Nancy G’s Famous Salmon Rub

For everyone who was at Premier luncheon yesterday, here’s the Salmon recipe I mentioned.

In addition to being the President of a large national publisher, Nancy is an excellent cook. Here’s her recipe if you want to replicate the challenge in original form. She tells me she got the original from “The Girls Who Dish: Seconds Anyone?” The parenthetic notes are hers and mine.

I use it on steelhead trout and intend to try it on chicken soon.

Ingredients:
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp chili powder (Dr B. Suggests ground chipotle subbstitution)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
4 6-oz (170g) salmon fillets (with or without skin)
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
½ cup finely diced onion
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely diced, oil-packed or rehydrated
6 Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1 bulb roasted garlic
Coarse sea salt and freshly gound black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil

Preheat the over to 350 degrees F

Place the cumin and coriander in a small skillet, and dry-roast them over medium-high heat until they are warm and fragrant – a few may even pop. (Although obvious, do not let them burn). Once roasted, grind them in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder reserved for spices. Combine the toasted spices with the chili powder, cinnamon, pepper and sugar.

Prepare the salmon by rubbing all sides with 2 Tbsp oil. Coat the top of the salmon evenly with the spice mixture: if the pieces are thick, leaving the sides uncoated for a contrasting colour is a nice touch. Let the salmon rest for 30 min or prepare it in advance and refrigerate. Just before cooking, sprinkle with salt and pepper (I skip the salt and pepper – at this point).

Saute the onion in 2 Tbsp olive oil until softened. Choose a small skillet for this step – one that can hold the tomatoes in a single layer and then go into the oven. (Actually, I end up using a largish skillet so that the tomatoes can, indeed, fit in a single layer). Once the onions are soft, place the sun-dried tomatoes on the onions and arrange the Roma tomatoes, cut side down, on top. Place the skillet in the oven. After about 12 – 15 min, check the tomatoes. If the skins are wrinkled you can slip them off. (The skins do not actually wrinkle – they start to split. I then take a fork, carefully enlarge the split and pull off the skins with my fingers. At this point you run a high risk of burning yourself on the skillet.) Squeeze the roasted garlic into a small bowl, mash, and then add to the tomato mixture and mix carefully so that you do not mash the tomatoes. (I typically transfer to an oven proof casserole and cover to keep warm. If it cools, I place in the oven, or you can zap in the micro.)

Raise the oven temp to 400 degrees F. Heat the butter or oil, preferably in a non-stick skillet, until very hot. Sear the spice rubbed side of the salmon just long enough to set the spices and create a crust. Gently turn the salmon over and transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking. Depending on the thickness, it will be done in 4-6 min. It should be firm to the touch, springy, not soft, but definitely not hard and flaking. Serve with the warm tomato salsa.

They suggest that you can serve with Oven fries or corn on the cob and grilled asparagus. I have served with asparagus. (Dr. Booze would sub in wild rice for the fries.)

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