One of the better recipes I've tried in recent weeks is for this broiled crusted salmon dish from Cook's Illustrated: Best Recipe. The flesh stays flaky and moist while the oily flavours meld extremely well with the mustard. Will be made perfect with a well-rounded Californian chardonnay or nicely cut through with an NZ sauvignon blanc.
To get a suitable piece of fish, get a fillet that is of more or less equal thickness throughout so that it is cooked evenly. Maybe about an inch thick. You really do not need a sashimi grade item, NTUC standard is ok. Right after you get it out of the packet, run your fingers through the flesh and extract out any bones. For about 1.5kg worth of fillets, you need
3 slices of white bread with crusts removed
110g of high quality potato chips, crushed into dried oats-sized chunks. I used Kettler's honey mustard
6 tablespoons chopped fresh dill. Remove leaves from stem.
1 teaspoon olive oil
0.5 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
-Pulse your bread slices in a food processor until dried oats-sized pieces. Lay them on foil or baking paper and put them into a 200 deg C oven for about 5 mins until golden and crisp.
-Adjust the oven rack to the top portion of your oven. About 8cm from the top. Change oven setting to broil
-Prepare foil just slightly bigger than your salmon fillet(s). Maybe with an inch of foil as a border all round. Once fish is on foil, with the skin down, rub the fillet evenly with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
-After that prepare the dry mixture by mixing the bread crumbs, potato crisps and dill.
-Then pop your fish into the oven for about 10mins. Observe it carefully so that it doesn't burn. The top should turn out spotty brown. Use a knife to check the flesh at the thickest part, it should be opaque.
-Remove the fish form the oven, spread evenly with the mustard and press the crumb mixture firmly and evenly onto the fish.
-Following this, the recipe calls for the return of the fish to the oven for a minute. But I just used a torch to give a nice controlled char to the crumb mixture. In the previous attempt, a quick trip to the toilet during this stage resulted in some extreme chao tah.
You can serve your fish using the foil. Or transfer it to a serving dish. To remove the foil, use a spreading knife or a thin long knife, hold the foil while you slide the knife beneath the fish to separate the skin from the foil.
A nice way to make this into a Xmas item is to add maybe some chilli flakes to add that red speckle to the green of the dill.