I like to turn to my broiler or grill when preparing fish at home because of their ability to achieve a high, consistent heat that imparts a ton of flavor to the finished product. During the summer months, grilling gets me outside and doesn’t heat up the house. In the winter I’m much more likely to just use the broiler setting in my oven.
Almost everyone I talk to has a horror story about their broiler. Something burning, turning away for a minute and coming back to a casserole dish aflame, or just generally ruining whatever they were attempting to prepare. But I’m here to reassure you that with some practice, using your broiler can be as easy as any other piece of kitchen equipment.
The trick is understanding what level you need to set your oven rack depending on the results you are trying to achieve. If you simply want to melt cheese or caramelize the top of a baking dish, setting the oven rack to the top position to broil for a minute or two at most is the best method.
In this instance, you will be using your broiler to cook the fish from the top down, and you want to set your oven rack to the middle or lowest level. This will allow the radiant heat from the top of the oven to cook the fish evenly without worrying about burning your dinner.
I like to use a medium-bodied olive oil for recipes like this Broiled Salmon dish. The olive oil will accentuate the fatty richness of the salmon and the saltiness of the crispy, caramelized parmesan cheese!
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