Saturday, April 6, 2013

Recipe: Pan Roasted Salmon with Maple Orange Glaze

I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it. – W. C. Fields 

Some days conspire against you don't they? Yesterday was one. It started when we were woken up. We had a Bouvier trapped under the bed – at 3am... Can you imagine the "disturbance" a 115 lb dog makes waking up accidentally trapped under your bed?

If you can't think harder. Like an earthquake and burglary at the same time.

So up at three we were. At least I had my whole day's work done by noon. Lucky too, because we have our entire bathroom ripped apart and that had to be worked on. Yesterday was breaking through the wall to install new studs for a shower. Today we test fit the tub. I think we're ready for the plumber...

As you can imagine, by the end of yesterday we were exhausted. The last thing I wanted to do was cook and write a recipe. So we ate at... McDonalds. Forgive me. So today we've got a blast from the past. Just in time for  the rivers in Nova Scotia opening up for fishing. Hope you enjoy it!

Salmon is very good for you and should be included in your diet regardless of what you hear. Studies have shown the benefits far outweigh the risks of consuming fish.

Some important benefits of eating salmon are: cardiovascular health, cancer defence, depression fighting properties, heart health, brain function health, muscular degeneration prevention, and deep vein thrombosis protection to name just a few. These are all due to the high Omega-3 fatty acids and other healthful elements found in salmon, wild or farmed.

So there you have it. Now the trick is to cook it so that it’s more than passably tasty. Maple and orange are a marriage made in heaven. Salmon is also always best roasted when prepared indoors. Outside it’s a different story. Planked salmon is the way to go.

Many of the towns and villages throughout Nova Scotia host planked salmon fundraisers during the summer months. My village of Greenfield is among the most famous. I’ll post about it in July when the fire department does theirs. People come from miles and miles away to enjoy salmon wired to planks, bathed in butter and roasted facing an open fire. Mmmmmm...

But enough about the future. I’m hungry tonight. Salmon should be cooked as one governs a great nation – don’t overdo it (according to Lao Tzu…). I tend to agree. Overcooked salmon is dry. Follow my directions and you’re (almost) guaranteed to have a delicious meal that will have people asking for the recipe – or better yet, seconds!

Roasted Salmon with Maple Orange Glaze
Prep: 10 min  |  Cook: 15-20 min  |  Serves 4
900 g fresh salmon filet (4 serving pieces)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp grated orange rind
1 tsp cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

If using a single filet, cut the salmon into four equal serving portions. Try to ensure all your pieces are of relatively equal thickness. Heat the oil in an oven-proof pan.

In a small bowl mix together the remaining ingredients. Brush the filets liberally with the mixture, making sure to use all of the glaze.

Place the salmon skin side down in the hot pan. Let the salmon cook in the pan until it turns opaque up the sides of the fish. The tops will still be raw but the bottoms will have released from the pan.

Place the pan in the hot oven and roast the salmon until it is cooked through. This will take between 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your filets. The flesh will flake easily and be opaque. Do not over cook or the salmon will dry out.

Serve with a salad. I made…

Cucumber Radish and Tarragon Salad
Prep: 10 min  |  Serves 4
1 large cucumber
6-8 radishes
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
2 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp sesame oil
salt and pepper

Slice the cucumber and radishes with a mandolin into very thin pieces. Toss with the chopped tarragon.

Mix together the orange juice, oil, salt and pepper and whisk well. Pour over the vegetables and toss again.


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