Quick salmon dinner

Susan Selasky

Salmon never gets old on my menu. This fish is so versatile because it takes to a broad spectrum of flavors and cooking methods.

Making salmon part of your weekly meal rotation is a good thing. Salmon is noted for its hearty flavor and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Eating

8 ounces or more of seafood (which includes fish and shellfish) a week in place of other proteins such as meat and poultry is a key recommendation in the current U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The seafood you choose is up to you.

Most stores carry both wild and farm-raised salmon. I won’t take sides on the wild versus farmed debate. Some stores also carry farm-raised salmon from different sources.

When you buy salmon, ask for a center cut piece and cut the filets yourself. Using the center cut means all the pieces will be the same size and thickness so they cook evenly.

This salmon gets its flavor from a dry brine. If you’ve never tried brining salmon, this recipe is a good one to start with. The salmon is rubbed with a mixture of salt, pepper, sugar and fresh dill before cooking. If you are short on time, the salmon can be brined for an hour in the refrigerator before cooking.

For best results, brine the salmon for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator. The seasoning soaks into the salmon flesh while drawing some moisture. That moisture becomes seasoned as it coats and seeps back into the salmon.

Also, brining helps keep the salmon moist during broiling. This is key because you can easily overcook salmon.

To test the salmon for doneness, use an instant-read thermometer. Broil the salmon to 125 degrees and then take it out and let it rest about 5 minutes. While the salmon rests, it will continue to cook, and the temperature will rise. Once it reaches 130 degrees, it’s ready to serve.

This recipe is adapted from one on an episode of “Cook’s Country” on Detroit Public TV.

Dill and Sugar Brined Broiled Salmon

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes (plus brining time)

1 center-cut, skinless salmon fillet, at least 11/2 inches thick and about 11/2 pounds

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

11/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh dill

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Lemon wedges for serving

Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce (see note)

Cut salmon crosswise into 4 equal fillets. In a small bowl, combine sugar, salt, dill and pepper. Pat salmon dry with paper towels. Sprinkle salmon all over with sugar mixture, place in a shallow baking dish and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator 20 minutes before broiling.

Turn on the broiler to low setting and position the rack within 6 inches of the heat element. Place the salmon on foil-lined broiler pan. Broil about 10 minutes or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the salmon is 125 degrees. Remove from broiler and let salmon rest 5 minutes. The temperature should rise to 130 degrees. Slide a spatula between the salmon skin and flesh, transferring the salmon to a serving plate.

Top with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce if desired and serve with lemon wedges.

For the Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce: Peel and seed 1/2 cucumber. Using the large holes of a box grater, shred cucumber into a bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon each of chopped fresh mint and dill, 1 garlic clove, minced, 2 teaspoons lemon zest and 1 teaspoon lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until well-chilled.

Adapted from www.cookscountry.com.