Homemade dinner? Who actually has time for that these days? No matter the situation -- whether you work full-time, go to school full-time or take care of kids full-time -- there's always an excuse to grab the takeout menu and order your usual chicken teriyaki with brown rice. But this salmon recipe, adapted from Simply Recipes, may well be the quickest, easiest fish you'll ever make. Just 10 minutes of prep time (5 minutes, once you've mastered it!) and pop this sucker in the oven for several more minutes. It's so simple that if you mess up the ingredient proportions, you still wind up with a delicious baked salmon. It's healthy, it's elegant and it's oh-so-tasty.
Serves: about 4 Prep time: 5-10 minutes Cook time: 12-14 minutes
Ingredients: 1 slab of thickly cut, boneless salmon 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 tablespoons honey mustard dressing 2 tablespoons thyme (preferably fresh; I just used dried) 2 tablespoons parsley Salt and pepper to taste 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1. Preheat your oven at 400 degrees. Place the salmon on a lightly greased baking sheet, skin side down. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Whisk together the olive oil and honey mustard. Add thyme and parsley (keep whisking!)
3. Spoon mixture onto the salmon, making sure it's spread (at least somewhat) evenly. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper then finish it off with the panko on top.
4. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the panko bread crumbs are a light golden brown and/or the salmon flakes when poked with a fork.
My Notes: Mine vs. Simply Recipes'. I first made this fish when all I had in my pantry was panko and a bunch of dried herbs. All I needed from the store was the honey mustard and salmon. I went ahead and bought honey mustard dressing (rather than the actual condiment) because I knew I could keep it in my fridge for a long time and use it to flavor homemade salads. I didn't bother buying paprika since I rarely cook with it; its absence also helps the thyme and parsley stand out on their own. As for the ingredient proportions, I felt the original recipe was a bit dry and bland. A few tablespoons more of honey mustard gives it the tangy, savory kick and the extra drizzle of olive oil helps the salmon stay moist.
Not too long ago, I tried this recipe with honey mustard (rather than just the dressing) and I definitely wasn't pleased with the results. The salmon ended up being more bland, and I realized the dressing complements the herbs much better.
What's panko? Panko is a Japanese bread crumb. The little, light yellow flakes have less sodium and carbohydrates than regular bread crumbs. You normally see it on tempura, and you can use it when making just about any food that requires breading. Best of all, panko is really easy to work with because it stays on food and it doesn't burn easily.