This preparation is especially good for weekly salmon eaters who are looking for something different. Cookbook author James Villas notes that this dish is popular in Norway, made with a leaner Danish back bacon. But he recommends a streakier bacon to baste the fish while it's under the broiler. Norwegians often accompany bacon-wrapped salmon with dilled lentils or boiled parsleyed potatoes.
Beer columnist Greg Kitsock recommends pairing this dish with a glass of hoppy, pale pilsner in the European tradition, such as Pilsner Urquell from the Czech Republic or Bitburger from Germany; good domestic choices would be Brooklyn Pilsner, Stoudt's Pils, Penn Pilsner or even the hoppier Prima Pils from Victory Brewing Co.
- 3 to 4 tablespoons grainy mustard
- 1 to 2 tablespoons minced dill, plus a few sprigs for garnish (optional)
- Kosher or sea salt
- 1 tablespoon slightly crushed pink peppercorns
- 4 6-ounce boneless, skinless salmon fillets, preferably at least 3/4 inch thick, pin bones removed
- 4 slices streaky (fatty) bacon
Position an oven rack 4 to 5 inches from the broiling element; preheat the broiler. Have ready a broiler pan with a rack and 4 long metal skewers.
Combine the mustard, dill, salt and pink peppercorns in a small bowl, mixing well. Spread in equal amounts on the top (rounded) sides of the salmon fillets, pressing the mixture down slightly into the fish. Lay a slice of bacon across each fillet (fold into a V shape, if using center-cut fillets) and tuck the ends neatly underneath. Thread a skewer through the center of each fillet to secure the edges of the bacon. Place the fillets bacon side down on the broiler pan and broil for 4 minutes, until the salmon looks opaque, then use a spatula to carefully turn them over (leaving the skewers in place) and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until the bacon is crisp. Remove the skewers and serve immediately.
Adapted from Villas's "The Bacon Cookbook" (Wiley, 2007).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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