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March 12, 2008

Fish Facilitation: It’s Salmon Satisfaction


Few things give pleasure like a well-cooked piece of fish. Some have made the case that when that involves a mild and meaty fish like salmon, the potential for satisfaction rivals successfully paying off one’s mortgage or siring a child.


Salmon does well when engaged with high heat. Its firmness allows it to hold its form after being thoroughly cooked, which makes it far more dependable than its flakier cousins with white meat. This makes it a prime candidate for the broiler.


For salmon, the key, as is so often the case, is constructing a proper coating.


Create your coating by mixing together a quarter cup of olive oil, a tablespoon each of Dijon mustard and honey, a crushed clove of garlic and a couple generous pinches of dill. Sprinkle with crushed black pepper and salt.


Stir it all together until uniform in consistency and appearance.


Let it sit for a few moments so that the ingredients get to know each other. Consider facilitating such a meeting, because ultimately you will be the one to pay the price if they do not get along well. For some of these ingredients – garlic and olive oil – it is a meeting that commonly takes place. For others, that is not the case, and it is in your best interests to see disputes worked out before they can threaten to bring down your piece of fish. The fish is key to everything.


The result is a sauce that has a garlic and Dijon tang to it, but that has the subtle, sweet finish of dill.


While this is sitting, preheat your broiler. A preheated broiler means engaging your fish quickly with high heat. This will help cook your sauce right to the fish, aided by the naturally clingy (though sweet) disposition given to it by the honey.


Once preheating is accomplished, spoon your honey-dill sauce onto the fish and spread evenly across the entire thing. Form a complete seal over everything that doesn’t touch the pan, which means making a point to also include the sides.


You may broil your fish on a broiler pan, but it might be a good idea to set it on top of a sheet of tin foil. Unless you have properly sprayed down the pan with non-stick spray, the fish could tear apart while removing from the pan. After putting so much effort into smoothing relations among the various factions involved in the sauce, this would be counterproductive.


Let it cook for eight to 10 minutes under the high heat. This could prompt some crisping at the edges, and might prompt fears that the fish is burned. This is not the case, as the glaze will help hold in moisture. The crisped parts themselves are sweet and tasty. That is, done right. Done poorly, they may taste like charcoal.


Remove the fish from the broiler and let sit for a moment or two. If the mood strikes you – and it certainly might – consider applying fresh lemon juice.


© 2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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