Simple Roast Salmon

May 24, 2009 at 11:25 am Leave a comment

Unfortunately I had little success with my third recipe from Nina Simonds’ cookbook Spices of Life.  I wanted all three recipes to showcase the strengths of the cookbook – Kung Pao Chicken gives an easy method for making a favorite Chinese takeout dish at home and Doctored-up Ramen demonstrates a healthy, inexpensive and fun version of a nostalgic noodle – but I also intend for my Cookbook Challenge to be representative.  In the week I dedicated to the cookbook, I had two great successes (already mentioned) and a bunch of not-so-good results.  First, the cardamom asparagus which were not spectacular:

Cardamom AsparagusThen a strawberry-rhubarb crumble that had the weakest, least flavorful topping I’ve ever tasted (what a waste!):

rhubarb-crumble

and finally, a Pad Thai that truly disappointed.  Though I really LOVE pad thai, this make-at-home version was horrific.  I would ascribe the off flavor to the ketchup (!) in the recipe — no amount of fresh lime juice or peanuts could save it.  But the pictures came out well:

pad-thai-3

The above recipes really aren’t worth repeating here, so I won’t!  The below recipe is pretty simple, and while I wasn’t totally blown away by it, I think part of the problem might have been human error.  I overcooked the salmon slightly (by following the times in the directions, I might add) and I am unsure how (given the balsamic and soy sauce in the marinade) anyone could achieve the light pink result pictured in the book:

Simonds Salmon

As for the snap peas, I thought they tasted very light and refreshing — perfect for a hot summer lunch, picnic or potluck.  I am not convinced that the cold minty snap peas are a good pairing with the salty warm salmon.  In fact, I really didn’t like the two of them together.  I feel like I gave the cookbook ample opportunity to give me a winner third recipe, but instead I give you two recipes that were decent on their own, and very simple to make, but which do not have my wholehearted endorsement.

Pan-Roasted Salmon Served with Minty Snap Peas, from Nina Simonds’ Spices of Life

(Serves 6)

“The ginger–soy–balsamic marinade gives the seared salmon a lovely flavor and color and the simple mint dressing is a light and refreshing complement to snap peas. Nina likes to serve this dish hot, or at room temperature with rice pilaf for a festive buffet.” [she says to serve this dish hot, meaning (I suppose) the salmon, since the snap peas are ‘refreshed in cold water’ before being added to the mint dressing]

salmon-marinade6 pieces salmon fillets with skin on, each weighing about 6 ounces

For salmon marinade
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1½ pounds snap peas

For mint dressing
3 tablespoons fruity extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste
4 to 5 tablespoons chopped mint
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil

Make the marinade: Mix the ginger, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Put the salmon in a deep dish. Pour in the marinade and toss lightly to coat. Let the salmon sit at room temperature while cooking the snap peas.

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a saucepan and add the snap peas. Cook for 2 minutes, or until they are crisp tender. Drain in a colander and refresh in cold water. Drain again and blot dry on paper towels.

Whisk the mint dressing ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add the snap peas and toss lightly to coat. Taste for seasoning, adjusting if necessary.

Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat until very hot. Place the salmon steaks with their coating, skin side down, in the pan, partially cover, and fry about 5 to 6 minutes covered over high heat (depending on the thickness) until the skin is crisp and the salmon meat has started becoming opaque. Carefully flip over with a spatula and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until just cooked.

Arrange the salmon fillets on a serving platter and spoon the snap peas around and on top. Serve with steamed brown rice.

Calories: 370 ⁄ Protein: 34 g ⁄ Carbohydrate: 11 g ⁄ Fiber: 3 g⁄ Sodium: 570 mg
Saturated fat: 3 g ⁄ Polyunsaturated fat: 5 g ⁄ Monounsaturated fat: 11 g
Trans fat: 0 g ⁄ Cholesterol: 85 mg

salmon-final

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Entry filed under: Main Course, Recipe, Review/Opinion, Vegetable Side. Tags: , , , .

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