Test Kitchen: Broiled Soy-Glazed Salmon with Veggies is an easy crowd-pleaser
I've been out of commission for several weeks with a back injury. I am slowly on the mend — thank you.
But one the hardest parts of my recovery is not being able to cook that much. For someone who has had food and cooking on the brain 24/7 for nearly 25 years, it's been a rough go. Working my way around the kitchen without being able to bend or lift, reach up and into cupboards or even shop without assistance has been a tough assignment. And this happened just when I was getting used to a recent kitchen remodel that included a new dual-fuel Bosch range, which I was excited to use.
Early on in my recovery, my dear colleagues brought me things I crave from area restaurants and stores: tasty soups, chips and salsa and loaves of crusty artisan bread with a tub of delicious sea-salt butter.
After a while I was able to put things together: make toast or heat soup in the microwave. My husband and caregiver made and continues to make most meals for me. He also moved things around in the fridge and pantry so they were at a level I could easily reach. And when I did need to grab something, I relied on one of those grabber reaching tools. (You can find them at Home Depot, Lowe's or Target. In fact, buy more than one. These are like having a pair of cheater reading glasses in every room).
A frugal and expert grocery shopper who uses coupons, I bought convenience items that I typically don't buy because they were easy, albeit not cost-effective. Pre-cooked bacon slices were my go-to. Bacon is comfort food, and, well, I needed lots of comforting.
Now I am slowly taking up small tasks one step — and recipe — at a time. I am thinking of ways to navigate around my kitchen efficiently — while following doctor's orders — by having things within reach.
So with today's recipe, what immediately came to mind was making good use of the broiler or outdoor grill (mine is at hip level for me), and using one sheet pan to cook all ingredients.
I thought about ingredients that can stand on their own and needed no help. I was reminded of things that many chefs tout: source quality ingredients; treat ingredients simply; and season, but don't over season. And when it came to seasoning, I turned to using ingredients that could do double duty. In today's Soy-Glazed Salmon, the soy sauce rendered the use of salt and pepper seasoning on the salmon unnecessary. And roasting vegetables brings out their natural sugars so they are good on their own.
I was also focused on eating lean sources of protein, like salmon, that I could easily put together without a lot of prep work. Buying center-cut salmon meant I could grill or broil the whole piece or cut into serving pieces. You can also ask your fishmonger to cut the filet into individual pieces.
This recipe serves two generously with salmon leftovers or four without leftovers. Because there are only two of us, the leftover salmon was perfect served cold on a salad the next day.
Susan Selasky is a Detroit Free Press writer.
Soy-Glazed Salmon With Veggies and Citrus
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
1 pound center-cut salmon filet cut into 3 to 4 pieces (have your fishmonger do this for you) with skin
3 tablespoons of light brown sugar
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for drizzling on vegetables
1 medium red onion, peeled, cut into quarters
2 to 4 cups of vegetables of choice in pieces (broccoli, snow peas, carrots, zucchini)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 mandarin orange, peeled, segmented and diced
1 green onion, sliced, optional
Heat the broiler to low. Line a sided baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
Use paper towel to pat salmon steaks dry; place to one side of the baking sheet.
In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, tamari and oil. Drizzle about half of the soy mixture over the salmon filets. Place onion and other vegetables on the baking sheet opposite the salmon, drizzle with some oil and, if you like, season with salt and pepper.
Broil for about 10 minutes or until salmon is cooked through. Remove from oven and drizzle some of the remaining soy mixture and let rest for about 2 minutes before plating.
To serve, slide a spatula between the skin and the salmon and transfer to a plate. Arrange vegetables on plate and top salmon with diced mandarin. Garnish with green onion slices, if desired. Once plated, spoon any remaining pan juices over salmon and vegetables, if desired.
Makes 2 to 4 servings.