This is a Tyler Florence inspired recipe that I made for a dinner reception for 6! In my opinion, when you are having guests over for dinner, seafood is the best option for a main dish simply because it’s fast and easy to cook. Salmon is such a forgiving fish; top it with a basil butter breadcrumb for that extra crisp, this is a meal that 1) won’t screw up, 2) guarantees impressiveness and 3) pleases the crowd.
The recipe is even simpler, you can do most of the prep ahead of time….
Crispy Basil Butter Breadcrumb Salmon
1/4 cup Basil Butter + 1/4 cup for stuffing (recipe for basil butter compound below)
5 slices of stale bread, cut away the brown parts
6 x 4oz of salmon; in my case a slab of salmon fillet, cleaned and descaled that weighed around 700grams give or take
lemon wedges, for a quick drizzle before serving
Preheat your oven to 500 F. You want your oven to be extremely hot when you put your fish in. Also, prepare a oven pan to cook your salmon on, nicely oil.
1. First, we will ready the basil butter breadcrumb that promises that ultimate crispiness. What you need is a food processor; tear the bread into smaller pieces and then blitz until they become crumbs.
2. Once that is done, add your compound butter in and blitz a the bread and butter a few time until they are well combined. You should have a golden crumb that is speckled green. Now set that aside and prepare your fish for application!
You can make the basil butter breadcrumb a day in advance as well, keep it in the fridge.
3. Your slab of salmon should be free from scales and bones. Put the salmon on cutting board and do diagonal slits vertically on the salmon, skin side, just half way through. You will be stuffing some basil butter along those slits after. Do make sure that your salmon is absolutely dry, the paper towel is your best friend for the next step to work.
You can ask your fish counter to help you clean your salmon or you can do so yourself; though it’s not really recommended. Imagine fish scales flying all over the place, and yes, they do get in your hair. So, get the kind man or woman behind the fish counter to do it for you.
4. Once the slit is done, season with some salt and pepper. Use a spatula and scoop a goop of softened compound butter. Smear the butter against the slits first to get the butter within those pockets. After that take another scoop of butter and smear the butter along the slits to close them up. You will have a nicely buttered up salmon.
You can make this the night before, or the same morning. Keep the fish in the fridge until 1 hour before cooking time. The compound butter infuses it’s basil flavor into the fish; it is just absolutely amazingly moist, tender and flaky – you will never thought fish could taste this good!
5. Now, that your salmon is all buttered up, it is the perfect vehicle for carrying the basil butter breadcrumb. Top the salmon with a layer of basil butter breadcrumbs and then shift the fish, carefully, to an oven pan that’s been lightly oiled. Cook for 15 minutes, take the fish out of the oven and let it sit, cover with aluminum foil, for 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with some lemon juice and lick your forks clean.
I promise you that is perhaps the best salmon dish you would have ever tasted. The texture of the salmon is silky, moist and juicy with taste that has a nice hint of basil and lemon that melts in your mouth. It WILL convert none fish-loving people into a fish-lover. True story.
Basil Butter Compound
you can make this in advance
3 cups of fresh basil leaves
1 lb unsalted butter
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until well combined. It’s A LOT of butter so keep unused butter wrapped in a foil in the freezer. This basil compound butter is excellent on toast, fish, chicken and even to melt on steaks.