Anna Cooks: Birthday Dinner

I’m something of a sentimentalist when it comes to my birthday dinner.  If I’m at home with my family, I always want lasagna and this amazing garlic bread my mom makes.  But this year, my parents threw me a curveball and made lasagna for dinner just days before my 24th birthday!  I took the opportunity to branch out and make one of my favorite recipes, an Ina Garten salmon dish recommended to me by Foodie Friend Kristin.  It’s so delicious, fast and easy that I make it over and over, despite my serious distaste for Ina.

For this recipe, you will need:

  • A large ovenproof skillet or a skillet plus a baking dish
  • 4 filets of salmon, skin on (6-8 oz each, but for this meal I made mine about 4 oz)
  • 2T Dijon mustard
  • 2t parsley (or 2T fresh)
  • 1 large lemon
  • About 1/2 t each salt and pepper
  • 2/3 panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 T oil as usual, I prefer canola for high temperatures

Photo May 30, 6 33 17 PMPhoto May 30, 6 38 55 PM

1.  Preheat the oven to 425 F.

2.  Zest the lemon entirely.  Add the zest to the breadcrumbs, then toss in salt, pepper, and parsley until thoroughly combined.

Photo May 30, 6 12 26 PMPhoto May 30, 6 17 09 PM

3.  Add enough oil to the breadcrumbs that they come together into a coarse meal.  This should be about 1T of oil.

4.  Spread each filet of salmon with 1/2 T Dijon.  This seems like a lot, but I swear it’s delicious.

5.  Divide the breadcrumb mixture evenly and mound each portion onto the top of the Dijon-covered salmon.

6.  Heat remaining oil in your skillet on medium heat until shimmering.  Add the salmon, skin side down, and sear 3-4 minutes.  Don’t worry about all the panko that WILL fall off.  Don’t turn the salmon!Photo May 30, 7 36 03 PM

7.  Stick the whole skillet into the 425 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, uncovered.

8.  Pull the skillet out with an oven mitt-gets me every time! And let rest a few minutes.Photo May 30, 7 57 01 PM

9.  Slice up that lemon you zested and serve liberal amounts of wedges with the salmon.Photo May 30, 6 52 10 PM

Wasn’t that just the easiest thing?  This makes a wonderful cold dish for lunch as well.

I love mashed potatoes but never bother making them just for myself, so we ate simple green beans and mashed potatoes with this and it was a wonderful light summery meal.  Photo May 30, 7 56 19 PM Photo May 30, 7 59 29 PM

Oh, and of course, German Chocolate Cake.  I’m sure everyone has that one cake that, to them, IS birthday cake.  German Chocolate is mine.  Photo May 30, 7 56 27 PM Photo May 30, 8 23 12 PM

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