this is Giada’s recipe of the same name. I adapted it for my own needs and tastes. So here is my rating of the original recipe and lessons I learned when making it:
RECIPE RATING A. This is a very easy recipe, the glaze is easy to make and the flavors of the glaze provide a delightful compliment to the salmon. The only things I would have expounded on in the recipe is the reason why you put the glaze on after you’ve cooked the salmon for a couple of minutes and a more detailed reference to variations in cooking times for fish. I’ll explain in my lessons learned.
Lesson Learned 1 – Not all fish are created equal: This is true especially when it comes to cooking time. I am still trying to perfect the art of cooking fish to perfect doneness. The challenge is that fish can be expensive and you hate to pay good money for something and then ruin it. The beauty of salmon is that is can be prepared in various stages of doneness. Some like their salmon a little less done, sort of medium rare, will others like their salmon well done. It’s a little easier to work with salmon because of this. When I made this recipe I used two salmon filets that weighed between 6-8 ounces just as written in the recipe. Giada advised to cook the salmon for 7 minutes total. I cooked mine for 8 and my filet, as it was a little thicker, was medium rare to medium. My husband’s filet was thinner and his turned out medium. So just be aware that your forays into cooking fish may take several trials and also be aware that cooking time is so dependent on not only the weight but also the thickness of the fish. In my case, my filet was thicker than the one I served to my husband, ergo the difference in doneness. But don’t give up. Mastering the art of cooking fish will be something that, in the end, will provide you with some extraordinary meals.
Lesson Learned 2 – There is a reason you don’t glaze the fish before you put it under the broiler: This is where I wished the recipe would have been more specific. Granted I have become more adept in the kitchen but there are still some things that are not intuitive to me. The glaze will burn if you keep it on too long. If I had known that up front I probably would have applied the glaze at the three minute juncture instead of the two. As it was, I had a nicely browned glaze but I think I just made it before it started to burn. So keep that in mind. If you think you need more cooking time than the 7 minutes called for in the recipe, put your glaze on a little later.
Lesson Learned 3 – Remove the skin from the salmon: If there is skin on one side of the salmon filet remove it. The skin is tough and you won’t eat it. I find the filets cook more evenly with the skin removed. I use a very sharp knife, a Shun boning knife, and just run it up and down the edge of the skin until I can peel a little of it away. Then I hold the skin taught and keep moving the knife up and down close to where the skin meets the flesh, gently pulling on the skin as I go until all the skin as been removed. This will take a few minutes, but it’s worth it.
Lesson Learned 4 – The glaze is fabulous: I really liked the flavor of this glaze both on the fish and on its own. I imagine with a little bit of ingenuity it could be used on other things. The combination of the dijon and whole-grain mustard along with the herbs provides great depth of flavor and would probably taste good on chicken too.
I would highly recommend trying this recipe. Don’t be afraid to cook fish. If you’re concerned, err on the side of caution and take it out sooner rather than later. You can always throw it back on the cooking source but you can’t undo overcooking. Let me know what you think of this one.
Broiled Salmon with Herb Mustard Glaze
2 cloves of garlic
3/4 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
1 Tbs. dry white wine
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. dijon mustard
2 Tbs. whole grain mustard
4 (6-8 ounce) salmon filets, skin removed
Salt and pepper
Preheat the broiler (if you have an option of low or high, choose high). Place oven rack to be approximately 8-10 inches away from the broiler flame.
In a mini food processor combine garlic, rosemary, thyme, wine, oil, dijon mustard and 1 Tbs. of the whole grain mustard. Pulse until well combined. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. of whole grain mustard. Set aside.
Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange the salmon on the broiler pan (I arrange them vertically so that they nest completely under the broiler flames). Salt and pepper to taste. Broil for 2-3 minutes (depending on the thickness of the filets). Remove broiler pan from oven and spread the mustard glaze on top of the salmon filets. Put pan back in oven and continue to broil for about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.