Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rub with Love

More catching up to do. A while back, sometime last summer, I was cut down to 32 hours a week (precursor to the approaching lay-off). I had more time on my hands and started preparing menus for the week - mostly in order to try new recipes. For whatever reason, none of them made it onto the blog. This was more out of laziness or distraction than lack of success because looking back I found a lot of winners. The following recipe for Fennel and Dill Rubbed Salmon, I found on Epicurious and have now tried three times. The first time I followed the recipe precisely, on a grill outdoors (it was September which is still summer here in Seattle). The second time it was fully fall so I moved the dish indoors and utilized a broiler. In a lot of ways this was easier (didn't involve the flipping) and since its still winter (technically) I will go ahead and post it that way. If you would like to attempt the grill method (which worked well!) see the Epicurious post. The third time I prepared it, I substituted a plain white fish for the salmon which i would NOT recommend. Something about the density of the salmon holds up really well and is not matched by a flaky white fish. The recipe calls for using fennel seeds and grinding them, but it really does work just as well using already ground fennel. If you have a spice grinder, or LOVE using your mortar and pestle, go ahead. The original recipe also makes a big deal about using Spanish smoked paprika... I have to admit, I used a bright red sweet Hungarian paprika. Regardless, this recipe is really one of my favorites. I served it at a small dinner party with some sauteed Brussels sprouts and it was a total hit.

Fennel and Dill Rubbed Grilled Salmon
Serves 8-10

1 tbsp ground fennel
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp dried dill weed
3 lbs sockeye salmon with skin
Olive oil
Mix first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Preheat your oven's broiler.

Brush the salmon with olive oil and rub spice mixture generously over flesh side of salmon. Place salmon, skin side down on a lined deep dish baking dish. Place about 6 inches below the broiler for 3-4 minutes, or until the sugar of the rub has fully caramelized. Remove the fish from the oven and cover with aluminum foil. Heat oven to 400 degrees and return the fish to the oven. Cook until the fish is flaky and fully cooked.

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