Salmon is my go-to dinner whenever I want to purge from the excesses of eating too many things I shouldn't have. It's healthy and has a richness of flavor that belies its health benefits. It contains a fair amount of fats - but the kind that are good for you - Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3's are thought to reduce inflammation - inflammation that leads to heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, arthritis and some types of cancer. They've also been found to slow down cognitive problems associated with alzheimer's disease and reduce the risk of depression and suicide.
It's nice to find something you love to eat that's actually good for you, isn't it? At least once a week, I sit down to a salmon dinner - either grilled, broiled or pan sauteed with salt and pepper, or with a dusting of fiery cajun spices. But another way I frequently fall back on is this recipe I've been making for years. I don't know where it originates from. I wrote it down on a piece of paper years ago without taking note of where I found it. But it must be fairly ubiquitous because Gilda, a friend of mine, served it to me the exact same way a couple of years ago. She doesn't remember where she got the recipe either.
The important thing is to try it. It's spicy but not as spicy as the cajun blend I buy. It's got a sweetness to it too, but I cut the brown sugar in half from the version I had originally written down. The recipe also called for splashing the fish with a little pineapple juice in addition to the lemon juice, but it's not something I normally keep in the house, so I just omit it. I also ask the fishmonger to cut off the skin, but you could also leave it on, if you like. Cooking it at 400 degrees for 12 minutes is also the perfect time and temperature needed to achieve a piece of salmon that's still moist on the inside without being raw. See for yourself -- and try it.
Join me for a week in Italy at the end of May and live like an Italian - sightseeing, cooking and eating in a villa located in the Alban Hills near Rome. There's still time to enroll. For details go to:
printable recipe here
4 6-ounce salmon filets
1 T. brown sugar
2 t. chili powder
2 t. grated lemon rind
3/4 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. cinnamon
Squirt the lemon over the salmon filets and mix all the rest of the ingredients together. Place the fish in a greased baking pan and spread the mixture over the filets. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.