OPINION | FRONT BURNER: Orange zest, chile flakes add flavor to salmon

Broiled Salmon With Chile, Orange and Herb Butter (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)
Broiled Salmon With Chile, Orange and Herb Butter (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)

As I've mentioned in previous columns, I don't eat nearly as much fish as I'd like and I'm always on the lookout for new recipes.

Finding new recipes that appeal to everyone at my dinner table can be quite the challenge. For example, after reading the ingredients list — butter, red chile flakes, orange zest, mint and salmon — for this recipe adapted from The New York Times, I was sure I found a winner. When I mentioned trying the recipe to Mr. Picky, he said something along the lines of "You go ahead; I'll make a grilled cheese."

And that's exactly what I did. I paired the flavorful salmon with a mound of riced cauliflower. It was excellent.

And the extra serving meant I had the makings for an almost effortless lunch the next day.

The recipe called for 3 tablespoons of fresh mint. I didn't have enough mint left in my herb bed to make the full amount, so I tossed in a bit of what I had in the kitchen — parsley and cilantro — to make up the difference. The combination was delicious.

I misread the recipe, thinking it made two servings when it actually made four. I have no regrets. The extra butter was just the right amount to season the riced cauliflower.

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Broiled Salmon With Chile, Orange and Herb Butter

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes (I used Aleppo pepper)
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped mint, parsley and/or cilantro
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 (5- to 6-ounce) salmon filets

Position the rack to sit about 6 inches from heat; heat broiler on high. Line a rimmed baking sheet or broiler-safe pan with foil, dull side up.

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add red-pepper flakes and orange zest and cook for a few seconds; remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons of the herbs. Set aside.

Season salmon on both sides with salt and pepper and place skin-side down on the prepared pan. Spoon butter mixture evenly over salmon.

Broil salmon for 4 to 6 minutes or until medium-rare — edges of the skin will be crispy and the fish will appear flaky. If you prefer medium or well-done salmon, transfer the pan to a lower rack and continue cooking to your desired degree of doneness.

The herbs on top of the broiled salmon will likely be a bit blackened. Scrape them off before serving and scatter the remaining fresh herbs on top, spooning the fish with any remaining butter mixture.

Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

Recipe adapted from Colu Henry via The New York Times

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