Friday, September 25, 2009
New, improved tea-encrusted salmon
My husband and I have eaten a lot of sandwiches the past few months, so it was pure luck when a friend asked what I was cooking for supper the other night and I was able to reply, "Earl Grey-Crusted Salmon with Juniper Berries."
"Really?" She just looked at me.
"Yes! But it's so easy!" I said, and it is.
About two years ago, I wrote a blog post about a delicious new dish I'd been making. The basic recipe came from the book "Eat Tea" by Joanna Pruess with John Harney, but I had been unable to find the called-for juniper berries, although I must say the recipe is just fine without them. I made the recipe so often in 2007, however, that I think I tired of it. Then, when I was at the beach last month I came across a jar of juniper berries at the market, and it triggered memories of that easy and delicious salmon recipe! It was fun to discover the juniper berries, which smell sweet, like a fruit, and have the taste and texture of an orange- and pine-flavored miniature raisin. Serve the cooked salmon with salad and voila, supper!
Earl Grey-Crusted Salmon
2 salmon fillets (about 3/4 pound total)
1 medium navel orange
1 tablespoon Earl Grey tea leaves
8 juniper berries
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil (substituted this for the butter, and it was even better!)
More salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grate the orange and save the zest. Then, cut fruit into 1/4-inch slices.
In food processor, combine about two tablespoons orange zest, the tea leaves, juniper berries, salt and pepper. Process for about a minute.
Heat olive oil in iron skillet over medium to high heat. Season salmon with salt and pepper and saute, flesh side down, for about 5 minutes. Turn salmon over in pan and sprinkle the tea/orange zest mixture equally over fillets. Top each fillet with two orange slices and bake in oven for about 8-10 minutes. Delicious, and it's cooked and on the table in just 20 minutes!