Spice-Crusted Salmon

Spice Crusted Salmon

I like cooking salmon, or any fish, really, for weeknight dinners because it cooks so quickly. And, to make it even easier, as with any quality seafood, the best way to prepare it is to keep the recipe simple and let the flavor of the fish come through.

This week I made a spice-crusted salmon using a mixture of some of my favorite spices. I used brown sugar in the mixture, which is what created that yummy caramelization you can see on the top of the salmon. To balance the hint of sweet from the brown sugar, I added fresh lemon juice and it gives the salmon a nice citrusy finish.

You can use the spice rub I made or create your own using spices you like.

Ingredients

  • 2 6-ounce salmon fillets
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp Spice Rub
    • ½ Tbsp cumin powder
      ½ Tbsp crushed coriander seeds
      1 tsp light brown sugar
      1 tsp sweet paprika
      ½ tsp salt
      ½ tsp pepper


Prepare

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix the ingredients for the spice rub in a small bowl and set aside. Place the salmon fillets on a prepared baking sheet. Brush olive oil on the top of the salmon and liberally sprinkle on the spice rub.

Depending on the thickness of your fillets, bake the salmon for about 15 minutes or until cooked through. When the salmon is ready, the skin will look opaque and the fish will flake easily with a fork. The best way to tell when salmon is cooked is to ensure the internal temperature reaches 145°F.

Finish each fillet with a spritz of fresh lemon juice and serve with your favorite side. I made a simple arugula salad and created a vinaigrette using the olive oil, remaining fresh lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

Tandoori Salmon and Purple Beans

Tandoori Salmon
I know you’re probably thinking, “Those beans aren’t purple, what kind of a food blogger would trick her readers like that?” I confess that it is a trick, but not one of mine. You see, the beans in the picture above started life as purple and then had a little costume change. Let me explain…

I saw these colorful beans at the farmers’ market last week and I couldn’t resist the purple ones. Mostly because of the vibrant hue, but also because I’ve read that purple vegetables have lots of antioxidants and I’m sure I can use more of those to balance all the non-purple food I eat.

Purple Beans

Anyway, I wanted to make tandoori salmon (yogurt-and-spice-marinated salmon) for dinner and mentally added these as the perfect side.

Fast forward to Saturday night’s dinner prep and, much to my dismay, the beautiful purple color changed as soon as they hit the hot water and my special beans turned into plain old green beans.

I consulted my good friend Google and found that purple beans are just green beans in disguise. The purple pigment is stored only in the outer layer of the beans and changes to green once heat is applied. Disappointing, yes, but still tasty.

Now, on to the recipe for the Tandoori Salmon.

Tandoori Salmon (Yogurt-and-Spice-Marinated Salmon), Recipe adapted from Saveur

Ingredients

2 salmon filets (I used the ones with the skin-on)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1  small piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 Tbs canola oil
1 Tbs red chili powder
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
1 tsp cardamom seeds, toasted
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp garam masala
1 cup plain yogurt
Salt and pepper, to taste

Prepare

Place yogurt in a medium bowl. Add all spices, ginger, garlic and oil to yogurt. Mix to combine and season with salt. Pour mixture over salmon filets and use a rubber spatula or your hands to gently massage into flesh. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour and up to four hours.

Heat oven to 350 °F. Uncover salmon and remove any excess marinade. Bake until fish is cooked through, skin is opaque, and flakes easily or until internal temperature reads 145 °F. For my filets, this took about 35-40 minutes.

You can also make a raita to serve alongside the salmon. Raita is a Pakistani and Indian sauce or dip that has yogurt as a base and includes various spices, herbs, and finely chopped vegetables. There are many variations of raita that can include different spices like cumin, garam masala, and cayenne and many types of vegetables like cucumbers, red onion, and tomatoes.

A very simple raita recipe to use with this dish includes plain yogurt, garam masala, chopped cucumbers, chopped cilantro, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and serve along with salmon.