23 January 2012

Broiled Herb-Crusted Salmon

A few days ago, Chef John of Food Wishes posted a recipe for salmon. I got so excited because it is very easy! I remember I had a conversation with a very good friend of mine who said cooking seafood is very hard. Well, I still don't know. I guess I will probably figure that one myself. However, what I can say is that cooking salmon is really easy! (Plus, it is very healthy, with those fatty acids, omega3+).

Yes, I know that salmon is expensive. A kilo of salmon costs about P774 and that is really expensive for me. My first time cooking with it, I was so nervous. I was like, "I must not screw this up. I must not screw this up. I must not screw this up.... Must not undercook. Must not undercook. Must not undercook. Must not undercook....  Must not overcook. Must not overcook. Must not overcook...." repeat 1000x during the whole cooking process! At the back of my mind, I can hear Chef Gordon Ramsey yelling at me "IT'S RAAAAAWWWWWW!!!!"(especially when I tried cooking the infamous scallops. coming in the near future). But hey, conquer your fear and learn! Buy 1/4 kilo of that and you're good to go for 3-4 people. It only takes 10-15 minutes to cook salmon.

(From http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1192181/Why-does-British-TV-make-heroes-nasty-bullies-Alan-Sugar-Gordon-Ramsay.html)
So anyway, back to the recipe. I really enjoy watching the video recipes of Chef John because it is so informative, and witty. When I saw this recipe, I immediately said to myself, "Well, that's easy. I can do that.", and indeed I did. Voilà! Broiled Herb-Crusted Salmon.

Right from the oven. Mmm, I can still smell the aroma from the herbs

He is right, the salmon came out perfectly! Very moist salmon, topped with super simple, but flavourful crust, cooked in 10 minutes! Amazing! You gotta try this one! Don't be afraid of salmon, it won't bite. Oh by the way, you can do this too with other fish (with the same thickness) if salmon is really expensive, or even chicken!

What you need (For 4-5 people)
(I made a little variation with the ratio. To check the original, see Chef John's blog)

500g salmon, with skin
salt and pepper to taste
2 small garlic clove, sliced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1.5 tbsp chopped tarragon
1.5 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
1.5 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp cream cheese*
pinch of cayenne
1-1.5 tsp fresh lemon juice, or to taste

*not in the original recipe

1. Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic, kosher salt, and the herbs, into a paste for about a minute or two. You can use a blender though, but it is really recommended to use mortar and pestle.

2. Add the Dijon mustard, mayonnaise and cream cheese (optional), and continue to mash it for about another minute.

3. Using a wooden spoon (don't use metal), mix in the mixture a pinch of cayenne and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste (or not).

4. Place a foil on a baking pan. Lightly oil. Place the salmon, and season with salt and pepper (depending on how you seasoned the crust mixture).

5. Turn the broiler (top layer of gas inside the oven) to high for a while. While waiting, place the baking pan on top of the stove burner (high) for about 1 minute. You just want to give the bottom of the fish a "head start" since we are baking the fish using the broiler. When you hear crackling sounds, that's about done. Place the baking pan about 8 inches from the top/broiler.

6. Do not leave the fish. Wait for about 5minutes or so until the top is well browned (to your own liking).

7. When the crust has already browned, turn off the broiler and turn on your oven (bottom) to 350F and leave the fish for another 5 minutes or so. Cooking time varies with thickness of the fish.

8. After 5 minutes, serve.

That's it! Very easy, right? Now, tell me, how hard was that? I bet you can do that as well! C'mon, pick up a salmon and try this recipe. You won't regret it! :D

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