Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Broiled Salmon in Citrus-Cilantro Pesto

We stumbled across an old edition of Cook's Illustrated that had a pretty interesting article about broiling salmon in a variety of sauces. Having never broiled salmon before, we jumped on this article and proceeded to dissect it :) We quickly discovered that this "How to Broil Salmon" article was incredibly confusing - every sauce recipe (there were 5 of them) refers to a part of one of the other recipes! *grr*

We finally figured it out and went with the cilantro pesto sauce - a very refreshing flavor for a hot summer evening. But we soon ran into bigger problems - the broiler didn't quite seem to be working! So, we had to stick with using the oven instead - the flavors were great, but we didn't quite get the crispy crust we wanted. I think we're going to try the crushed potato chips + bread crumbs for the crust the next time around.

We seasoned the salmon fillets (about 1 lb) with some olive oil, kosher salt and pepper and let it sit under the broiler for about 7-9 minutes. In the meantime, we made up the sauce by blending these:

1 bunch cilantro
5-6 cloves of garlic
1 bunch scallions
1 jalapeno
juice of 1 lemon

We went back and forth on whether we wanted shallots or onions or scallions. And the scallions were perfect - not overwhelming, just a little pungent, quite yummy!

Hmm ... broiler disaster! So, we upped the oven temperature to about 475, let the salmon bake for a couple more minutes and then coated it with the pesto, rolled it in panko and stuck it back in the oven for another 7-9 minutes. Hmm ... still not browned! Another 7 minutes? That helped some, but this crispy crust needs some work!

Well, the sauce perfectly complemented the salmon, so no complaints there! And our sides were perfect - roast potatoes with onions, cumin and a dash of cayenne and green beans cooked in a soy-rice vinegar reduction with sesame seeds. The green beans side was the star of the night, I'll need to cook that again soon!

The picture I took was way too lame to post, I'll just have to cook this again for a good picture :)

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