March 19, 2010
Salmon with cumin and capers
Occasionally I come home to a fragrant meal and I know that dinner must be special on such nights as my husband was home and decided to cook dinner for us. He was busy in the kitchen when I got back from work this evening....he was marinating a salmon fillet and I found some interesting spices on the counter - cumin, capers, chilli powder - I had never thought of that combo before and wondered why couldn't I be more imaginative. I have to admit that he is creative (I know he'll read this post and brag about his cooking!). Well, an hour later the salmon fillet was in the oven and the aroma was making me ravenous, and I couldn't wait to sit down to dinner. I got a simple green salad ready, and knew that I had a blog post for tonight.
We are big on spices - bold and earthy. Both of us love chillies, and at any given time you will find our fridge stocked with fresh green chillies (the thin green ones from the Indian grocery stores). Jalapeno peppers are not so popular in our kitchen but chilli powder - extra hot - is in stock always and used liberally in our curries and stews. Dried red chillies be they Mexican or Indian are part of our spice mixtures too. Coming back to the salmon, the cumin and capers were spices from two different worlds but found a common ground when mixed with the fresh garlic, chilli powder, salt and olive oil.
What can I say - the salmon was simply out of this world and a winner- done to perfection and flaked easily with a fork. The spices had blended so well and formed a delicate crust around the salmon. This was something I could never have imagined - yes, we need to imagine the food we eat to dream up recipes and variations to recipes, isn't it? And, if you are planning up this salmon recipe, here is what you need:
One large or two medium salmon fillets
3-4 crushed garlic cloves
1 tsp chilli powder
1tsp roasted cumin seeds
1 tsp capers
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp olive oil
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the garlic, chilli powder, roasted cumin seeds, capers, salt, and olive oil to form a paste. Smear the paste liberally on the salmon and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour (depending on your patience!). Place on a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes until the salmon flakes easily with a fork. Remove and set aside for 15 minutes. Serve warm with a salad or vegetable stir fry.