Monday, October 23, 2006

Glazed Salmon with Dijon Mustard Sauce

A recent post from Gluten-Free Girl made me realize that I need to stop worrying. What can I say – I am an obsessive person. If you are a food blogger, chances are you are a little obsessive too. Would normal people take pictures of everything they eat and think about stories surrounding their food while driving to work, all to find something so beautiful, so delicious, so funny, and so dramatic that it simply has to go up on the internet immediately? Lately, I’ve had more stories in my head than I know what to do with and less time than I need to lead a reasonable life. I’ve been so torn between all the possible projects and stories that I haven’t been posting much. I guess I am not a journal keeper by nature. Recording what I do on regular basis is very difficult for me and I always try to find something out of the ordinary to write about. But maybe, with all this search for something really interesting to write, I’ve been ignoring the beauty and simple pleasures of everyday meals.

This recipe was born one weekday night when I needed a 10 minute dinner. It was surprisingly good.

Glazed Salmon with Dijon Mustard Sauce

Fish substitutions: steelhead trout, arctic char, or any pink fish

Serves 4

For the fish:
4 salmon fillets with skin (6 oz each)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp apricot preserve, honey, or maple syrup
Salt and pepper

For the sauce:
2 Tbsp plain yogurt or sour cream
2 Tbsp mayo (Hellmann's "Real" please, not low-fat)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp cognac, whiskey, or white wine (optional)
2 Tbsp chopped mint, cilantro, parsley, or dill (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

To make salmon:
  1. Preheat the broiler and wrap a broiler pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Rub the salmon with salt, pepper, and olive oil on both sides. Place in the broiling pan skin side down.
  3. If using apricot preserve try to avoid the chunks as they will burn under the broiler. Spread your preserve, honey, or maple syrup on the flesh side of salmon that’s facing up (I used the preserve, but I am sure the other sticky sweet things will work too).
  4. Cook salmon for 6 minutes per inch of thickness for medium doneness (8 minutes for well-done). Start it under the broiler (4 inches away from the flame) and check it every couple of minutes. As soon as the top browns, turn down the oven to 400F, and move the salmon to the middle of the oven to finish cooking.
  5. To test for doneness, separate the flakes in the thickest part of the fish with a fork and peek inside. Salmon is cooked to medium when you can separate the flakes at the surface, but get a good bit of resistance in the center of the fillet; the flesh will look very translucent. After salmon rests for 5 minutes it will flake, but still be a little translucent in the center. If you prefer your salmon well done, cook it until only a trace of translucency remains in the center. After 5 minute rest, it will be completely opaque.
To make the sauce:
  1. While salmon is cooking and resting, make the sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  2. Thin out the sauce with 1-2 Tbsp of water until it’s barely thicker than heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place salmon on serving plates (if the salmon skin sticks to aluminum foil, just leave it there), pour the sauce on top and serve.


Kalyn Denny said...

Saved! This sounds just great. BTW, I just had arctic Char for the first time and really enjoyed it.

Love the opening about food bloggers. I guess we are a bit strange.

Helen said...

Hi Kalyn,

I agree, arctic char is awesome. My favorite way to cook it is to sear it skin side down in a cast iron skillet. It turns crispy and just Mmmm good.

And hey, who isn't strange. I took abnormal psychology in college and learned that all humans are crazy (just in different ways and to different degrees :)


Anonymous said...

try adding tomatoes, garlic and to it onions to gave it an asian kick..I'm sure it will taste good..

vasilisa said...

Yum... Cooked fish... (as much as I love raw sushi, I'm not allowed right now, and I'm too paranoid to disobey my doc.) And this recipe looks amazing. Can't wait to try it out.

Anonymous said...

Helen, I loved the salmon recipe, as usual...

However, could you tell me what you served it on? Are those lentils? What kind? Any special preparation?


Sally, not a blogger, but definitely a bit strange :-)

Helen said...

Hi Sally,

The salmon is served over du Puy lentils. I'll have a piece on them appearing in one of on-line publications soon. Will let you know when it's live :)


Anonymous said...

This looks delicious, your post is so funny! Are those lentils? What a great combo.

Shauna said...

So great. I'm happy that post of mine could help. After all the straining of needing to be great at this, I realized I could just write some stores. Or, a recipe.

Thanks for being part of the gang of unusual people who take photographs of food.

And that salmon looks amazing!

Helen said...

Hi Shauna,

Thanks for stopping by. I love your new posts. I don't know how you manage to write so much high quality material.


Anonymous said...

Wow--the Dijon mustard sauce sounds amazing. I am also very intrigued by your use of leeks and fennel, two of my favorites.

I think your writing is consistently of high quality, not to mention your food. I also have more ideas than time to write, but I like to think we are choosing quality over mere quantity!

I always get something out of your blog.

Helen said...

Thanks Andrea! You are so sweet :)

Kathryn said...

I found your blog when looking for arctic char recipes and made this one tonight - delicious, quick and easy to make! It even earned some unsolicited praise from my normally uneffusive husband: "Awesome." Thanks for the wealth of simple fish recipes here. I tend to make the same one or two fish dishes over and over (salmon teriyaki, anyone?) and was in dire need of some inspiration - and you've provided it! Thank you. :-)