This simple preparation is built for good-quality, wild-caught salmon. Unfortunately, this isn't the time of year to find it in your local fish market. So try the recipe with the best farm-raised salmon you can buy. Or, as you see here, use wild-caught steelhead trout from the North Atlantic, which is a great substitute for the good stuff. The trout is available at BlackSalt in the Palisades neighborhood (202-342-9101).
Serve with -- what else? -- some nice boiled potatoes. Fingerlings can cook in about the time it takes to produce the salmon, so start with them first. Season them with salt and pepper, then toss them with butter and chopped parsley. Dave McIntyre suggests serving the fish with a glass of Riesling.
- 4 3/4-inch to 1-inch-thick skin-on or skinless salmon fillets (24 to 32 ounces total; of equal thickness)
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, preferably Irish
- 1 tablespoon honey
Position the top oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiling element; preheat the broiler.
Place the salmon fillets skin (or skinned) side down on a broiling pan or in a roasting pan with an uncoated wire rack inside. Sprinkle the sea salt evenly over the fish, pressing the crystals into the surface.
Squeeze the lemon half (1 or 2 tablespoons) into a small saucepan. Add the wine and butter. Heat over medium heat, stirring until the butter melts, then add the honey and stir to incorporate. Use all of the mixture to brush on the fillets. Broil for 6 to 9 minutes (for a fairly rare interior) or longer for the desired degree of doneness, until slightly caramelized on top and just done.
Divide the fillets among individual plates; spoon pan juices over the fish, if desired. Serve hot.
Adapted from Colman Andrews's "The Country Cooking of Ireland" (Chronicle, 2009).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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