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Crusted Salmon Steak

 
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1011
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:20 am    Post subject: Crusted Salmon Steak Reply with quote

Crusted Salmon Steak



This is a duck soup easy technique that takes about 30 minutes prep to table.
the "recipe" is extremely simple - the dish relies more on the technique of crusting for a large part of its flavor.

Salmon steaks - not on sale they run about $9/lb in my neighborhood.
no choice as to farmed or wild; the only wild we see is filets....
Leeks
fresh mushroom - white button preferred in this dish



preheat oven to 275F/135C

lightly salt & pepper & fresh lemon juice drizzle the salmon, both sides.
I leave it counter top / room temp while I do the rest.



chop the mushroom
bias slice the leeks
one cup / 250 ml (each) is just adequate for two; double if you want a more filling 'side'
you'll lose about 40% volume in cooking.



topping/side prep
knob of butter in fry pan
I start the saute with the mushrooms and get them about 80% of desired cooking stage.
add leeks and continue to saute to about 90% - they get reheated later....
(water sweating out of the leeks will keep the pan temp down - for crisp mushroom, you need higher temp - so get the mushrooms done before adding the leek)
add a splash of olive oil, as needed.
(start the salmon pan pre-heat during this prep)



notes:
(1) mushrooms can be cooked from near raw to crispy critters to your own preference - in this dish I like them thoroughly browned with just a few crispies here & there.
(2) avoid over cooking the leeks - they lose their color.

preheat an oven-proof heavy pan to very hot with generous olive oil coating.
must be a heavy pan - one needs that heat capacity.
plop in the salmon steaks and _don't move them around!_
3-4 minutes side 1


flip
4-5 minutes side 2



side 2 takes a bit longer because the pan has been 'chilled' from side 1
regrets, this batch I flipped a tad early - I would have liked another two smidgens of crust on side 1

finish 6 minutes in the oven
rest (covered) for 4 minutes prior to service

notes as to timing:
- if the steaks are very cold or very warm before hitting the pan, it's likely to not affect the crusting layer - but fish starting temperature can affect the oven time.
- some like their salmon more "done-through" than others
- six minutes is a soft pink
- I use a sharp prong fork to judge done-ness - no clue as to it's internal temp; sorry.

while the salmon is resting, fire up a burner and re-warm the mushroom/leek mix.

Variations on the theme:
subs for leeks
- spring onion/scallion/green onion
- yellow/white onion - red/Bermuda not recommended - un-nice color changes

adds:
fine chopped shallot for a slight garlic twist
finely chopped celery / celeriac
toasted / chopped nuts - pecans/almonds/cashew - add at the re-heat stage

the leek&mushroom mix can be "filled out" with toasted panko - toast the panko in the pan before starting the leek&mushroom mix.
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Diane B.



Joined: 27 Mar 2012
Posts: 29
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks yummy, and thanks for the pic-by-pic and thorough text. Some of the additions sound interesting too.

Was interested to hear that you felt the temp of the salmon didn't matter for crusting, only for finishing time in the oven.

Also happy you specified the time and temp in the oven step. I often want to "finish in the oven" (chicken, fish, pork usually) but haven't figured out good general guidelines for temps and times. Any wisdom to impart??
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1011
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the fish temp doesn't seem to affect the saute/crusting portion - the pan is running close to 350'F and only a thin layer crusts, so it happens pretty quick - not a lot of time for heat to move into the fish proper.

I've become a fan of low oven temps for finishing stuff in the oven - it does take longer but the lower temps are less likely to make the proteins toughen up. fish do well in the 275 to 300 range, pork and chicken I do at 325. for years I followed the 375-400+ type of blast furnace routine and once - by accident, I mis-set the temp - and immediately noticed the stuff was moister and not nearly so "hard"

commercially, where people are waiting for their food,,,, I can understand the need to cook fast and I'm sure with practice one could get it down to a few seconds in the timing - but the lower temps are also more forgiving in terms of timing.

I'm also a fan of slow roasting - see the thread on prime rib - long & slow.

there are exceptions - ie.g. if you want a browned & bubbly cheese topping that does require a higher temp - and maybe a shot of broiler.
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Diane B.



Joined: 27 Mar 2012
Posts: 29
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
fish do well in the 275 to 300 range, pork and chicken I do at 325.


Thanks, very helpful.

