Lucky for me I recorded an episode of America's Test Kitchen on PBS that happened to be about fish. They demonstrated a salmon preparation (albeit with a sugar/soy glaze) that achieves what I was looking for. The technique is a quick sear on the stovetop followed by a short bake in a low oven. It's kind of foolproof and I realized my error had been trying to cook it with too much heat.
I made this twice over the weekend and it turned out beautifully each time (and my skin is just glowing from all the fatty acids). Simple, once you know how - clean and perfect before the holiday indulgences commence.