Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spice-Crusted Salmon with Lime-Orange Salsa

[Originally posted last summer at Half-Past Kissin' Time. Just had to offer it up again, as it is fantastic and a know a lot of people eat fish this time of year (Lent).]

Because I have always been a big fan of butter (I have always been a "dunker") and have been trying to cut back, I feared I wouldn't get to enjoy salmon anymore. Now that I have this recipe, I can eat a whole piece of salmon without a drop of butter and enjoy it! Everyone who tries it loves it. We found the amount of spice mixture to be just right for two large fillets; you may need to double it. (Don't double the salsa ingredients, though, as it makes plenty.) Oh, and the salmon without the salsa is wonderful; since the salsa's a bit putsy, I don't always make it.

Spice Mixture:
1/2 T black peppercorns
2 T whole coriander
2 T whole cumin
1 tsp kosher salt

Salsa Ingredients:
4 oranges
1/4 C fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 C fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T minced Chipotle pepper
1/2 red onion, chopped

1 lb salmon fillets

Salsa: With a sharp knife, remove skin and white pith from oranges. Working over a medium-sized blow to catch the juice, cut the orange segments from their surrounding membrane, letting segments fall into the bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Salsa can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to eight hours. It does take about 30 minutes to do this. If you don't have the patience, buy your favorite fruit salsa separately, or just prepare the salmon without it; it's delicious with or without.

Spice Mixture: Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add coriander and cumin; toast, stirring constantly, until aromatic, 2-3 minutes. Let cool, and transfer to a spice mill or mortar and pestle (see, you do have a use for one of those!) Add peppercorns to the mill, and coarsely grind all of the spices. Stir in salt. [Now, some will say this process is unnecessary. I strongly disagree. The heating and grinding awakens the flavors, unlike that bottle of ground stuff that's been in your pantry since you got married. Trust me.]

Prepare the grill or heat broiler. Coat the pink side of the salmon with the spice mixture (Hubby likes to give them a light spray of olive oil first.) Grill or broil on a lightly oiled rack until the salmon is opaque in the center (about 5 minutes per side). Serve with the salsa and your favorite side.

And don't forget to come back and tell me how much you loved it!
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