With my husband, Eric, out of town for a few days, I am taking the opportunity to prepare things for dinner that either he doesn't care for or that he labels "much too healthy." He and I have two very different definitions of the word. For example, if he eats a salad with blue cheese dressing, a pile of potato chips, and a box of Sweet Tarts, it is still a healthy meal, because of the salad. But hey, if I had been blessed with his metabolism, then I might just agree.....
The first thing that I prepared last night was grilled salmon, partially because it is one of my favorite things to have for dinner, and partially because I will need the extra time to get the salmon smell out of the kitchen. Salmon is great to prepare on the grill and it is very good for you. As far as fish is concerned, it has a relatively high fat content, so it can stand up to grilling without drying out, unlike some of the leaner fish. It is high in "good fats," or Omega 3 fats, which help prevent a number of things, such as inflammation. Salmon is also high in vitamin B-12, niacin, selenium, magnesium, calcium (due to the bones in the fish), vitamin D, and of course it is high in protein. It's like one-stop-shopping for good health! As far as selecting wild vs. farmed salmon, there is still quite a bit of controversy about this. Wild salmon is usually more expensive and farmed fish is said to have more contaminants, but farmed fish is also higher in Omega-3's. As far as I'm concerned, either type of salmon is better for you than a bowl full of fettuccine alfredo, so take your pick! Serve this over a bed of mixed greens or some steamed brown rice. Here are some pointers for this supreme salmon:
- Apricot nectar and preserves can be pricey if you are planning to only use them for the 1/4 cup amounts that are needed for this recipe. You can replace the nectar with orange juice and the preserves with orange marmalade. If you do choose the buy the nectar or preserves, then make a double or triple batch of the glaze and use it with chicken, pork, lamb, or even beef kebabs. The glaze should last for a week to ten days, tightly covered in the refrigerator.
- If you are apprehensive to grill salmon indoors because of the lingering smell that it can create, try baking the fillets on a foil or parchment lined cookie sheet at 350F for 15-20 minutes, or until they flake easily with a fork. Brush them with the apricot glaze and then broil them for 30 seconds to 1 minute to give them a nice sheen.
- Any leftovers from this recipe would also be great chilled and served atop a salad for lunch the following day, or flaked into an omelet for breakfast.
- When purchasing salmon, ask if it has been deboned and if not, ask them to do it for you. This will save you much time and agony with a pair of tweezers.
Apricot Glazed Grilled Salmon
4 (6-8 ounce) salmon fillets, about 1 inch thick
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup apricot nectar
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
To prepare the fish, sprinkle the fillets evenly with the garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes while you prepare the glaze.
For the glaze, combine the nectar, preserves, mustard, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture is reduced to about 1/4 cup (about 10 minutes). Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.
Heat a non-stick grill pan over medium-high heat. Place the fish fillets, skin side up, on the grill pan. Grill for 2 minutes and then carefully turn the fillets over. Grill for 4 minutes longer, until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Brush each fillet with 1 tablespoon of the glaze and grill for 30 seconds more. Serve warm.