Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Asian Glazed Salmon and Aaron McCargo's Broccoli Slaw
Sometimes I am really creative in the kitchen - the creative juices get flowing and I start conceptualing dishes from seemingly out of nowhere. Sometimes I have a case of cook's block. We had wild Coho salmon from Whole Foods in the fridge and while I am generally pretty excited about wild salmon, I literally couldn't think of a single recipe I wanted to make. My fallback recipe for wild salmon is this Salt and Pepper Salmon by Tyler Florence, but I wanted something new. We had just made the Salt and Pepper salmon two weekends ago when we had Alex's brother over for dinner. Plus these fillets were on the thin side so they weren't exactly ideal for the recipe. I briefly considered making a variation on Rachel Ray's Roasted Salmon with Lemon-Herb Matzo Crust, but I wasn't really feeling it. I halfheartedly proposed it and Alex shot it down. So then we were back to having salmon in the fridge with no idea how to cook it. So I decided to back into the recipe by deciding on the side dish and then figuring out what to do with the salmon. I knew I wanted to make a broccoli slaw at some point so we settled on the broccoli slaw recipe (which, I kid you not, is called "Packin' A Punch Broccoli Slaw") and then went back to finding a simple salmon recipe to go with the slaw. In the end we settled on an Asian Glazed Salmon recipe from the New Legal See Foods Cookbook that I found online. I'm not typically a fan of glazed salmon (it's generally too sweet for me) but I literally couldn't think of anything else that sounded better. And this glazed salmon was no different, even though we cut back on the amount of brown sugar in the glaze (partially because we ran out). I think I should learn to stay away from anything with "glaze" in the title. Beyond being a little too sweet from me, I just thought it was kind of blah. And that is as much my fault as the recipe's since I was never really that excited about it in the first place. It didn't do much to highlight the flavor of the salmon so it was probably not the best recipe to use with nice wild salmon. It might make more sense with farmed salmon that doesn't have quite as much flavor or to those who don't particularly enjoy the flavor of salmon. As for the broccoli slaw, I thought it was ok. I liked it more than the salmon, although I wouldn't say that I loved it. I liked the hint of heat from the jalapeno and the red pepper flakes and the acidity from the cider vinegar and lime, which I thought contrasted nicely against the sweetness of the salmon. What I enjoy most about broccoli slaw is the crisp texture. I think I will buy another bag of broccoli slaw mix from Trader Joe's and go with some sort of Asian-inspired slaw and see how that turns out. I know that if I played around a little more I could come up with a kickass broccoli slaw. Perhaps I will add some slivered almonds for additional crunch and then go from there...
Recipes after the jump!
Asian Glazed Salmon
Adapted from New Legal See Foods Cookbook
By Roger Berkowitz and Jane Doerfer
Available at Epicurious
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons peeled and sliced ginger
dried red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 1/2 to 2 pounds salmon fillets
Place the sugar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, dash of red pepper flakes, garlic, and lime juice in a medium nonreactive saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes, or until the sauce forms a glaze. Set aside. Note that if you allow the glaze to cool too much, it will turn into thick toffee-like sludge and be impossible to use.
Preheat the broiler.
Place the salmon fillets on a broiler pan and baste with the sauce. Let sit for 10 minutes. Broil them until cooked through, about 8 minutes.
Remove the salmon from the heat and if you like, baste once more with the glaze before serving.
Packin' A Punch Broccoli Slaw
Adapted from Food Network
1 cup shredded carrots (if your broccoli slaw mix already contains shredded carrots like mine did, then just use 3 cups total of the shredded slaw mixture)
2 cups shredded broccoli slaw
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons evoo
2 tbsp cilantro, minced
1 tbsp mint, minced
In a large serving bowl, combine the carrots, broccoli slaw, jalapeno and red onion. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, add the vinegar, lime zest, lime juice, salt, sugar, red pepper flakes and the black pepper. Bring to a light boil over low heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Add the olive oil to the vinegar mixture, pour over the vegetables and toss together to combine. Add minced cilantro and mint. Season to taste with additional s&p, as necessary. Serve.