Those dreaded words once again echoed in my kitchen.
“Papa, can you make something different for dinner?” asked my soon-to-be-dreaded-teenager, the Little Cake Boss Diva.
Ugh… Which reminds me I am overdue for another “She’s Killing Me” story… Actually, I have tons but you will be spared.
Usually, there is no dinner menu for the kids when they are with me… primarily due to my Little Cake Boss Diva. Her forte is executing her plans – a minute after she changes it.
Even then, she is late. Always. You can set your clock to it. Kinda.
As my old-time buddy had come over as we planned from days ahead, I fretted over what to make that was new. Then I recalled Stater Bros. had a sale on fresh salmon fillets so that was my first step. I went to my cooking bible, Cook’s Illustrated, and found this recipe for “Glazed Salmon”. After scanning the ingredients, I decided this would be it as it had soy sauce. My son Jack will eat (almost) anything if it had soy sauce and Brooke (usually) eats what I make.
So after talking about old times with my buddy, I dashed off to the supermarket; I only needed a couple of items – like the salmon! Unfortunately, the fillets were a tad thin; also, they weren’t of the same thickness but they had to make do (Having them the same thickness ensures the fillets cook at the same rate.).
1 – teaspoon light brown sugar
½ – teaspoon kosher salt
¼ – teaspoon cornstarch
* * * * * *
4 – center-cut skin-on salmon fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each
Ground black pepper
1 – teaspoon vegetable oil
3 – tablespoons light brown sugar
2 – tablespoons soy sauce
2 – tablespoons mirin (see note)
1 – tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 – tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 – tablespoon water
1 – teaspoon cornstarch
⅛ – teaspoon red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 300F.
After I rinsed off the salmon and cut off the real thin parts, I placed them skin side down on paper towels and patted them dry. I sprinkled them flesh side up with ground black pepper then applied the rub. (Sorry, these are all cellphone pics.)
The glaze was next. After mixing the ingredients together in a small sauce pot, I quickly brought it to a boil. It quickly thickens; remove from heat and cover. Set aside.
Heat a non-stick skillet and oil until very hot. Place salmon flesh side down first and brown for one minute. Flip and brown the skin side also for one minute, then transfer carefully to a baking sheet, skin side down. (I have the wonderful Breville Smart Convection Oven, perfect for the small meals – and desserts – I make.)
Spoon the still warm glaze mixture liberally over the salmon, then bake in oven for 7-10 minutes. Cook’s Illustrated says bake until an instant read thermometer reads 125F for you scientific cooks. I did turn on the convection fan for the last three minutes. The salmon came out wonderfully glazed and moist.
Plate and serve!
Note: Ever notice the white stuff that oozes out from your salmon at times? It’s from using too high a heat. It also indicates moisture has been squeezed out of the fish.
I also transferred the browned salmon to a baking sheet as my non-sticks are not oven safe. If you have one that is oven safe, you can just throw the skillet right into the oven.