When I was at Trader Joe's last week, I picked up a bottle of balsamic vinegar (my first!) to try cooking with. Of course, in the moment of choosing, I made the mistake of being cheap (I'm a student after all…), and ended up with a 16 oz. bottle of balsamic vinegar for $1.99. It certainly looked better to my wallet than the half as big bottle that cost 3 times as much. When I got home of course, I did a little research and realized that the longer balsamic vinegar is aged, the better it is, and the more expensive it is. The one I bought was aged about just 1 year or so, and was very thin, just like regular vinegar. But I think on the bright side, cooking with a less quality balsamic vinegar means that I can be more careless with it, experimenting and learning without worrying about my money going down the drain. One of these days, when I become a better cook, I promise I will invest in a higher quality bottle of aged balsamic vinegar :)
Tonight's dinner was up in the air when I remembered I had a couple of frozen vacuum-sealed salmon fillets in the freezer that I had been meaning to make. I usually go with a trusty teriyaki salmon, but today was the day to take my balsamic for a test drive! I saw a recipe on Allrecipes.com that looked great and that I had most of the ingredients for. I made a few substitutions and additions, and it came out great! I overcooked my salmon a little bit, but that's my fault. The glaze for the fish was tart with a hint of sweetness (very different from teriyaki), and very healthy too – no fat and almost no salt! I served my salmon with white rice topped with Japanese rice seasoning (as you can probably tell, I don't go very far from my rice haha).
Balsamic Glazed Salmon Fillets (for 1 fillet) adapted from Allrecipes.com
1 salmon fillet, thawed (5 oz.)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp rice wine
1 tsp honey
1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp mustard (yellow or Dijon)
salt & pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a small pan with foil. Place salmon fillet in center of pan.
2. Stir together ingredients above, adding in a few generous dashes of onion and garlic powder, and just a little bit of salt and pepper. Spoon over salmon fillet.
3. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until just starting to flake when forked. The sauce will have bubbled and reduced to a thicker glaze.
4. Remove salmon to serving plate, and spoon remaining glaze from the pan onto the salmon.
I love being able to have dinner ready without any hassle and without having to dirty up dishes and pans for the prep and cooking. I think this salmon would be a great with a refreshing salad (the balsamic glaze makes for a great salad dressing flavor!). Enjoy!