I've enjoyed so many recipes from this board lately, so I wanted to share one with all of you. This isn't anything spectacular per se, but it is one of my "go to" recipes that is pretty much foolproof. Anytime you have very fresh salmon that you want to cook quickly and simply, it can't be beat.
You can also use this same technique using any combination of spices that you wish. With the original coating, I like to flake the leftover salmon and serve it on top of a salad of arugula, diced raw fennel, diced green apples, and lemon vinaigrette.
Slightly adapted from a recipe from The Minimalist Cooks at Home by Mark Bittman
4 six-oz. salmon fillets
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp fennel seeds (ground if possible, but whole is fine)
1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary (or dried, if need be)
1 tbsp minced orange zest (grated zest also tastes fine)
2 tbsp olive oil or butter
1. Season the fillets on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Mix the fennel seeds, rosemary, and orange zest. Press this mixture into the top (nonskin) side of each fillet. Let sit for 15 minutes at room tempurature or refrigerate for a couple of hours.
2. When youre ready to cook, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Preheat a large nonstick ovenproof sillet over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the oil or butter, and when it shimmers, place the fillets, coated side down, in the pan. Cook about 1 minute, or until the spice mixture forms a nicely browned crust.
3. Turn the fillets and cook about a minute more, then transfer pan to the oven. Cook about 4 minutes for rare salmon, 5-6 minutes for medium rare, and 8 minutes for well done.