This is a simple salmon dish that is sure to please everyone. With salmon such a ubiquitous entrée these days, it's nice to have an unusual recipe like this one that results in a moist and colorful filet topped with a crust of spices that are a bit out of the ordinary. Moroccan spice mixtures vary, but usually include cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne, and may also include nutmeg, cloves, allspice, mace, cardamom, turmeric, and ginger. You can find pre-made Moroccan spice mixtures in some grocery stores, but it is pretty easy to prepare your own to your taste. This version is fairly mild – add a little extra cayenne for more heat. You can also make more of the spice mix and save what you don't use for a future use. I haven't tried it yet, but I've read this spice mix can be used to season chicken as well.
2 teaspoons grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt to taste, optional
4 teaspoons olive oil
4 salmon filets with skin, about 6 ounces each
Place all the spices in a food processor and process to blend. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Oil a rack on a grill or a grill pan. Heat the grill or pan to medium-high. Pat approximately 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture on the flesh side of each filet, rubbing it on so it adheres. Then rub each filet gently, on both sides, with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
Grill the salmon, flesh-side down, for 6 minutes. Resist the temptation to move, turn, or check the underside, in order to create a nice even crust. Then turn the filets over and grill until just cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes, depending on their thickness. You can test one of the pieces by inserting a fork in the thickest part and examining the flesh. It should still look moist, but not opaque. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 Servings
Jamie Stolper is the Food Editor of ShalomBoston.com.