Gail Monaghan borrowed the idea for this recipe from her friend Serena Bass, a caterer and the proprietor of Serena in Manhattan's Chelsea Hotel. Monaghan finishes the dish with a cilantro gremolata to add color and flavor. The spiced yogurt marinade needs to be refrigerated overnight, so plan accordingly.
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1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1/4 cup tandoori paste (see Note)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Eight 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets
1 small shallot, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
Finely grated zest of 1 small lime
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
How to Make It
In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt with the tandoori paste, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the ginger and 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Arrange the salmon fillets in a single layer in a large glass baking dish and pour the marinade on top, spreading it to completely coat the fish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and for up to 8 hours.
In a small bowl, combine the shallot, jalapeño, lime zest, cilantro, mint and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of grated ginger. Season with salt.
Preheat the oven to 500°. Transfer the salmon fillets to a large, lightly oiled baking sheet, skinned side down, leaving a thick coating of the marinade on the fish. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 10 minutes, or until just cooked through. Transfer the salmon to a platter, scatter the cilantro gremolata on top and serve.
The salmon can marinate in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.
Tandoori paste is available at specialty food stores and Indian markets. Laxmi's, Patak's and Poonjiaji's are Gail Monaghan's favorite brands.
A Pinot Gris from Oregon or Alsace will have the acidity to match the yogurt and the roundness to stand up to the rich fish.
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