I’ve had an exceptionally busy week—which I’ll tell you about sometime soon over garlic scape pesto—so I fell behind in my posts this week. These two was my response to a huge fillet of farmed Atlantic salmon Jeremy brought home last week: two meals that punched up the somewhat lackluster flavor of the fish while requiring very little prep time. The first was salmon baked with a pastrami spice rub. The chunk of salmon I dedicated to this was somewhat smaller than called for, but I used the whole recipe of spice rub and it was pretty darn strong. I ended up scraping a bit of it off the cooked fish and still found it a little much for myself, but Jeremy liked it a lot. It’s worth making again, just with a slightly lighter hand on the rub.
1 T dark brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 (1 1/2-pound) center-cut salmon fillet
1/2 tsp olive oil
Combine first 7 ingredients. Place salmon fillet, skin side down, on a cutting board or work surface; brush evenly with olive oil. Sprinkle spice mixture evenly over salmon; gently rub mixture into fish. Cover lightly with plastic wrap, and chill 15 minutes.
Place fish, skin side down, on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. (Or bake at 400F for 12 minutes.)
Source: Cooking Light
For the next night’s dinner, I marinated my remaining salmon in a soy-dijon marinade from Simply Ming. If you aren’t familiar with the book, it employs large master recipes for spice blends, marinades, sauces and the like to make a variety of meals. I cut the marinade recipe I used in half and still had enough of it for three separate meals; it keeps nicely in the fridge for up to two weeks. The salmon itself had an hour-long bath in the marinade, then went in the oven with a simple crumb crust. It was really fantastic and will definitely go in our rotation—the most time-consuming part of the whole thing was mincing garlic, which could be avoided by purchasing a prepared jar.
1 T coarsely ground pepper
Kosher salt to taste
1/2 C red wine
1/4 C soy sauce
3/4 C Dijon mustard
1 T dried thyme
1/4 C minced garlic
1 1/4 C canola oil
Put the pepper in a small skillet and heat over medium-high heat until it becomes fragrant and just begins to smoke. Place it in a medium bowl and add salt, wine, soy sauce, Dijon, thyme, and garlic; whisk until thoroughly blended. In a slow steady stream, whisk in the canola oil until the marinade is emulsified. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks if not using right away. Makes 3 cups.
1 lb salmon fillet
1 C soy-dijon marinade
1/2 C coarse bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the salmon in a ziploc bag and add the marinade; gently massage to coat the salmon and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 400F. Remove the fillet from the marinade and place in a roasting pan or casserole of an appropriate size; discard marinade. Press bread crumbs on surface of fish; season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork and breadcrumbs are lightly browned. Serve over rice.
Source: Adapted from Simply Ming, by Ming Tsai
Update 6/7/08: I include this photo because I also used the soy-dijon marinade overnight on some lamb loin chops, and then grilled them up until the largest ones temped out at medium rare for Jeremy and the smaller ones were closer to my preference of medium. The last of the marinade will go on pork chops or chicken breasts.
Update 9/15/08: I halved the marinade recipe as shown and used it on a large wild salmon fillet with fresh big-boy breadcrumbs to great effect. Drizzled the crumbs with olive oil before baking, and the size of the fillet required extra baking time, so the crumb crust got nice and crunchy. Jeremy commented several times on how good it was, and since I made the marinade in advance, very quick and easy too. Served with pea-laced couscous.
Update 3/15/10: I made a sauce version of this marinade for salmon: 1/3 C red wine, 2 T soy sauce, 3 T Dijon mustard, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 T brown sugar. I seared two salmon fillets on each side, then covered with the sauce and allowed it to cook and reduce down into a glaze while the fish finished cooking. It was tasty and very easy.