Do you have any times to go with those temps, or "by the inch," etc? I know it would depend partly on length of time on the stovetop, but ballpark info would be good too.
For the lower temps, there may be more wiggle room? --maybe similar to "it's really hard overcook fish/poultry when steaming"-- but definitely interested in anything you know.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1011
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rough guidelines, yes - exactitudes no.

it is hugely dependent on what & how one is "browning" including saute / fry / pan fry / deep fry, etc.

for example fried chicken. now, with a big cast iron skillet I can eventually get the gas 'set right' so that it's got a nice crust & color and is done through. takes 3-4 pan loads to get there. okay if you're cooking for 50 people, but cooking for two.... so I deep fry for crunch, crust and pretty then pop the stuff in the oven on a rack to finish - about ten minutes.

pork chops - I don't like the thin ones. I'll get them to cut me 1" sometimes 1-1/2" thick chops.
sometimes I bread them, sometimes not. since they are thick they take more time, I start checking at 15 minutes.

steaks - it is possible to do a very good steak by pan searing + oven finish - I use a slightly higher temp - 375 - to keep the outside sizzling hot.

fish, chops, chicken, burgers, steaks . . . I actually don't use a thermometer. I have a drop forged "carving fork" with long slender, very pointy prongs. I poke into the center of the 'thing' and just from feel judge whether it's still undone, rare, medium or well aka over done.

you've probably seen the 'pros' do the finger poke test on steaks - one can tell by a proper poke if a steak is rare, medium or well. same idea with the fork.

yes, I poke holes in stuff and yes sometimes the juice runs out - not all the juice... mind - and generally it does not seem to be an issue.

takes a bit of experience and the mindset to pay attention to what you've learned - but it works for me. in the learning process I would simply stick in the fork, make my 'judgment' then whack one of whatever open and see if I was 'right.' repeat as needed.....

roasts, whole birds - yup, break out the thermometer.

ps: "on a rack" - I like to oven finish pretty much everything on a rack - keeps fats/liquids from soaking the bottom and also lets the heat get to the bottom. white tender fleshed fish can be problematic - breaded flounder filets I put on a sheet pan, for example.
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Diane B.



Joined: 27 Mar 2012
Posts: 29
Location: California

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the further info.

I'd mostly use finish-in-the-oven after sauteing poultry, pork and fish (don't/can't eat a lot of short-cooked beef), so I'll probably try to use your general guidelines for those (275 or 350-375 depending on protein, for 10 minutes or so after browning both sides) and see how it works out.
I want to end up with a lazy-person technique though Smile and just learn after awhile about how long each protein and cut will take in the oven rather than having to test each item each time (will definitely do that in the beginning though), and how critical the timing actually is for each.

I do break out the probe thermometer for pork tenderloin, etc, (and yogurt), but I also know about how long it'll take so I can plan around the other stuff it. I oven-bake my "fried" chicken completely though to keep the fat down so probably wouldn't do it there; I just know it'll take 55 min at 375 for legs, turning over halfway through (still working on techniques to keep crust from sticking at all though--some success with racks, but then more to wash).

Interesting about using racks for finish-in-the-oven; I don't usually do that. I can see where it would be good to go to the trouble though for some things.
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 324
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dilbert wrote:

ps: "on a rack" - I like to oven finish pretty much everything on a rack - keeps fats/liquids from soaking the bottom and also lets the heat get to the bottom. white tender fleshed fish can be problematic - breaded flounder filets I put on a sheet pan, for example.


I'd like to thank you too. That's one of those simple, dumb ideas which has never crossed my mind.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1011
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

>>I do break out the probe thermometer
there's nothing wrong with using a thermometer - if you're inclined to try the poke technique I think you'll find it easier/quicker - especially in situations like a grill full of burgers where everyone may not cook at the same rate.

try the poke thing & back it up with a thermometer - can't hurt the learning curve.

on the rack thing, couple of thoughts - you know those ugly broiler pans that come packed in the new oven...? I have a square rack that fits the width just perfectly, it's shorter than the pan - but it gives me a good one inch of air spacer under the rack.

for sticking to the rack, try a light wipe of oil prior to loading up. if nobody is looking, I just dribble some olive oil on my fingers and run over the rack wires. (if company is watching I use a paper towel)

Jim, the on-a-rack thing was also a bit of an accident. any number of recipes for breading/coating chunks of meat call for letting it "air dry" after the coating - especially if it's a double-dredge kind of thing.
so I set the pcs on a rack to air dry per directions. and, being lazy as the next cook, just moved the whole rack into the oven vs. a pick&place operation. I liked the results so I expanded the use . . .
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Diane B.



Joined: 27 Mar 2012
Posts: 29
Location: California

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd definitely like to add the poke-muscle thing to my skill set, but so far haven't had much luck with getting it exact...maybe those parts of my hand are just different from chef hands, etc?

Also, maybe you've talked me into using a rack for random oven-finish meats but still don't like having to wash yet another thing, and especially any pieces that aren't flat/smooth and small-ish.
I have tried various things like scrunched logs of aluminum foil or various skewers and chopsticks skewers (oiled usually) under stuff in the oven to act as racks (those don't have to be washed Smile ). They do work for meats without coatings/etc like sauteed chicken etc, but haven't found anything that does a complete job for oven-baked breaded drumsticks. Will keep looking though!
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