In addition to lending me her gorgeous 'big girl' kitchen, Rafe's mom is also a subscriber to many food publications. So when I was home on my day off and the mail came, I took the opportunity to get first viewing of the new Cooks Illustrated.
I generally don't subscribe to this myself - since a lot of the recipes are things that I already know how to make, or have the technique down. However, I do really like how they go into serious depth about their topics.
This most recent issue did cover something that often leaves me perplexed: Glazed Salmon.
I have definitely tried to make it before, but have often been left with undercooked fish and a burnt glaze....or fish that is overcooked, and a glaze that slid off my fish.
There were a couple main things that I learned.
1. Season the fish with salt and pepper....and cornstarch....Sounds weird, but the cornstarch helps the fish to sear, and the glaze to stick
2. Start on the stove - finish in the oven - I've tried so many times to make glazed fish either on the stove, or in the oven. Neither worked. Combining the two resulted in perfectly cooked fish, and a perfect glaze.
3. The glaze is also important in this recipe. I made a variation on the Asian BBQ, using ketchup, hoisin, soy, brown sugar, and some orange juice. I seasoned it with some garlic and ginger. The key here is to reduce the glaze BEFORE you apply it to your fish. This way it finishes caramelizing in the oven - and doesn't slide onto the bottom of your pan.
I served it with plain basmati rice, and a combo of pea pods and carrots sauteed with some sesame oil. This fish was great....and I'm certainly going to use this method again in the future. We were both really impressed!
I think I need to check out some of the Cooks Illustrated archives here at the house.....