Thursday, September 17, 2009

Crispy Pan-Seared Salmon with Tartar Sauce

Growing up in Northern California you get the chance to eat plenty of Salmon. If it's cooked properly, it can be amazingly rich, succulent and delicious. I have, however, had plenty of Salmon that has been overcooked or under seasoned. Salmon doesn't need much, because it is such a flavorful fish. Salmon is high in protein, high in Omega-3 fatty acids and high in vitamin D. Usually salt, pepper and lemon is all Salmon needs to be happy. You can barbecue it, broil it, poach it, steam it...this night I decided to pan-sear it, and I was inspired to do so after watching an episode of Tyler's Ultimate cooking show on Food Network. Now I must briefly just state that there are cooking shows that I really enjoy, there are shows that I tolerate, and there are shows that I despise. Tyler's Ultimate is a show that I tolerate. Nuff said. Having confessed my slight annoyance with Mr. Florence, I confess, he did hand out a nice recipe for crispy salmon.

Now there are people who love food, and then there are people who LOVE food. With fresh salmon fillets, you should eat it med-rare, and you should eat the skin. I'm sorry to should on you, but I must. Eat it. Love it.

So the big tip from's pretty simple really. Tip number one: salt and pepper the fillets like normal, but let them sit a couple minutes, this will help the skin crisp up. Tip number two: butter the skin side for more crispage. Then heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over med-high heat and pan-fry the fillets for six minutes. Flip it over and continue to cook for another minute or two and you're done-zo. I made a quick tartar sauce with minced capers and pickled onions, chopped cilantro, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. I had prepared a...I don't care, I'm going to call it a succotash...of eggplant, onion and cherry tomatoes. For a raw green side, I served a simple green salad with chickpeas and cucumber in a honey-mustard sauce. Let's talk about the salmon, though. The meat was tender and moist, and the skin was super crisp. Simple. Awesome.

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