Broiled Salmon: Episode 1

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If you read our “About Us” section, you’re aware that this blog will have a repeating edition: the extraordinarily-simple-yet-somehow-completely-unattainable, Dad’s Broiled Salmon. We don’t know how he does it. We’ve watched, a million times. He’s talked us through it, a million times. We’ve tried different ovens, different cuts of salmon, different temperatures………in the end, I’m ready to believe it’s just Dad Magic. But in the event that one day one of us finds the trick, we keep trying and recording our efforts here for posterity.

The dad-version of this meal is just straight up broiled salmon with roasted potatoes and broccoli. This particular dinner I was feeling a little superfluous and didn’t have potatoes or broccoli, so this one is broiled salmon with yogurt dill sauce, white rice, and cucumber avocado salad. Recipes for all below:

Ingredients for broiled salmon:

  • SALMON.*

Ingredients for yogurt sauce:

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

Ingredients for salad:

  • Arugula
  • 2 persian cucumbers
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt/pepper

Preparation:

Turn on your oven broiler to let the oven warm up.

Make the yogurt sauce first, mixing the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, chopped fresh dill, olive oil, salt and pepper all together. Stir well and set aside in the fridge to stay cold and marinate a bit.

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Ok, the salmon. Rinse the salmon with water and dry thoroughly with paper towels when you take it out of the paper or packaging. Place the salmon skin side down on a foil lined baking sheet.

Do not do anything fancy like oil the salmon….just plop it on there. If you have two cuts of salmon, put the thin edges in the middle and the fat edges toward the outside (the outer edge of the pan will cook faster/hotter than the middle).

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Put the salmon on the foil lined tray in the oven under the broiler, on an oven rack maybe 6-8 inches from the broiler. Now you wait and watch. I can’t give you a time here because…..Dad Magic. Every piece of salmon is different, every oven is different. What you’re looking for is a super crispy, darkening top crust on the salmon.

While you’re monitoring the salmon, throw the salad together. Cut up the cucumbers — I specify Persian cukes because their texture in salads is my fave — and avocado, throw on top of arugula. I wait to toss the dressing on until just before serving, but you can prep all of this while the salmon cooks.

I pulled my salmon out after about 10-12 minutes, and because I’m not used to blogging yet, I wasn’t timing. But to be honest I pulled mine about 2 minutes too early. So the crust could have been crisper and the very center of the salmon was a tad under-cooked. This is an exercise in gut intuition and experience……..not thermometers and gadgets or timers. Just keep at it.

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Toss the salad and get ready to serve! The salmon should be eaten pretty much right when it’s pulled from the oven. If you’ve made a grain or starch, good work. My weakness is white rice with a little butter and salt/pepper. Comfort. Pull that yogurt sauce out and enjoy.

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*Note: The type of salmon you buy matters. You want fatty salmon. In general I go for Atlantic salmon (not Alaskan, or Sockeye, or anything else), and honestly wild salmon tends to not be fatty enough. Stick with Atlantic no matter what, and then go for whatever has the most white fat marbling and fits your environmental and financial parameters. Our dad pounces on salmon whenever it goes on sale, so you can also plan this meal around grocery store price whims rather than your own cravings.

salmon types

 

 

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