Well… I promised you salmon, so you’re gettin’ salmon!
Fun little factoid: My husband will not order salmon at a restaurant anymore.
Why? Because once we got married and he had it the way I make it at home… he’s just never been happy with it any other way. A pretty big compliment, isn’t it? But what’s crazy is… the way I make it at home is SO EASY. He could do it himself if he wasn’t so dead-set on never cooking. He’s watched me do it a thousand times.
So tonight I bring you EASY salmon at home, made two ways!
The first is spicy blackened…
And the second is mustard roasted.
The beauty of these two preparations is that they’re less expensive than eating out… they take a mere thirty minutes from freezer to table… and (according to the man of the house) they’re the only ways he ever wants to eat salmon for the rest of his life. Period.
So let’s make them!
You’ll need two salmon fillets. Mine (I’m proud to announce) came from the freezer aisle at Kroger. Their wild Atlantic salmon is quite tasty, and you can use it whenever you’re ready because it lasts forever in the freezer. That said, if you’re using frozen salmon… set it out to thaw earlier in the day. We want it completely thawed for cooking. (You can cheat the system and defrost it in the microwave in a pinch though. I do it regularly and I promise I won’t tell.)
We’ll start with the mustard roasted salmon, because while it’s baking in the oven we can quickly fry up the blackened salmon on the stove.
Grab a little bowl and spoon in about a tablespoon of mayonnaise.
Next spoon in (or squirt in, :)) a scant tablespoon of Dijon mustard.
Next comes a smaller squirt of whole grain mustard.
And a smaller squirt of regular yellow mustard. (You can play with these proportions depending on your tastes. My husband prefers sweet to sour so I go easy on the yellow mustard.)
Next drizzle in a few teaspoons of honey (or more if you like.)
And lastly, a pinch of pepper…
And a small pinch of salt!
Now stir it up to combine. This sauce will be used to coat the salmon as it roasts… keeping it moist and imparting tremendous flavor!
Make sure your oven is pre-heated to 400 degrees (F).
Then tear off a sheet of aluminum foil, place one of the salmon fillets in the middle, and coat it in the honey mustard sauce.
It’ll need to roast in the 400-degree oven for about twenty minutes. Fold the foil to create a little pouch around the salmon. Make sure the seam is at the top so liquids don’t seep out.
Then set the timer for twenty minutes and let’s turn our attention to the other salmon fillet.
This one’s going to be spicy and blackened… and it is the simplest preparation of all!
Lay the salmon onto a plate or cutting board and give it a light misting of cooking spray (I like canola.)
Next just sprinkle it lightly with salt…
And now… for my secret weapon.
Blackened Seasoning. This stuff is SPI-CY! I don’t prefer it in large quantities, but my husband goes crazy for it. The more the better.
So give the fish a nice, even coating of blackened seasoning. Try to get some on the sides of the fillet as well.
And finish up with one last misting of that spray canola oil. (It helps all the lovely spices to stay put when you throw the fish into the pan.)
Now, we want this fish to be reeeeeally nice and crispy… so drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil into a frying pan and set the heat on medium-medium high (like, between 6 and 7.)
When the oil is hot, gently lay the fish into it, face down. Leave it there for a few minutes without nudging it around.
After a few minutes, take a peek at the underside of the salmon. If it’s as dark as you want it… go ahead and flip it onto the skin side. After about a minute, turn the heat down or off and let the residual heat gently finish cooking the middle.
Let it sit in the pan and finish cooking for 3-5 minutes.
In the meantime, pull out the mustard roasted salmon and open up the pouch. Leave the edges folded up.
Spoon some of the cooking liquid back over the fish and return it to the oven (this time to broil on high) for about 1-2 minutes. This will give a slight crispness to the outside.
After that minute us up, the salmon is ready to eat!
Cook up a little broccoli, edamame, or couscous, or toss up a simple salad… and feast! Remember, the blackened salmon is extremely spicy. If you’re like me… a few small shakes of the blackened seasoning are all you need. The result is crispy, slightly charred, and delish!
~Carissa (and Chris)
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