Friday, October 26, 2007
(shown with Herbed Basmati Rice and Roasted Asparagus)
Thanks to Cooking Light, here’s another recipe to help use up my big bag of almond meal. Even though it wasn’t crazy-unique stop-the-presses good, it was easy and tasty enough to warrant recommendation to you. I’m not a completely enthusiastic fish eater, so I usually like my salmon more aggressively seasoned—with pesto, for example—but the simple flavors in this recipe were pleasant. (I’m not sure it lived up to the tempting promise of “toasted flavor reminiscent of browned butter” in the recipe description, however…toasted almonds, maybe.) The texture of the coating was the most appealing element to me, uniformly crisp and a great contrast with the tender fish within.
In my usual anxiety about trying new recipes (after all, what if it’s bland and we hate it and we starve to death?), I went hog-wild and served the salmon with a whopping two side dishes—another new Cooking Light recipe, Herbed Basmati Rice, plus the old standby of roasted asparagus. (I know, I know, asparagus is most definitely not in season. I’ll admit I bought it from the stoners at the farmers’ market who grow it year-round in a greenhouse, no doubt as camouflage for their massive marijuana-plant operation. But it’s good quality, and locally produced, so that counts for something, right?) Gone are the days when I plopped a one-dish meal onto the table every night—does that mean I’m finally becoming an adult? It means I’m a genius, anyway, because the three dishes in this scarily grown-up meal complemented one another perfectly, so that even though the salmon and the rice weren’t taste revelations, they added up to a dinner that was, as A put it, “more than the sum of its parts.” And quite healthy, to boot. I win again!
Postscript, December 2009: Yet I've never made this recipe again. I guess it's the dreaded "Not Favorites" label for you, Almond-Crusted Salmon!
¼ cup almond meal
¼ cup panko
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, about 1 inch thick, with skin on
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
olive oil or cooking spray
4 lemon wedges, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
2. Combine almond meal, panko, coriander, and cumin in a shallow dish and set aside.
3. Brush tops and side of fish with lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Working with one fillet at a time, dredge top and sides with almond mixture and place skin side down on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray (I used a baking sheet covered in tin foil and lightly coated with olive oil. When all four fillets are coated, sprinkle any remaining crumb mixture evenly over fish, pressing gently to adhere.
4. Bake for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges.
Time: 20 minutes