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How to be only minutes away from a tasty, crusted salmon

This photo shows mustard and dill crusted salmon. (AP photo)

This photo shows mustard and dill crusted salmon. (AP photo)

It seems like mere moments after I get the last dish dried and put away, it’s time to make dinner again.

The solution is to have a small repertoire of dishes that require hardly any prep, and that use ingredients you have on hand. And, then of course, keep these ingredients on hand! Stock your pantry with frozen salmon filets and Dijon mustard and you will never be more than a few sheet-pan minutes away from a tasty crusted salmon. While the ingredients might change up a bit depending on your mood and your pantry, the basic strategy is the same: Stir a few flavorful ingredients into some Dijon mustard, spread on salmon, and bake at 400 F until done, about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish, and whether it is thawed or frozen.

Today’s recipe for Mustard and Dill Crusted Salmon is but one example of this recipe blueprint. Once you’ve mastered it (which won’t take long), you can venture out on your own on a given night and create your family’s own version.

Servings: 4
Start to finish: 30 minutes
2 tablespoons reduced sodium
soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon
4 fillets of salmon, about 5
ounces each
Mustard Crust:
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons mayonnaise

2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons dried dill (or
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped)
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Place the soy sauce and lemon
juice in a shallow bowl, and dip
both sides of each salmon fillet
in the mixture and let the marinade soak into the salmon for
a few minutes. Meanwhile, in a
medium bowl, mix together all
the ingredients for the mustard
crust and set aside. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Gently pat any excess liquid off
the salmon fillets. (They do not
need to be completely dry; just
not dripping.)
Divide the mustard mixture
among the fillets, and use your
hands to coat the fish entirely
in the mustard mixture. Place
the fish on the parchment-lined
baking sheet and bake just until
fish is cooked through (about
135 F internal temperature). This

will take between 10-15 minutes
depending on the thickness of the
fish. If the fish is frozen, add about
5 minutes. In general, the salmon
will be ready a few minutes earlier
than you think. Serve with vegetables and brown rice for a quick
weeknight meal.
Chef’s Note: This recipe can
be prepared with frozen fish fillets. Let sit on countertop for 15
minutes to thaw the outside just
enough for the soy sauce and
lemon mixture to soak in a little.
Proceed with recipe, adding cooktime as needed.

Nutrition information per
serving: 247 calories; 97 calories
from fat; 11 g fat (2 g saturated; 0
g trans fats); 79 mg cholesterol;
635 mg sodium; 6 g carbohydrate;
0 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 29 g protein.

Food Network star Melissa
d’Arabian is an expert on healthy
eating on a budget. She is the
author of the cookbook, “Supermarket Healthy.”

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