Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ginger-Maple Salmon

With summer - finally - approaching, my tastes lean away from hearty, slow cooked meals that have sustained me through the long winter; and slowly I begin working fresh vegetables, herbs, and seafood back into my daily diet. Decadent red wines are replaced with crisp, refreshing whites. (Side note: Notice all the buzz lately about the Portuguese wine called vinho verde? I've been drinking it for the past few summers and am madly in love with it's relatively low alcohol content, bright zing, and slight fizz.)

Monday's dinner - a ginger and maple-glazed salmon fillet atop a salad - was a quick and easy way to use some of the produce that filled this week's grocery cart. The sugar snap peas in the salad were actually a last minute addition, but I'm glad I added them in; they provided a jewel-like pop of green color and just the right amount of sweetness and crunch. I dressed the salad in a bit of maple-tamari vinaigrette, and voila! Dinner was on the table in about 15 minutes.  A note:  Don't be intimidated by the seemingly long list of ingredients - many of the ingredients used twice - once in the glaze and once in the vinaigrette. 

Ginger-Maple Salmon with Crisp Summer Salad
Serves 2, easily multiplied

Salmon
2 - 6 oz. skin-on salmon fillets 
Vegetable oil
Optional: 12 inches parchment paper (not required, but it makes clean-up easier)

Glaze for Salmon
1 T. maple syrup
1 t. tamari
1/2 t. lime juice
1 T. finely minced ginger
Small pinch salt
1/8 t. black pepper
1 dash cayenne pepper

Salad
1 small romaine heart, chopped or torn
1/3 lb. sugar snap peas, stems and strings removed
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned 
1/2 green bell pepper, julienned
3 sliced scallions, plus more for garnish if desired

Maple-Tamari Vinaigrette
Small jar or bottle with tightly fitting lid (a jelly jar works well), or a small bowl
1 T. tamari
1/2 t. lime juice
1 t. maple syrup
1/4 t. dijon mustard
1/8 t. garlic powder
4 T. olive oil
Small pinch salt
Few grinds of black pepper


Position the oven rack 6-8 inches from broiler, and preheat broiler (on High setting, if you have a High/Low option).  While broiler is pre-heating, make the glaze for the salmon: In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients listed in "Glaze for Salmon" until well incorporated. 

Line a small sheet tray with parchment paper, and coat lightly with vegetable oil.  Place salmon fillets skin side down on the tray. Lightly coat the salmon with the prepared glaze.  Broil in the oven for 5 minutes, then carefully slide the oven rack out and add another coat of glaze to the fish.  Continue broiling for 2-3 minutes or until fish flakes easily.  Remove from the oven and let sit for 3-5 minutes to carryover cook. 

While the fish is cooking, make the vinaigrette:  If you are using a small jar with a lid, all ingredients can be added at once, then lidded tightly, and shaken until well combined.  If vinaigrette is made in a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, lime juice, maple syrup, dijon mustard, and garlic powder.  Slowly stream in olive oil, while whisking constantly, until emulsified.  Season with salt and pepper. 

While fish is cooking, assemble the salad ingredients, dividing all ingredients evenly among two plates.  Slide a thin spatula between the skin of the salmon and the fillet, leaving the skin behind on the parchment paper, and plate the salmon on top of the salad.  Garnish with additional chopped scallions, if desired.




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