Friday, May 11, 2012

Panko-Crusted Salmon

Part II of my previous post is the other half of my meal from that evening. I also made a green-bean casserole but wasn't able to snap a picture before it was partially demolished. It's so good! Eventually I'll get it up here. Let me just say that this has become my go-to salmon dish. I can't get enough of it. It's so easy to make but so delicious at the same time. Perfect for a quick night meal or even a fancier meal. I found it on Annie's Eats- she's so awesome- a few months ago and this is at least the 4th time I've made this salmon. And that's saying a lot because I probably only buy salmon/fish once or twice a month! (It really depends when it's on sale- it can be so dang expensive up here!) Normally I'm not a chintzer (word?) on food- I would rather spend more money on good quality and healthy food than buying a new shirt or pair of shoes- but sometimes the price is just too high for my budget.

In other news, the countdown is on till I visit home and get to bake up a storm for my best friend's wedding shower! I'm very excited; this has been in the works for quite some time and my mind has been busy with ideas on what I should make and how it should look. I'm not completely set on some parts, and if anybody would like to post links or comments on some wedding shower ideas I would LOVE to see them! And of course I'm not going to tell you all that I have planned so far, you'll have to check back and see in the weeks to come! 3 weeks exactly and I'll be home, so if I'm being realistic it might be a month before wedding shower goodies are posted... I can't wait! (Is it weird that I get very excited at the idea of making baked goods for a wedding shower 2 months in advance? Yes, I was already excited a month ago.)

Back to the salmon...

3/4 cup panko crumbs
2 tablespoons finely minced parsley (dried works fine if you don't have fresh, just don't use as much)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3-4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 salmon fillets, skin on (if skin is not on, skip step below*)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (I use whole-grain but whatever is your preference)
lemon wedges for serving

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Combine the panko crumbs, minced parsley, lemon zest, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss with a fork until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Place the salmon fillets skin side down on a work surface, and brush with the Dijon mustard until completely covered (you may need more or less than the allotted amount depending on the size of your fillets and your preference. I like lots :) ). Press the panko mixture on top of each fillet and press down firmly so that the mixture adheres to the mustard.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat (* if you get fillets without the skin on, skip this part, and add an additional 2-4 minutes cooking time in the oven). When the oil is hot, add the fillets, skin side down, and sear for 3-4 minutes without flipping in order to sear the skin.

Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the salmon is just cooked through and the panko mixture has browned. Remove from the oven and cover with foil. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

*If you don't have an oven-safe skillet, like myself, I heat the baking pan that I will be transferring the salmon fillets onto while they are searing in the pan. Then I add aluminum foil to the pan and make a quick transfer and no one is the wiser. And if you buy salmon without the skin on, like I did this last time, you don't even need to worry about this step and they can go directly into the oven.

Source: How Easy is That? by Ina Garten
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