Half the battle of successful weeknight cooking is an arsenal of simple, go-to main dishes. They should be simple enough to have on the table in under 30 minutes, adaptable to seasons, and versatile enough that you won’t tire of eating it once every, say, 2-3 weeks. And of course, they shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Broiled salmon has become one of my mainstays, both on weeknights and weekends. It’s widely available fresh or frozen, and it goes well with just about any vegetable and starch. A marinade or glaze would be a delicious addition, but here, I have stuck with fresh or dried herbs and seasonings. In each case, season the fillet before cooking.
Ginger Salmon: season with dried ginger, Kosher salt and pepper. Serve with broccoli and a baked sweet potato seasoned with ginger, cinnamon, and butter.
Spiced Salmon: season with chopped fresh or dried oregano, cumin, Kosher salt, and a dash of red pepper flakes. Squeeze a lemon wedge over each fillet. Serve with summer squash.
Salmon with Corn Sauce: season with chopped salt and pepper. Ladle 1/2 cup creamy corn sauce onto each plate. Layer with steamed asparagus spears and salmon.
I broil the salmon because it’s efficient and I live in a small apartment. If you have an outdoor grill, by all means, grill!
Choose boneless, skin-on salmon fillets, with an even thickness. (The skin will separate from the flesh during cooking, so there’s no need to pay extra for skinless fillets). For superior flavor, choose wild salmon if you can find it without paying a small fortune.
Basic Broiled Salmon
Adjust oven racks so that the top rack is 4″ from the heat element. Turn broiler to high. Pat salmon fillets dry with paper towels. Season as desired. Place fillets skin-side down on a broiling pan coated with cooking spray. Place the pan on the top rack. Broil for 7 minutes until fish flakes easily with a fork. (Follow manufacturer’s instructions about whether to broil with the oven door open or closed.)
Creamy Corn Sauce
Yield: about 2 cups
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon flour
1/4 cup dry white wine (or use more broth)
1 3/4 c low-sodium chicken broth (or substitute vegetable broth)
1 sprig whole plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears)
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender but not browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Stir in the wine. Bring to a boil; cook until the wine is reduced by half, 1-2 minutes. Add broth and thyme and return to boiling. Stir in corn. Simmer over medium-low heat until the corn is tender, about 15 minutes. Discard thyme sprig.
Puree with a freestanding or immersion blender until smooth. Return to the pan and stir in butter, chopped thyme, and salt and pepper to taste (I start with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper). Make ahead: Sauce can be made and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead.