Friday, June 10, 2011

Salt & pepper salmon

Happy Friday!  Rather than slaving over a hot stove or grill this weekend, you should totally take this shortcut for a delicious dinner.  I promise I'll come up with some ideas for that free time you'll have.  An easy recipe calls for a minimalist description. Crispy salt and pepper salmon.  Yum!!

The story goes something like this: I had a craving for salmon so I bought some.  There were grand plans in the works for said salmon.  Capers and lemons!  Asian grilled!  Atop puff pastry with pesto!  The possibilities (and my internet bookmarks) were endless.

And then reality the sweltering heat kicked in.  Blech!  My motivation was used up when I thought it'd be a good idea to run outside in the 96 degree air after work rather than hitting the gym.  Personal fail.  I didn't even make it to two miles and by the time I crawled home, I wanted nothing more than to collapse on the couch, sweaty self be damned.

A very specific search (you know, checking off multiple boxes of things the search engine should include or exclude), I stumbled upon a popular and quick recipe for salmon.  Sometimes I like my salmon all gussied up, but not this time.  I wanted to taste the salmon and have it ready in under 15 minutes before my legs gave out on me. 



DUN DUN!  Gorgeous hunk of hearty salmon.  (No, I'm not attracted to my food... most of the time, anyway.)

A healthy seasoning of salt and pepper and a rub-down with plain ol' butter.  This is so much more fun than putting sunblock on someone.

A vacation in a very hot pan with a bit of oil.

I'm talking really hot.  Almost smoking hot.  (Don't do what I did and conduct an internet search for images with the phrase "smoking hot."  It didn't go well, and I regret it.  Don't know what I was thinking.)

Flip and cook for another minute or two while marveling at the crisp golden fish you're about to plate...

Pat yourself on the back for kicking those frozen green beans up a notch with caramelized onions (try it!), and plate that heavenly hot salmon for the taking.  Oh, and be sure to laugh at yourself when you had the intention of adding a glass of wine with dinner until you realized that just an ounce would've knocked you out cold. Settle for refreshing ice water that's almost as pretty in a wine glass :)

Trust me, this dinner opened my eyes to "less is more" in the kitchen.  The outside of the salmon was so crispy and crunchy (without being burned, who knew?!) while the inside was still tender and flakey at the slightest touch from a fork! 

One bite and I was sold!  But don't take my word for it -- do this yourself ASAP!  As for that extra time you'll have after dinner this weekend?  I'd say a nice cold beverage of choice (oh goodness could I go for lemonade right now) enjoyed with your feet propped up sounds like an excellent idea :)  Have a fantastic weekend!

One Year Ago: How to de-stress yourself

Salt and Pepper Salmon
(adapted from Tyler Florence)
-serves 2

1/2 pound (two 4 ounce pieces) boneless, skinless salmon
Ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

Lightly salt the salmon and let sit a couple minutes; this will help you get crispy skin.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is almost smoking. Season the salmon with pepper, and rub butter on the skin side of each fillet. Add the salmon to the pan, flatter side down.  To get super crispy skin, cook the salmon almost to completion, about 6 minutes.

Flip the salmon and cook until flesh side is nicely seared, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the salmon to a platter and serve!  (Told you that was easy!)

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