Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Flashback Lunch With Salmon

I failed to blog about the amazing birthday dinner my husband took me to a couple weeks ago. He took me to Roy's Restaurant, which was focused on Hawaiian fusion cuisine. It was a wonderful restaurant that impressed me with their various preparation of fish. We indulged in:
  • Two appetizers including Coconut Crusted Tiger Shrimp with hawaiian pineapple sweet chili sauce and the Maine Lobster Dim Sum white truffle emulsion & lobster cream sauce


  • My main entree: Roy's Classic Roasted Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi with marine lobster butter sauce


  • My husband's main entree: Roy's Classic Trio which included hibachi grilled salmon, Roy's original blackened island ahi & hawaiian style misoyaki butterfish citrus ponzu sauce, spicy soy mustard butter, wasabi ginger cilantro


  • My cocktail: The Original Hawaiian Martini nothing says martini like shaken, not stirred, and Roy's put this delectable creation on the map. in classic Hawaiian fashion, our Maui pineapples are infused in Skyy vodka, Stoli vanil vodka and Malibu coconut rum. shaken and served with fresh pineapple


  • For dessert: the Molten Chocolate Lava cake and the Pineapple Upside Down Cake... both amazing!

But I digress. Today's post is really about the lunch I prepared today that reminded me of that fabulous dinner at Roy's. I found this recipe for Maple Soy Glazed Salmon in the 2005 America's Test Kitchen Live! cookbook (pages 152 - 155) and it was perfection. The original recipe is for the grill, but I adapted it by cooking it indoors on a grill pan.What we wanted: To avoid the burnt, stuck to the grill crust and flavorless interior that plague most glazed salmon. We also hoped to create a sweet, crisp and flavorful salmon dish.

What we learned: Marinate the flesh side of the fish in a mixture of soy sauce and maple syrup. Grill the fish, flesh-side down, then flip, glaze twice, and flip again. When the fish comes off the grill, glaze it again. Needless to say, a well-oiled grill is a must...

I opted not to glaze quite as often as the recipe calls for since I was preparing my salmon on a grill pan. Perhaps if I did use an outdoor grill, I would have glazed more often to ensure the flavors are locked in. Either way, the glaze was a perfect balance of sweet and salty, with a wonderful consistency. Here is my adapted recipe for Maple Soy Glazed Salmon (indoor on grill pan):

1/3 cup good quality soy sauce
1/3 cup real maple syrup
4 salmon fillets (about 8 oz each), each about 1 1/2 inches at the thickest part
Ground black pepper
Vegetable or olive oil
Sesame seeds for garnish

1. Whisk the soy sauce and maple syrup in a baking dish until combined. Carefully place the fillets flesh-side down in a single layer in the marinade (do not coat the salmon skin with the marinade). Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

2. Heat the oil in your grill pan over medium high heat until hot. Remove the salmon from the marinade and sprinkle the flesh liberally with freshly ground pepper. Place the fillets flesh-side down on the hot grill pan and cook until grill-marked, a deeply browned crust has formed and the salmon is opaque. Using tongs, flip the fillets skin-side down. Cook until skin is nicely browned, careful to not overcook the salmon. Remove from heat and allow salmon to rest.

3. In a small non-stick pan, place remaining marinade and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Brush the salmon with the glaze and use to dress plate.

I served the salmon over a bed of steamed brown rice with a bit of sliced scallions. For a nice side, I also steamed some sugar snap peas that I lightly tossed in 1/2 tablespoon of butter. To garnish, I sprinkled some sesame seeds over the dish.