How do you make the most tender and moist salmon ever?
Well……You soak it for a couple of hours in Vodka of course! (totally normal right?)
This whole she-bang started with the salmon filet my husband put in the fridge….Now what to do with it hmmmm?
I removed all the pin bones and cut the filets into serving size portions
Now here’s where it gets a little crazy….hike yer’ britches up and follow me!
Put all those salmon pieces in a large casserole dish and dump 1/2 cup of good vodka on top….KERRRR – AZY!
Sprinkle the tops of the fish pieces with sea salt and a little dill
Cover the dish with Saran wrap and refrigerate for an hour or two. The vodka will do two magnificent and unforgettable things….1.)It will firm up the flesh of the salmon and 2.) Produce one of the most moist pieces of fish you will EVER encounter!
I’ll admit, at this point I was planning on simply broiling the fish and calling it GREAT….HOWEVER
It was one of THOSE days…ya know the day where I SHOULD have a flashing warning label on my apron to give everyone a fighting chance. On THOSE days there’s some serious mad kitchen scientry about to be thrown down!
I didn’t stop….COULDN’T stop! After rubbing my hands together like an evil henchman I decided to attempt the ultimate trifecta of recipe conglomeration. (I wonder sometimes if it’s just ME that understands myself when I talk like that) I think perhaps Alton Brown understands me.
In other words….I sandwiched a few of my favorite cooking ideas together into one glorious new recipe!
The vodka bath, the mustard cream sauce, and the breadcrumb topping hat trick
So while this fish chilled out in the fridge…I decided to put together a mustard cream sauce to go on top.
Ingredients: (enough for 2 filets)
2 tablespoons minced garlic (I used the stuff in the jar from the produce dept)
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup stone ground mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
cracked black pepper
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and place in the refrigerator while we re-address the fish
Now…I must ask- Have you ever sported rosy red cheeks after you’ve had a drink or two? Grab your fish now and allow yourself a giggle…Nice and rosy aye?
Go ahead and scroll back up for the before and afters….you know ya want to!
Lay the fish out on a layer of paper towels then, with additional paper towels, gently pat the tops of the fish dry.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place some parchment paper on top of a baking sheet. Spray the paper lightly with pam spray and arrange the fish pieces on top.
Grab the mustard cream and reserve half for later, then schmear….YEP SCHMEAR, a layer on top of each fish portion.
This is the point where I went into my pantry to grab my seasoned bread crumbs only to find out I didn’t have any…No worries, I’ll substitute panko and just make it work. Nooo Can Doooosey…No panko either (insert epic sized tantrum)
A quick scan of the pantry shelves for a bread crumb like alternative…..Cheddar Cheeze-its, um no….White Cheddar Cheeze-its, OH HECK NO! What I DID find were several odds and end pieces of bread. Some rye heels, some white heels, and some whole wheat heels.
Since NOTHING about this meal had gone as originally planned this was quite fitting indeed.
I threw all the heels in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes, flipping once, and dried them out rather nicely. I transferred them to the food processor and pulsed until I got a texture just a slight bit larger than typical bread crumbs. After smelling the rye, white, wheat crumbs….I knew it was going to be a welcomed addition to this whole process!
Sprinkle a generous amount of the crumbs on top of the mustard cream.
Melt 1/2 cup of butter or margarine and drizzle over top of the bread crumbs.
Place on the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 10-15 depending on the thickness of your fish pieces.
After the fish has baked, turn on the broiler and, leaving your fish on the middle rack, broil for about 5 minutes. Watch so that the fish does not over-brown. Use the remaining mustard cream to top the fish when serving.
I served this with jasmine rice but it really didn’t matter…the fish was the STAR!
I have a son who HATES fish….I mean LOATHES it! I still make him try each new recipe in that hopes that one will tickle his pallete…I struck gold with this one. He ate every last bite before he even touched the rice. It was a shock and awe moment to say the least!
Normally, I try my best to take appealing and tidy pictures of my food…I didn’t try so hard this time, I wanted to eat
Now please don’t let the color of the fish fool ya….the fish is DEFINITELY cooked through! This is the beautiful part of the vodka bath, you’re left with fish so moist you won’t believe it!
I wish I could share with you all the circles I spun in my kitchen while creating this dish, but oh was it worth it!
Wishing you all a great weekend….I’m going to create some more “Modern Meals”
Modern Mrs. Cleaver