Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Indian-Spiced Salmon with Basmati Rice

Recipe modified by Gretchen Wilson – June 30, 2010
For a commentary-free and printer-friendly version of it, please click here.

Recipe originally published in Cooking Light, June 2010.

Salmon is a super food.  It’s got healthy fats in it (Omega-3 anyone?), a great source of protein, and a large supply of vitamins, including Vitamin D – of which I have a severe deficiency.  Because of this, I’m always looking for different ways to cook salmon.

There are several things that attracted me to this recipe.  Obviously, the salmon is one of them, but I was also excited to try the rice side dish.  I’ve never cooked basmati rice and this seemed like a very straightforward recipe to try.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t terribly impressed with the dish when it was done, but more on that later.

My finished product:

Picture published with recipe:

© Cooking Light

The pictures reveal everything that I found wrong with the recipe.  First, the amount of spice rub you make for the salmon clearly wasn’t enough for the amount of salmon in the recipe.  Second, I think the cook times are a little off.  The fish was a little dry and didn’t get that pretty broiled look on top.  Finally, I think the rice could use a little more cashew in it.
for more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen’s Rating System

MessNADA – The spices are all you need to mix in for the salmon (measure & sprinkle) and the rice is done in one small saucepan.  There’s a little more mess if you are cutting your own salmon and making your own cashew pieces, but not much more.

Start-to-Finish Time: Well under an hour – Cooking Light doesn’t give a cooking time, but while the rice cooks for 20 minutes, you have plenty of time to prepare and cook the salmon.  I would say even with clean up, you can still get by under an hour with this dish.

Prep Work: ALL FINGERS STILL HERE – Unless you use the original recipe’s fresh parsley instead of dry, you mix and cook/broil.

Ease of Recipe: COOK IT IN MY SLEEP – Making rice & broiling fish.  That’s all there is to it.

OverallBLEECH – The salmon did not have any kick or flavor to it at all.  I was expecting it to be a spicy curry taste, but I really only tasted salmon.  Not that salmon tastes bad, but I wanted an Indian-spiced salmon.  The rice was tasty, but I felt it needed more cashews in it.  I didn’t share my displeasure with it & let Chris try it.  He smiled and ate it, but the remaining two fillets were left uneaten.

Recipe Information:
Servings: 4 (1 fillet and about ½ cup rice)

Nutritional Information
  • Calories 511
  • Total Fat 19.8g (Saturated Fat 4g)
  • Cholesterol 100mg
  • Calcium 29mg
  • Sodium 297mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 47.1g
  • Fiber 1.8g
  • Protein 37.1g
  • Iron 2.5mg

It is could be a meal at one fillet and rice, but I added a salad and next time will try to find some Naan bread.

Changes denoted by red text

2 cups water
1 cup uncooked basmati rice
¼ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons dried parsley
4 teaspoons roasted salted cashew pieces

½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
Dash of kosher salt
Dash of ground red pepper
4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
Cooking spray

Ingredient Notes:
Basmati Rice
  • This is aromatic rice with a long grain.  You don’t have to stray too far from the regular rice to find this type of rice.  Look on the lower shelves with the regular rice.
  • Although I highly suggest trying the basmati rice, you can use these as an alternative:
    • Jasmine Rice
    • Long-Grain Rice (cheapest)

Parsley – This recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, but that is such a small amount that I’ll waste the entire bunch.  So, I used dried in the ratio of 1 tablespoon fresh = 1 tablespoon dried.

Cashew Pieces – I always keep a large container of cashews in my kitchen.  What can I say?  I LOVE cashews!  So instead of buying a separate bag/can of cashew pieces, I just threw the required amount into my mini-chop and pulsed until they were broken up.

Kosher Salt – Kosher salt has larger grains than regular table salt, so if you don’t’ have it, can’t find it, or don’t want to try it, use half as much regular table salt in your recipes.  P.S.  It isn’t ideal for baking, so this rule only applies to cooking.

Salmon Filets – To save some cash, I bought a pound filet and cut it into four pieces.  You can also find salmon in the freezer section of the grocery store that is fairly inexpensive.  Try to find wild salmon from Alaska since it is the most sustainable of all the different types of salmon.

Equipment Needed:
Small saucepan with lid
Large spoon
Small bowl
Spoon - mixing
Large broiler pan or baking sheet
Aluminum foil

If you are making your own cashew pieces, you'll also need:

If you are cutting your own salmon, you'll also need:
Raw meat cutting board
Sharp knife

Equipment Notes:
Raw Meat Cutting Board – When I first started cooking, I would cut up everything – vegetables, meat, cooked chicken – on the same cutting board.  Of course, as I learned more about cooking, I found that wood cutting boards (my favorite) can retain the juices from raw meat, chicken & seafood.  Then I learned that you should not cross-contaminate raw meat of any kind with vegetables or cooked food.  So now I have a plastic cutting board for me to cut up raw meat and a wooden cutting board for everything else.

(1)  To prepare rice, bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan.

(2)  Stir in rice and ¼ teaspoon salt; cover, reduce heat, and cook for 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

(3)  Remove from heat; stir in parsley and cashews. Keep warm.

(4)  To prepare salmon, preheat broiler.

(5)  Combine ginger and the next 5 ingredients (through pepper). Rub spice mixture evenly over salmon.

(6)  Place fillets on a broiler pan or baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cover with foil; broil 7 minutes.

(7)  Remove foil; broil an additional 4 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Serve salmon with rice.

As you can see, it isn’t a difficult recipe.  A suggestion from the comments section of the recipe, a seasoned chef said to keep it tented in foil while cooking for 14 minutes and then broiling it for the additional 4 minutes.  If I was to make this again, I would make twice the spice mixture, try the cooking tip given by one of the other cooks and add more cashews to the rice.  If anyone decides to give it a try, and it comes out differently, let me know.

No comments:

Post a Comment