panko crusted salmon


Sometimes I can’t trust my own judgement and/or decision making process.  I am a horribly indecisive person, and despite all of the pro/con lists I make for major life decisions, sometimes I feel like I just need a second or third or fourth opinion before I can make a call.

When Gerrit and I were shopping for new furniture a few months ago I had to call my mom to come up to the store and help me make a decision.  And thank goodness I did, because if it hadn’t been for her we wouldn’t have the accent chair that is probably my favorite piece design-wise in our family room.  I also needed her and Gerrit to help me pick out fabrics for our throw pillows.  And in framing a certain print for the kitchen, I think my mom and I stood for an hour at the Hobby Lobby framing counter trying to pick out mat colors.  All of the above turned out beautifully, but I’m positive that wouldn’t be the case if I had been left on my own.

And the same thing applies to food.  I make things, like this salmon, and can’t decide if I like it or not for a bit.  Pros: super easy to make (with what I believe is a pretty fancy payoff); it’s salmon (my favorite fish); I love almost everything with panko bread crumbs.  Cons: the mustard was a little much for me.  I alternated opinions with each bite.  Oh, there was a little too much mustard in that bite.  And then, oh my goodness this fish is delicious.

Gerrit, on the other hand, raved constantly about it and gobbled it up.  So I’m going to say that in this case, we should probably trust his opinion.  Because really, this fish is worth raving about.  It is easy to prep, easy to cook, and has a crispy bread crumb topping that is both beautiful presentation and taste wise.  Just because I have mixed feelings about mustard doesn’t mean anyone should be denied this dish.  Because honestly, as soon as I scraped a bit of the excess mustard off the sides of my fish I couldn’t get enough of it.  This is everything a salmon dinner should be, elegant and buttery and so so easy to make.  And next time I make it (and I definitely will be making it again), I’ll just go a little lighter on the mustard.  Not that you should though if you’re a normal taster, because we’ve established, my opinion can’t always be trusted.

Panko Crusted Salmon
adapted from Ina Garten

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 8 minutes
Wait Time: 10 minutes

Serves 4

2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 (6 to 8 oz.) salmon fillets
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Lemon wedges (for serving) (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a small bowl, combine panko, parsley, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Evenly drizzle the mixture with olive oil, and then stir until all of the bread crumbs are coated.
3. Rub the tops of each salmon fillet with mustard, evenly coating each one.  Then sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Press the panko mixture on to the tops of each salmon fillet evenly.
4. In a large oven-proof skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, carefully add the salmon, skin side down.  Let it cook for 3-4 minutes, until the skin is brown.  Don’t move or turn the fish.
5. Place the skillet with the fish in the oven for 6-8 minutes, until the fish is cooked and the panko topping is golden brown.
6. Remove from oven and cover the fish with aluminum foil, allowing the fish to rest for 5-10 minutes.  Serve fish warm (or at room temperature) with lemon wedges.

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