May 5, 2006

Spicy Salmon with Tomatoes and Star Anise

Spicy Salmon with Tomatoes and Star Anise
from Bon Appetit (January 2006)

Get the freshest ground star anise by making your own. It's as easy as grinding a few star anise pods in a spice mill or a coffee grinder.

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (such as Asian)
4 6-ounce wild salmon fillets with skin

1 cup chopped red onion
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground star anise
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
4 plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add salmon, skin side down; cook 2 minutes. Cover pan; cook salmon 2 minutes longer. Transfer salmon, skin side down, to baking sheet. Place in oven; cook until just opaque in center, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat same skillet over medium heat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients; saute until onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, soy sauce, and sugar. Increase heat to medium-high and cook mixture until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.

Divide salmon among 4 plates and top with tomato sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Notes: This is the first time I used my spice grinder instead of the mortar and pestle. My only regret is how long it takes. Fresh ground sure gave this a lovely taste. Also, I used my cedar plank to roast the salmon rather than a cookie sheet and the smokiness it adds was a nice contrast with the spices. And, I only used 1/4 tsp of the crushed red pepper and think more would throw the flavors off-balance.

Served with Torresella Pinot Grigio 2003. The Torresella Winery is located in Italy’s eastern Veneto region, an area of gentle hills and broad plains along the Adriatic Sea, about midway between Venice and Trieste. Torresella was founded in 1935 by Count Gaetano Marzotto, who created a 4,000 acre cooperative surrounding the winery, ceding the land to tenant farmers from whom he bought the best grapes for his wines. Shows a light straw color, crisp on the palate, mellow citrus aromas, a lemony finish.

Posted by Jennifer at May 5, 2006 6:10 PM | TrackBack

I love the blend of flavors on this one, with the bright taste of anise, the almost smoky taste of the cedar, the hint of heat from the red pepper, and the sweetness of the tomatoes. Complex and very tasty.

Posted by: Michael at May 30, 2006 9:55 PM
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