The 12th season of America’s Test Kitchen features an episode making Asian Barbecue Glazed Salmon, which I made 3 months ago and gave 4-stars. Today I made a variation, using a Pomegranate-Balsamic Glaze. The flavors were deeply sweet and rich, perhaps a little too sweet. I’m not sure if I used too much brown sugar, or perhaps the brown sugar needs to be cut down to 2 tablespoons owing to the inherent sweetness of the pomegranate. Still, it was delicious and the extra sweetness made it very kid-friendly. I give this variation 4-stars, and prefer this variation over the Asian Barbecue. I can imagine that better balancing the sweetness could yield up-to 4-1/2 stars.
- I never though pomegranate juice was hard to find, until I started reading the labels. The juice aisle only has “Pomegranate Juice Cocktail”; of course the word cocktail is in microscopic letters. Even stores that sell “Pom” (the only brand I found with 100% Pomegranate Juice) sells mostly mixes containing other juices. Finally at the 3rd supermarket I found and 8-oz bottle of 100% Pomegranate Juice for $2.49. I only needed about 1-1/2 ounces, and will probably use the rest for making sangria.
- I made the glaze while the salmon was in the oven, as it only takes a 2 minutes on the stove-top. However, it was too thin and could have used 4 to 5 minutes to cool down and thicken. Still, there was plenty of glaze so I just reapplied.
- Also, I disagree with Chris Kimball’s instructions to cook until reaching an internal temperature of only 125-degrees; it’s not well cooked for my family’s taste. While the FDA recommends cooking fish steaks to 145-degrees, most other websites recommend cooking until 140-dergees. Today I cooked in to 145-degrees which seemed perfect for my taste.
Rating: 4 stars.
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess? Low.
Start time 5:20 PM. Finish time 6:00 PM.
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon cornstarch
pinch cayenne pepper
1-1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 center-cut salmon fillets (about 1-1/2 to 2 pounds total)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Preheat your oven to 300-degrees, and set an oven rack in middle position. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, kosher salt and cornstarch. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut your salmon filet into 4 equally sized pieces. Use paper towels to dry the salmon’s surface. Grind some fresh black pepper on the meat-side, then evenly sprinkle the sugar/salt mixture. Rub into fish so that it evenly covers the meat.
- Add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil to 12″, oven-safe, non-stick skillet. Place over a medium-high burner and pre-heat until it just begins to smoke. Sear salmon, skin-side up, for 2 minutes until forms a browned crust. Use tongs to skip the fish steaks and cook with the skin-side down for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove skillet from burner and evenly coat the glaze over the exposed meat. Put skillet in pre-heated oven and bake from 10 minutes. When done, the thickest part of the fish should read 145-degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
- As soon as the salmon goes into the oven, combine all sauce ingredients in small saucepan; whisk until combined. Over medium-high heat, bring the sauce up to boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer for 3 minutes. Remove pan from burner and cover to keep the sauce warm until you are ready to put the salmon in the oven.
- Place cooked salmon on individual serving plates and pass any remaining glaze separately.