Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Kitchen Klutz: Say bye-bye to boring salmon

Photo by Joe Maniscalco

Story by Michèle De Meglio

I have fins!

Well, not really. But how many times can you eat grilled salmon with lemon or rosemary before you feel like you’re turning into a fish?

Let’s ditch the bland and boring recipes and try something new!

I recently enjoyed a light and lovely fillet of sole coated in breadcrumbs at Gargiulo’s Restaurant in Coney Island during the 50th anniversary party for one of this paper’s finest photographers, Bob Hacken, and his wonderful wife, Gloria.

The yummy sole got me thinking — why can’t salmon be prepared this way? There’s no reason why not so I got to cooking!

I’m not a fan of salmon steaks (they look odd and nobody likes chomping on bones) so I bought thin fillets from my local fishmonger.

Sadly, this dish couldn’t be cooked on my trusty George Foreman Grill — unless I wanted to spend 20 minutes scraping burnt breadcrumbs off of the nonstick coating. I didn’t.

Instead, the fillets went in a baking pan. Before topping the fish with garlic, onion, parsley, lemon juice (can’t get away from it) and breadcrumbs, I drizzled a little more oil thinking it would make the ingredients stick to the fish.

A few sesame seeds went on top for added pizazz. Remember, presentation is key!

Verdict: Gargiulo’s won’t be hiring me anytime soon. I kept the dish in the oven for a few extra minutes to brown the breadcrumbs but ended up with dry and overcooked salmon. Eating rubber ain’t fun.

I stomached as much fish as I could before picking at the burnt breadcrumbs, which were quite yummy.

Hey, at least I tried something new.

Baked breaded salmon
2 salmon fillets
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 small Vidalia onion, minced
1 tsp. parsley, minced
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. sesame seeds
Olive oil

Rinse fillets and place in a baking pan coated with olive oil. Drizzle oil over fish, then add lemon juice and sprinkle garlic, onion, parsley, salt and pepper. Add a thin layer of breadcrumbs. Top with sesame seeds. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Serves two.

Kitchen Klutz follows 20-something Michèle De Meglio as she burns casseroles and her fingers, all in hope of trading frozen dinners for home cooking.


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