Today I present you with a recipe gone wrongly. I rarely use recipes, because I prefer to cook creatively, and frankly, this experience reinforced that practice for me. I got this recipe from a friend and it sounded good in theory, but in practice was horrible. Nonetheless, since this is a learning blog, I present to you my Ill-fated Mustard Salmon.
Start off with:
Wild salmon filet (wild salmon is healthier than farmed, but you can use farmed if you're a saner person than I am)
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup panko
Place the salmon in an oven proof dish that ideally fits it (note my falling down on this angle) and preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the yogurt and mustard, and season to taste with salt and pepper
Spread the yogurt mixture evenly over the salmon.
Cover the yogurt evenly with panko. Ideally, this would provide a crunchy contrast to the creamy sauce and tender salmon. I used garlic and pistachio panko from Whole Foods—yum, right?
Bake until salmon flakes nicely with a fork—this size fillet took about 25 mins in my oven.
I served this with some summer squash sauteed with olive oil, garlic, and fresh sage. The squash was the highlight of the meal.
Here is what is wrong with the salmon: for one thing, the mustard is tangy and the yogurt is tangy too. The combined tangs yield an overwhelming impression of acidity or saltiness that completely takes over the wonderful salmon flavor. You might as well have toast with mustard, for all the flavor of the fish you get. Since wild salmon is expensive, I was not pleased with this outcome. I really couldn't eat much of it, it was so overwhelmingly mustardy.
For another thing, salmon is a moist fish. You really don't need the yogurt to keep it moist. By combining the yogurt with the panko, you merely get yourself some soggy panko. Panko was never meant to be soggy, people. It is only happy when crunchy. I think this could be vastly improved by just sprinkling the panko on the salmon. I like keeping salmon fairly simple, and the idea of crunchy panko with moist fish is appealing-leave the yogurt and the mustard for another day.