Thursday, January 19, 2012

Broiled Herb-Crusted Salmon – Stop Staring at the Seafood Case, You’re Making the Fishmonger Nervous

I don’t generally talk to strangers – heck, I barely speak to my friends – but once in a while I’ll see someone staring so cluelessly at the fish case in the grocery store, that I just have to jump in and offer them some unsolicited advice – usually suggesting a recipe like this broiled herb-crusted salmon.

This method of broiling salmon, with its simple to make mayonnaise-based crust, produces a magnificently moist and flavorful piece of fish. It can be varied a thousand ways, and other than the actual mayonnaise, literally every other ingredient is optional.

I love the combination of tarragon and Italian parsley, but I’ve used herbs like basil and thyme, which worked wonderfully as well. As far as the fish goes, a center-cut salmon filet is a perfect thickness for this, but other similarly shaped seafood will work.

So, if you happen to be one of those people who get that deer in the headlights look when choosing seafood at the store, I hope you give this great recipe a try. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 Servings:
2 (8-oz) center-cut salmon filets
salt and pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, sliced
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
1 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp mayonnaise
pinch of cayenne
1 tsp fresh lemon juice, or to taste

39 comments:

Anders said...

Seems like an awesome way to cook fish, going to try next time I buy salmon.

In the meantime, I do have a bunch of chicken breasts at home, would the same idea work with them? I assume cooking time would differ?

Thanks for another great video!

Maureen said...

:) Looks great!
Cannot wait to buy some salmon!

Chef John said...

Yes, works on chicken!

Donna said...

Great recipe John! I never liked fish and have a similar recipe using Mayo, soy sauce, chives & black pepper with salmon filets .. it's absolutely "idiot proof" :) which is what I needed when it came to cooking salmon. Now I eat salmon on a regular basis. Thanks for a change to the my usual recipe. People are skeptical when I tell them that mayo makes salmon stay moist and it taste delicious.

Chris K. said...

Not to take away from the salmon (looks delicious, btw), but it looks like you served it with sautéed baby spinach and fried sweet potatoes.

I don't have a ton of side dish recipes in my culinary arsenal. Just a few favorites: safe, stand-by options that don't upstage the main course. They're wallflowers. Bridesmaids but never the bride.

Do side dishes need to be boring by necessity? When I dine out, I always love it when the sides not only compliment the main course, but shine on their own.

Could you suggest more side dishes from Food Wishes that pair well with the featured ingredient?

Anyway, keep up the great work, Chef. You always have great ideas and I look forward to your posts every week.

Anonymous said...

That's not the freakishly small spoon! That's a new bamboo one. What I've always liked about you, chef John, is that you use what you have. Remember that video you did where you cut that ugly orange (orange supremes?) because that's what you had. Hey...don't forget your roots... Remember, your one of us, not one of those pretentious foodie types! Love you Chef!

Anonymous said...

Hell of a recipe Chef John, but the star of the show, as always, was the freakishly small wooden spoon. it's a hell of a thing, like the holy spoon, and the dutch oven of triumph.

Chef John said...

Chris, I tend to like the one dimensional side dishes like mashed potatoes, but if you want something more exciting, any of our beans and greens recipes would be a perfect side dish! Succotash too. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I had a pound and a half of salmon ready to go for your ginger basil recipe, then saw that you posted this. I only had basil and mint on hand so that's what I used, but it turned out so well. Incredibly moist and that absurdly flavorful coating. Thanks again!

Kevin said...

Any suggestions on a mayonnaise alternative? You know for those wanting a less fatty dressing/condiment.

Monica said...

I have used mayonnaise to cook salmon for years and will try your recipe this weekend. I also use mayonnaise like this to cook eggplant under the broiler, far better than frying and much healthier.

Paul in NC said...

My wife has been using a variation of this recipe. She smears the patted dry salmon with mayo and then sprinkles with panko bread crumbs. Bakes until the fish is cooked then broils to brown the panko. AWESOME!

Anonymous said...

Kevin, what's wrong with mayonnaise? Vegetable oil and a little egg yolk whipped up into an emulsion. Live a little! There's nothing wrong with mayonnaise. You've been listening to too many food-nazi's.

Rita said...

YAY for freakishly small spoon! :D

that salmon look so good. yes, i will try - and yes, i will enjoy.

James Rodriguez said...

Hi Chef John, I just recently bought your book from amazon and it's fantastic, dog ears are popping up everywhere. I wanted to ask you what type of knife set do you use or would recommend? I looking to upgrade at the moment. thanks :)

Madonna said...

I did not understand why you switched to the wooden spoon, would you elaborate a little more? I have been contemplating if I really needed a mortar and pestle and your advice has convinced me that I really should have one. Now the small one of the larger one? Your food is so simple, but wonderful I am becoming a better cook. Thanks again.

