Shack is working late and won't be home for dinner so I promised The Kid that I would cook salmon since his crazy whackheaded father doesn't like it and we both adore it. Along with David Bowie, The Legend of the Seeker and egg salad, salmon has become one of those things we indulge in when it's just the two of us. It's best this way.
For some reason, salmon really lends itself to indian spices and I often make a proper tandoori salmon but today I wanted to do something just a little bit different. I also didn't want to bbq it and tandoori is best bbq'd but after my failed attempt to start the charcoal last night armed with nothing but an old electrical bill envelope, a nascar lighter, charcoal and some fondue pot fuel
I wasn't in a hurry to try that again. I found this tasty looking recipe on Family Style Food and although I think I would love the corn salsa thing, it also required the grill and I don't know that The Kid would appreciate it enough to put me through the whole grill thing, so I skipped it. I also cut way down on the butter and I roasted the salmon in the oven.
I think that we both agree that this is now my new favourite way to do salmon. Mixing the tandoori spices with butter instead of yogurt, like you would for an actual tandoori is genius. It makes it richer and kind of tastes more like butter chicken than tandoori and The Kid pronounced this the best salmon skin ever, so there's that if you like the skin.
Indian Spiced Salmon
adapted from family style food
2 tbls softened butter
2 tsp tandoori masala (an extra pinch for a last minute sprinkle)
1.5 lb piece of salmon fillet, skin on
1/2 cup greek yogurt
finely diced cucumber (i diced about a 3" chunk from an english cucumber)
1heaping tbls chopped cilantro
juice of half lemon
pinch kosher salt
cumin seed papadums (heat under a broiler for approx 10 seconds per side- just til they show brown spots and no raw spots remain OR heat a skillet over med to med high heat and either spray a bit of cooking spray or lightly oil the pan. Fry them, turning often and pressing down with a spatula until you see all of the raw areas cook off and it's speckled with dark spots. Remove from pan and let cool and get crispy)
Mix the butter and the tandoori masala (or spice mix or one that you mix up yourself - they give a recipe for it on family style food but I have some masala I like so I just used that) and spread it on the fish. Put it in the fridge until you are ready to start dinner.
mix the yogurt, cucumber, cilantro, salt and lemon in a bowl and set aside.
When it's time to cook it, remove the salmon from the fridge, let it sit out at room temp for about 15 minutes. You can also wait until this point to spread the tandoori butter onto the salmon but either way, let it sit for about 15 minutes while you get the rest of the stuff ready. The butter hadn't spread over to the sides of the salmon so I sprinkled just a bit of tandoori masala over the exposed sides of the salmon.
Preheat the oven to 450F
I like to heat an oven proof pan (i use my cast iron skillet) over med to med high heat and add a bit of oil and then put the salmon fillets in the pan, skin side down and cook for about three or four minutes like that, until the skin is getting nice and crispy. Then I pop the whole thing in a really hot oven until its cooked, about another 10 minutes.
The Kid loves the skin so I don't remove it when I serve it but you can gently push the salmon right off the skin if you don't like. Serve with raita and papadums.