The higher and higher I set my standards for this little food blog, the more difficult it is to actually put together a proper post. I have made quite a bit of food throughout August, and yet I’ve shared very little of that here. My jalapeno poppers were a big hit with friends and family the other day, but I didn’t have time for pictures; my Asian-inspired noodle salad was quite tasty, but my photos were lackluster by comparison; and my lemon-mascarpone stuffed zucchini flowers with honey-yogurt sauce were delicious, but so similar to the ricotta ones I’d already posted here.
I’ve also just recently turned the big 3-0, and I guess I figured that I owed some sort of amazing post to ring in the big milestone. For my birthday (this past Friday, the 14th of August), my wife spoiled me with some very exciting toys for the kitchen. In addition to the Le Creuset skillet you’ll see later in this post (pretty much the coolest gift ever!), she also gave me a Lagostina wok (bought at 70% off, apparently!), a bbq rotisserie attachment (!), and a French rolling pin! I think maybe I was hoping to incorporate every one of those items into a single, massively elaborate dish – my signature “James is now 30 and cooks like it” – that would be worthy of the milestone and my wife’s excellent gift-giving skills. However, we feasted on so much delicious food for my birthday that I feel the need to be a bit more reserved at the moment with what I make. I’m still trying to work away at the leftover tiramisu from that day (we had two other desserts, so it didn’t go as quickly as it has in the past). On a side note, have you ever spread tiramisu on bread and eaten it for breakfast? Seriously, it sounds weird, but it’s amazing!
So maybe turning 30 hasn’t instantly refined me into…well…a refined gentleman – I guess there’s still time. Until then, I’m okay sharing with you this not-so-elaborate and yet very tasty dish that I made last night using my brand new Le Creuset skillet. Adapted from “The Cooking Jar”, this recipe is extremely easy and fast to prepare. I used a pink salmon, which I was able to buy fresh and whole from my grocer for dirt cheap at $3. It’s head was removed and it had been scaled and gutted, but I still needed to do the filleting myself. Buying salmon already filleted would definitely have made the meal quicker and easier, but I rarely shy away from a challenge in the kitchen anymore.
My recipe calls for use of a skillet to sear the fish first, but it’s not necessary if that’s not available to you. That being said, if you need an excuse to go out and buy yourself one, I’m not going to stand in the way…
Honey Garlic Salmon
- 1 kg fresh salmon
- 3 tbsp. runny honey
- 2 Russian garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 2 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- olive oil
- sea salt
- cooked wild rice, for serving
- Fillet the salmon, giving the fillets a good rinse afterwards. If using pre-filleted salmon, the weight should be 1/2 – 3/4 kg. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may want to cut the two fillets until smaller pieces before cooking. Season generously with salt on the fleshy side of the fillets.
- Combine the honey, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and lemon juice into a small bowl and mix well. In a sealable bag (or in a baking dish), pour the mixture over the salmon and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF and heat the skillet on the stove (over medium heat) with a lug or two of olive oil.
- Add the salmon to the skillet, skin side down, and sear for 1-2 minutes. Flip the fish over and sear the other side for an additional 1-2 minutes, giving the top a nice brown colour.
- Flip the salmon one last time so that the skin side is down again, then toss in the oven for 12-15 minutes.
- Once that time is up, check for doneness, and add additional time if necessary.
- While the salmon is cooking away, cook the remaining marinade in a small saucepan over medium heat until it reduces slightly.
- Serve over wild rice with some sort of green accompaniment (I chose asparagus), removing the skin from the salmon first, and drizzling with the reduced marinade.
I have to admit that I didn’t actually reduce the marinade, which is the one thing my wife wished I’d have done differently with this recipe, which is why I included it above. There wasn’t a ton of leftover marinade to begin with, so you might actually want to consider making about 50% more, depending on whether or not your salmon is on the larger side. Actually, there is one other thing my wife wishes I had done differently – I sort of ate the leftover salmon before she had a chance to put it away and save it for actual leftovers. Oh well – the sign of a good meal, I suppose!