The crust on this salmon is similar to duqqa, a mix of spices, chopped nuts, and sometimes chickpeas used in Egyptian cooking. Prep and Cook Time: 45 minutes.
Sunset MAY 2007
1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, toast almonds, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Let cool, then chop finely and transfer to a bowl.
2. In the same skillet, toast coriander and cumin seeds until fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring once or twice. Let cool, then grind coarsely in a spice grinder. Toast and grind sesame seeds the same way. Add ground spices and sesame seeds to almonds along with thyme, 3/4 tsp. salt, and pepper. Mix to combine.
3. Season salmon with remaining salt. Brush skinless side of fillets with egg white, then coat with almond-spice mixture, pressing slightly so it adheres to fish.
4. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for indirect heat. If using a gas grill, turn all burners to high and close lid. When the temperature inside the grill reaches 400°, lift lid and turn off one of the burners, creating the indirect-heat area. If using a charcoal grill, light 50 to 60 briquets and let burn until just covered with ash, 20 to 30 minutes. Mound them to one side, leaving a cleared area for indirect cooking.
5. Fold two 12- by 18-in. pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil in half widthwise to form rectangles. Using the tip of a small knife, make holes in rectangles about 2 in. apart and widen each hole to the size of a dime. Grease foil with olive oil; set over direct heat for 2 minutes.
6. Brush salmon skins with oil and set 2 fillets, skin side down, on each foil rectangle. Cover grill (if using charcoal, open vents on lid) and cook fish until skin is light brown and really sizzling, 5 to 6 minutes. Using tongs, slide foil to indirect heat, cover, and cook until all but top 1/4 in. is cooked, 3 to 8 minutes. Slide fish back over direct heat, cover, and cook until fish is cooked through (cut to test) and skin is browned and crisp, about 3 minutes.
7. Transfer foil with salmon to a rimless baking sheet and, sliding an offset cake spatula or other thin spatula between salmon skin and foil, very gently free fish from foil. Serve with a simple herbed couscous, if you like.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
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