Have you ever grown tired of that favorite recipe of yours? You know, the easy-to-make one that you can throw together relatively painlessly after a long day and everyone in your family loves it? For the past eight years I’ve been making my friend Hillary’s recipe for baked salmon with a honey mustard glaze topped with ground up Ritz crackers and dotted with butter.Bob and I were lovin’ it, and then one night last month I made the salmon and we decided that we never wanted to have it again…ever! Hence the search for a new recipe.
I’m happy to say that the Inspired Chef got inspired and found a tried and true replacement – “Five Spice Glazed Salmon,” which I discovered on FineCooking.com. It’s now our new go-to favorite.Not only that, I made it for dinner one night when a group of friends were camped at my friend Jan’s house during Hurricane Irene.Everyone loved it and wanted the recipe, and now they’re getting rave reviews when they serve it to their friends. Knowing it’s got a broad stamp of approval, I’m now passing this on to all of you.
Before we go any further, I bet you’re wondering, “What exactly are the five spices in five spice powder?” Good question! The ingredients include: Szechuan peppercorns, ground cloves, fennel, cinnamon, star anise and cinnamon. And a little extra information – Szechuan peppercorn is not a pepper at all, but rather a reddish brown berry that comes from the prickly ash bush.According to About.com,“It’s thought that ancient Chinese were attempting to produce a “wonder powder” that encompasses all five tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and a fifth taste that is alternately known as hot, pungent or spicy.” If you smell it, it comes across as a fiery clove scent. (Hmmm, maybe a new Yankee Candle fragrance?!)
So, now you may be wondering, “Just how is five spice powder involved in this recipe?” Another valid inquiry. You mix it with honey, soy sauce and minced garlic, then pour it over your salmon, letting it marinate for a bit, say 15 minutes, to let the sauce soak in.
In fact, I made this dish tonight and it was so easy, which was very good for me as we were having our friend Alex for dinner and I got so absorbed at work that it was already 5:30 pm before I left the office. Alex was due at an hour later, and this would usually put me in a total panic. However, I am proud to say I remained calm (relatively). I picked up wild salmon on the way home. And, since I’d already made the glaze last night, all that was left to do was place the fish in an oven-safe pan and drizzle the glaze over it. While it was marinating, I whipped up a batch of killer kale salad (recipe below).
Then I put the salmon under the broiler and, voila, dinner was served. Any more questions? I thought so! Comment as you see fit below…
Five Spice Powder Salmon
1/4 cup honey
4 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. five-spice powder
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Four 6-oz. skin-on salmon fillets (preferably wild)
Nonstick cooking spray
In a small bowl, whisk the honey, soy sauce, five spice powder, and garlic. Put the salmon skin side down on a large plate and pour the honey mixture over it. Flip the fillets so they are skin side up. Let the fish marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature.
Position a rack six inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.
Arrange the salmon skin side down on the baking sheet. Brush the salmon with any remaining marinade from the plate.
Broil the salmon for approximately 10 minutes or until it’s cooked through.
Autumn Kale Salad with Pine Nuts, Currants, Garlic & Lemon
As served at Susan Lawrence Gourmet, Chappaqua, NY
4 bunches leaf green kale, stems removed, chiffonade*
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
3 bunches scallions, finely chopped
2 cups dried currants
2 cups toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup lemon juice
2-3 tsps. chopped fresh garlic
1 cup extra virgin, fruity green olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Mix olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings. Toss with remaining ingredients.
*Note from the Inspired Chef: I find the best way to prepare the kale is to rinse the leaves, remove the stems with a sharp knife, then dry them in a salad spinner or with paper towels. Once the leaves are totally dry, place them in the food processor and pulse until well shredded.