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February 2004 Issue
Don't Overlook Your Broiler
by Ronda L. Halpin
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I was once over at a friend's home when we decided we really ought to eat something. She suggested running out for take-out when I asked her what she had in her refrigerator. We took a look around and found some nice pieces of salmon that had been on sale, a chunk of hard cheese and some bagged salad greens. She thought these amounted to meager pickings, while I commented that they were perfect for our needs. I asked her where her broiler pan was and she said, "My what?" After spending a few minutes describing what a broiler pan looks like, we discovered her neglected pan serving as a spillover for watering her plants!

After a little cleaning and additional scrounging around in the pantry, we had a clean broiler pan and some nice olive oil, red wine vinegar and basic spices for making a nice vinaigrette and seasoning the fish. Now it was time to wow her with my favorite version of fast food! There's nothing quite as wonderful as being able to get a meal from oven to table in about 10 minutes -- it would take longer to run out for take-out or even wait for the pizza delivery guy.

The recipe and instructions below basically mirror what we dined on that night. If you want to expand on the menu, feel free to add a rice pilaf or risotto to the table and perhaps some nice bread. We kept it simple and we each enjoyed the salmon, salad and a glass of chilled white wine. Not bad for 10 minutes of work ... time that we spent laughing and enjoying each other's company, I might add!


Quick Broiler Salmon with Dressed Greens

Using the broiler makes the fish a snap and gives you time to put together a tasty salad. Try this basic technique with any fish or seafood.
  • 2 (4 oz.) pieces salmon -- similarly sized and shaped
  • 2 T. grated hard cheese -- I prefer high quality parmesan
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 2 shallots -- minced (use minced onion if you don't have shallots)
  • 12 oz. mixed salad greens -- using packaged greens saves time
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat the broiler, making sure the top rack in the oven is as high as it can go. Place the two pieces of salmon on a broiler pan and sprinkle evenly with the grated cheese and seasonings. Broil for 6-8 minutes, depending on your desired consistency and the cheese is bubbly and browned.

Meanwhile, whisk the oil, vinegar and shallots in the bottom of a salad bowl. Toss the greens into the bowl and with the dressing. Add salt and pepper as desired. To serve, place the dressed greens on a plate and top with the warm salmon. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes

If there's a topic that you'd like to see covered in this column, let me know. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at .

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