Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wheat Germ-Crusted Salmon

My body hates me right now.  I've put it through some extreme circumstances lately.  You know, actually going to the gym on Sunday (Andy renewed his membership, so it's easier to go together!), running (well... run/walking) over 4 miles in the park yesterday, and worst of all... making it endure a 1 hour interval spinning class this morning.  Should I mention that this was my first. ever. spin class?  Yeah.  PURE TORTURE. 

I know my body doesn't really hate me, and that my whining is just every day life for the majority of you (bravo you! and yes, I am a wuss), but you know what?  I think I actually really liked the spinning class.  I jokingly said to my friend (who is now cursing me for making her go to her first ever spin class this morning also) that we should make this a weekly thing, but I don't think I'm joking.  I think I actually want to put myself through that again, and again.  But maybe it's my endorphins just playing tricks on my brain.  We'll see how I feel when I wake up tomorrow, maybe I'll be back to sanity and realize that was a ludicrous idea.

Now exercising may not be my forte, but food - now we're talking.  I ventured into the world of wheat germ a couple weekends ago and I must say that I'm a fan.  The smell alone had me hooked.  So what the heck is wheat germ?  Well, I'm obviously no expert, but from what I gather, it's a great source of fiber (as well as Vitamin E, folic acid, phosphorous, thiamin, etc. etc.) and you can practically add it to anything from protein shakes to casseroles.  So pretty versatile little bugger, eh?  So when I saw this recipe in March's Food & Wine, I knew I had to try it out (especially since it was easy, and we still had a bunch of salmon, from our bulk buying binge, still in the freezer).

Adapted from Food & Wine's recipe

3 tablespoons wheat germ
1/2 tablespoon, plus 1 & 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
2 6 oz. skinless salmon fillets
2 & 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a small saute pan, gently toast wheat germ for a few minutes, until fragrant.  Watch it carefully because it can burn quickly.

In a shallow dish, combine the toasted wheat germ, 1/2 tablespoon mustard powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.

Season the salmon with salt and pepper on both sides.  In a small bowl, combine the dijon mustard and remaining 1 & 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder.  Spread mixture onto both sides of the salmon fillets, then dip each salmon fillet in the wheat germ mixture, and coat both sides.

Heat a large skillet under medium high heat and add olive oil.  Heat until oil is shimmering and add both salmon fillets to pan.  Cook until browned and crisp, about 3-4 minutes.  Carefully flip fillets over and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes longer.  Transfer the salmon to plates and serve with a side salad (top it with an egg, you won't be disappointed!).

Now, usually when a recipe called for skinless salmon, I ignore that (because for real, the skin is the best part, right?!), but for this one, I decided to be a good recipe follower and skin my fillets.  I'm glad I did because I don't think the wheat germ crust would have formed as well, let alone still stick, with the skin still on. 

So seriously, give this sucker a try... it's fast, easy, and delicious.

Have you guys ever tried wheat germ?  What do you put it on or add it to?

And check back tomorrow for a new little feature - "things that don't make the blog, but still take a good picture" - still working on the name, suggestions welcome!
And if you don't make it back tomorrow, definitely come back Friday (yes, I'm late on this once again) for the poll winner - sweet potato donuts!


  1. Oh my gosh - YUM!!! That salmon looks AMAZING! I gotta try it out and soon! :)

  2. your salmon looks delicious, so crispy and seems really healthy! :)

  3. Salmon is my favorite fish, but I've never had it prepared with wheat germ in the mix... this I have to try! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Mmmm, salmon is my favorite fish!

    My mom used to give me wheat germ on my yogurt!

  5. You cooked your salmon to perfection; I can see the pink. Never sould have thought to add wheat germ; another healthy additon to our diet.

  6. I've never tried wheat germ, but I almost bought some at Whole Foods today- ironic :)

  7. I'm with you in terms of salmon skins - my kids even think it's the best part after making it crispy!

    So wheat germ. I never heard of it or tasted it before. It's interesting. You are always challenger to try something new while I just observe what you are doing. LOL. Looking forward to your new post. :-)

  8. I love wheat germ and use it quite frequently in cookies or muffins, but would have never thought to crust salmon with it. That sounds incredibly delicious and healthy!

  9. Sound like a great and healthy idea to add lots of crunch onto salmon fillets. Yummy!

  10. I only tried spinning once. And I HATED it! But don't take my word for it. I'm active, but I'm really not much good at the whole "working out" thing. Ha!

  11. Your tummy's definitely loving you for this!

  12. I would have never thought to use wheat germ crusted onto salmon. It sounds incredible! :)

  13. Oh, Lord. I did a spin class once, as well. "Once" is the operative term here.

  14. I have never actually tried wheat germ, but what a creative idea to use it on Salmon like that!! Looks yummy!

  15. I add wheat germ in the bread. salmon looks dleicious. Nice meal. Sorry for the spin class.

  16. When I was a chile I remember my Dad used to add wheat germ in his bowl of breakfast cereal (Wheeties). It was actually pretty good. I have never used it in cooking before. Sounds interesting.

  17. Woohoo on the spin class! People either love or hate it...I'm actually in the middle. If you have a good instructor, it's really awesome!

    I've had some wheat germ sitting in my fridge FOREVER. This sounds like a great use for it!

  18. I thought I was going to die the first time I went spinning, but boy did I feel good afterwords, then they cut the class! We eat salmon every week, I love the color of this salmon, and great idea to use wheat germ!

  19. Perfectly cooked... Pink in the center just as Gary from Masterchef says...

  20. Yum! I've been loving the idea lately of cooking with wheat germ, instead of just using it in granola. Have you seen Heidi's (101cookbooks) recipe for toasted wheat germ tomato soup? You might like it :)

  21. I thought the wheatgerm mustard smothered Salmon was DEVINE......! I used wild red salmon steaks with skin on and I tell you, my family still talks about it!!



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