One recipe idea to try for cooking salmon.
Olivia Lopez and Tracy Schuhmacher
Salmon is a great protein for a weeknight meal. It can be prepared quickly and is nutrient dense, with an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids.
Still, it can be tricky to work with; the biggest issue is that you don’t it to overcook and dry out, which can happen quickly.
Here are some tips for cooking salmon:
• The USDA recommends that salmon be cooked to 145 degrees, measured with a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fish. At that temperature, salmon will be cooked through; the fish will be opaque and flake with a fork. Many people, however, prefer their salmon be cooked less;120 degrees is an approximate temperature for medium rare.
• Like all meats, it is important to remove salmon from the heat and let it rest for about 10 minutes. During that time, the fish will continue cooking and the temperature will rise. As a result, remove it from the heat just before it’s done.
• If wild salmon is available and you can afford it, get it.
• Check your filet for pin bones. Set it skin-side down on a flat surface and run your hand over the surface to feel them. Yank them out with needle nose pliers.
• Salmon responds well to many different cooking techniques, including poaching, pan frying, grilling and roasting.
• If you have leftovers, flake the salmon and toss with mayonnaise, celery and scallions for a salmon salad. Serve it on pumpernickel toast.
Dijon and dill broiled salmon with cucumber yogurt sauce (Photo: OLIVIA LOPEZ/ @olopez4/staff photographer)
Dijon and dill broiled salmon with cucumber yogurt sauce
This recipe calls for broiling, but you’ll also get great results by grilling the salmon on a plank; these directions appear at the end of the recipe. Note that broilers can vary dramatically in their heat, so check the salmon frequently. If you find that your top is nicely browned but it is undercooked on the bottom, turn off the heat and leave it in the oven for a few minutes.
For the salmon:
2 pounds salmon, deboned and skin on
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon (or so) Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons (or so) fresh dill (or 1 teaspoon dried)
12 or more cherry tomatoes
For the sauce:
½ of a medium-sized cucumber
½ cup plain Greek yogurt (you could substitute sour cream for all or part of the yogurt)
1 garlic clove, grated or chopped
The zest of one large lemon
The juice of one half of a large lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven broiler. Line a broiler pan with foil.
Place salmon on the foil. Season with salt and grind several turns of pepper. Spread the salmon with mustard, then sprinkle liberally with the dill, making sure that it is evenly distributed. Place the cherry tomatoes on the foil around the salmon.
Broil 4 inches from heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads 135 degrees; it will continue cooking off the heat. Its top will be a light golden brown. (You may cook less if that is your preference.)
While the salmon is cooking, make the sauce. Peel, seed and dice the cucumber. Mix together cucumber and remaining sauce ingredients.
To serve, run a large spatula above the skin of the salmon, which will stick to the foil, and place on a platter. Discard the foil and skin. Cut into servings, garnish with the tomatoes and serve with the sauce.
To cook on the grill: Soak a cedar plank in water for an hour or two before grilling (you may use salted water, wine or cider for more flavor). Heat a gas grill to about 350 degrees or a charcoal grill to medium-high heat, set up for indirect grilling. Place salmon on plank and continue with the recipe. Set on grill; start checking the salmon for doneness after 15 minutes.
How to cook salmon: Dijon and dill broiled salmon with cucumber yogurt sauce (Photo: Tracy Schuhmacher/@RahChaChow/staff photographer)
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