I love hotdogs. They bring me back to summer barbecues as well as the little table my parents would set up for Henry and I to eat our cut up hotdogs with sponge bob shaped Kraft Mac and cheese. So when hotdogs are on the menu, I really go all in. Accordingly, I had a hot dog for three dinners in a row this holiday weekend. I have no regrets. None. But by this evening I definitely needed something a little different.
And despite all the relaxing this four day weekend provided, I was pretty tired by the end of it. Jumping in and out of the lake about a gazillion times, several intense matches of corn hole and ping-pong, and a 10K race later . . . I wasn’t in the mood for a big cook. So while it almost became a childhood hotdog and Mac and cheese night, I instead went the sheet pan dinner route.
A couple weeks ago I made some salmon for a couple of law school friends, and tonight I think I mastered the flavors. I added a little ginger to my normal brown sugar, mustard, and sesame oil mix, and it was life-changing. The flavors make this 15 minute meal taste like a cooked-all-day meal. I roasted some broccolini alongside the salmon filet, and while that was in the oven toasted and cooked some Israeli couscous (my new favorite grain). It is a recipe that could be scaled up to feed a crowd, or scaled down to feed one. It is a recipe to cure a hotdog overdose. It is just a really good recipe.
I hope your weekend was filled with hotdogs and hamburgers and corn hole and friends! And now I hope you like this salmon as much as I do.
Ginger Sesame Sheet Pan Salmon
Serves 1 (but can serve many)
approximately 1/2 pound salmon filet
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon grated ginger (do yourself a favor and keep this minced ginger on hand at all times)
Salt and pepper, sesame seeds (optional)
This is so simple. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with tinfoil. Drizzle a little olive oil onto the tinfoil. Set the salmon filet on top of the oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a separate small dish, combine the brown sugar, mustard, sesame oil and ginger. Spoon and spread the mustard paste onto the salmon. Roast for 13 minutes, or until your salmon is cooked to your liking. At this point I like to sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and broil the salmon for 1-2 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy!
If you want the same meal I had today: Toss some broccolini with olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay alongside the salmon and roast for the exact same amount of time. While the salmon and broccolini roast, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a small pan. Add 1/2 cup Israeli couscous and toast for 1-2 minutes, or until a nice golden brown. Bring 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of water to a boil, then add couscous. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. The couscous should be al dente — if you’d like yours softer add 1 tablespoon of water.