February 24, 2012

Sunny in the City

Can I just give you a recipe today? You know, skip the story, the lengthy description and just give you the facts? It's perfect outside and I really can't be bothered with much else.

Three cheers for what is apparently the mildest most perfect San Francisco winter in the the history of ever!  Last night at nearly midnight it was 65F out, warm and still. In celebration I dug out the copy of Saveur magazine that we inherited with the apartment (an issue from August, I believe) and went straight to this salmon recipe.  Madhur Jaffrey knows what's up.  Chunks of salmon bathing in a bright and zingy mustard sauce, not what I'd picture as being Indian, but oh-so-tasty anyway.

There were some last minute modifications of course, due to my lack of interest in replenishing my out of stock spices on short notice.  Used the last of the brown mustard seeds pickling this summer! What I thought were cumin seeds were actually caraway seeds! Ground fennel instead of, you guessed it, whole seeds!  Deal with it.  But if you can, make it how it's written.

Unless you have sunshine to enjoy instead.

Salmon in Bengali Mustard Sauce
from Saveur Magazine, Issue #140

This isn't so much a curry as it is some salmon with a little extra sauce to spoon over the top. Serve it with some plain basmati rice and a sautéed green of your choice and let it all mingle on your plate. We squeezed a little extra lemon on the greens, but that's about all the dressing this plate needs.

4 servings

3/4 pound skinless wild salmon filets, cut into large chunks
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon mustard powder
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 serrano chiles, split

Rub fish evenly with half of the salt, turmeric, and cayenne; set aside. In a bowl, stir remaining salt, turmeric, and cayenne with powder and 1/2 cup water; set slurry aside.

Heat oil in 12″ skillet over medium-high heat; add mustard seeds; cook for 1–2 minutes. Add cumin and fennel, cook for 30 seconds; add slurry mixture and chiles. Add fish, and cook, basting, until done, about 10 minutes.

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