Chef John said...

just so as not to damage the spoon and or marble. the soft wood feels and sounds better too!

Me.Eat.Food said...

I cook a lot of salmon and a lot of fish, but I've never tried an herb crust so I'm looking forward to tasting this! And thanks for the lesson on why to use a mortar and pestle...it's now on my shopping list!

Alaskan Girl said...

Wow! That looks wonderful. We live and fish in the "Salmon Capital of the World" Ketchikan, Alaska! Thanks for mentioning "fresh" salmon...it is the best way to go. I love it and I'm always looking for different ways to cook it. Thanks Chef John! -Andrea

Basia said...

@Kevin Don't listen to the anti-food-nazi-nazis!!! Actually, my daughter hates mayo (even though I have proof that she's my & the DH's biological child) and swears she can detect it whenever foisted upon her. Her loss. Nonetheless I have taken to subbing sour cream punched up with a bit of salt and vinegar. It's not the same, but does serve well.

Jovana said...

I am one of those people who just stand there with their mouth open looking at the fish... haha. The only fish I know how to cook it Talapia. But next time, I am grabbing the salmon and trying this recipe!

Locomotive_breath said...

Hi Chef

Made this last night. Chef, I felt very empowered by your "you are the boss of your everything" line. So I added Sriracha in place of the cayenne+lemon juice and since I didn't have any parsley, I substituted that with cilantro, which always goes well with sriracha. The end result was delicious. Had it with some brown rice, and a medley of steamed vegetables. I have never cooked with mayo before because I always thought that mayo = heart attack but I stand corrected. Not only did I NOT have a heart attack, I ended up with a delicious dinner and the much praise from the wife, which definitely counts for something. I can see myself using this technique for other fish as well as chicken. Please do a chicken recipe sometime soon. We can use something that is simple to make, yet satisfying.

Thanks for all you do.

jamilee said...

Was really great! My oven didn't cooperate at first, but I finally got the broiler hot and the paste bubbling! It turned out. I'm so glad I found this website, I plan to continue to try recipes!

charlesnakhleh said...

Another winner!
http://i41.tinypic.com/34ewd9d.jpg

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef John,

I wanted to do a similar treatment on steak with shredded/minced horseradish root in the mayo. Would you sear/cook the steak at all before putting it under the broiler? Would you still season the steak as you normally would before putting the crust on?

The Pedlar said...

Chef John, thank you so much for this. With the mayonnaise base I can envision so many possibilities. And thanks for the tip on giving the salmon steaks a few minutes on top of the stove prior to broiling. Makes perfect sense, of course, and I now feel fully empowered to go where I have never gone before...the fish counter. Merci mil fois!

Chef John said...

yes and yes!

Araxjan said...

What other herbs do you think would go well with this salmon dish? I was thinking something with basil. Do basil and terragon go well together? Or maybe basil and oregano? or basil and thyme?

I really want to use basil, and would like your opinion as to the herb that would compliment it the best.

Thanks Chef, you've done wonders for my cooking skill and marriage!

Chef John said...

tarragon is the best choice

Jack Reynolds said...

I recently did this with rosemary and parsley on a couple pieces of steelhead trout. It was fantastic. I served it with green beans and roasted chipotle sweet potatoes.

Thanks.

Now for cow cheek recipes...

George said...

Hey John, what's that thing called that you are smashing the ingredients with? A mortar what?

Chef John said...

Pestle

cookinmom said...

Could I do this on the grill and broil at the last minute?

Chef John said...

sure! just dont overcook!

Crazydoesit said...

Hi!

This looks amazing! I plan to make this for a couple of friends so I am curious as to whether I can make the mayo/herb mix the night before in order to cut down on preperation time the day of.

ChristianChew said...

Chef John,

I can't thank you enough for this recipe. I've eaten my fair share of salmon at countless fine restaurants, and I just have to say - this is BY FAR the best salmon I've ever had. The creaminess of the mayonnaise, the bite you get from the dijon mustard, both combined with a perfectly cooked salmon (your times are spot on) is just amazing.

Love your blog by the way!

BaiMeiLin said...

I cannot wait to try this recipe and so many of your others. I found you on allrecipes.com and I feel like I've discovered a true gem. This salmon looks amazing...no one has ever convinced me to buy a mortar and pestle until now. I am literally heading out to buy on asap and I'm making this tonight.

dana enani said...

i did this recipe today and it tastes OMG ... HEAVEN!! i want to thank u so much for EVERYTHING. You helped me change my diet into a healthy one and helped me loose my weight without eating tasteless food! i love u chef, thank u so much

not worth a brass farthing said...

My wife who doesn't like much fish, especially salmon, raved about this when I cooked it for her last night (of course her piece was halibut). It was really quite good. I think…possibly…better with the halibut.