(from Sunset, April 2005)
Makes 4 servings
Note: Grind fennel seeds by pulsing in a blender or crushing in a mortar.
4 pieces boned salmon fillet (6 ounces each, about 1-inch thick)
2 sweet onions (1 pound total), peeled and slivered
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
½ to ¾ teaspoon cayenne*
½ teaspoon each ground cardamom, ground cumin, and salt
¼ teaspoon each pepper, ground cloves, and ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1. Rinse the salmon and pat dry. Line a 12-by-18-inch baking pan with foil (or parchment paper) and set the pieces, skin side down, 1 inch apart in the pan. Scatter the onions around the salmon.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the butter, brown sugar, coriander, fennel seeds, cayenne, cardamom, cumin, salt, pepper, cloves, and cinnamon. Stir in the lemon juice. Brush the mixture evenly over the tops and sides of the salmon pieces.
3. Bake in a 400° oven for 15 minutes. Turn the oven to broil; broil the salmon 6 inches from the heat until the top of the salmon is bubbling and well browned, and the fish is opaque but still moist-looking in the center of the thickest part (cut to test), 4 to 6 minutes.
4. With a spatula, transfer the salmon pieces to a serving dish (leaving the skin behind) and surround with the onions. Sprinkle the salmon with cilantro and garnish with lemon wedges.
*Uncharacteristic of me, I opted for the smaller amount and found the heat to be just right.