Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mustard-Crusted Salmon

Every time we drive down to Maryland to visit my parents we come back with a cooler full of random food and a trunk full of clean laundry.  We also tend to come home with Cost Co-sized bags of toilet paper and paper towels, but that is entirely beside the point.  This past visit I appropriated a few things from the freezer for the trip home - including a salmon filet and some pre-marinated Korean spicy pork.  I couldn't tell what kind of salmon it was, but it looked really red like Coho or sockeye salmon.  Rather than stick with our tried and true salmon recipes I decided to do something new.  This recipe was vaguely inspired by a Rachel Ray recipe I found awhile ago for salmon with a matzo and herb crust.  I started trying to think of creative ways to use up the herbs we bought for Thanksgiving with the salmon and that made me think of the herb and matzo-crust.  I didn't bother to look back at the original recipe but the idea of an herb-y crumb topping stuck with me.  We don't tend to keep matzo around the apartment so I didn't have any matzo to use, but we did have some leftover baguette from the night before.  So we whipped up some fresh bread crumbs and crusted our salmon with a mixture of bread crumbs, mustard and fresh thyme.  Oh and we threw in some butter for good measure.  And since we both love crispy salmon skin Alex and I decided to crisp up the salmon skin in a pan on the stove-top and then broil the salmon quickly to brown the bread crumbs and to cook the top side.  I think in the future I would use finer bread crumbs.  Our crumbs were more like small bread chunks.  I also might trip throwing in some fresh parsley or other herbs.  Otherwise I think it was a really nice and fairly easy recipe.  And our salmon was very nicely cooked.  The next time I pick up some matzo I might try the Rachel Ray recipe, but seeing as that almost never happens, maybe we will just stick with our own mustard-crusted salmon.

Recipe after the jump!

 Mustard-Crusted Salmon
6-inch piece of baguette, crusts removed and torn into rough chunks.
2 boneless salmon filets, about 6 ounces each
1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for the salmon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp whole grain Dijon mustard
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp vegetable oil
Preheat the broiler to high and adjust rack to 6 inches below the element (we used the broiler in our toaster oven).  Pulse bread in the bowl of a food processor until coarse crumbs are created.  Season the salmon with s&p.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, 1 tbsp butter, mustard, and thyme.  Using a fork, stir and mash the mixture together until the butter is incorporated. Season with s&p.

Spread the skin of each fillet of salmon with a thin layer of butter.  Season with salt.  Heat a medium broiler-safe skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.  Add 1 tsp vegetable oil.  Add salmon buttered-side down and cook without moving until the skin is nice and crispy and golden brown, about 3 minutes.  Pile the crumbs on the salmon, then transfer to the broiler.   Broil until the crumbs are crunchy and browned, 3-4 minutes.  Watch the salmon to make sure the bread crumbs don't burn.  

Serve immediately.

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