A Psalm for Salmon

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Oh delicate, fatty Salmon

How thy pink flashing flesh marks my cheek

Let mine tongue be wrapped with your silken sheets

Let your omega3 fatty acid reduce the inflammation running in my veins, make my eyes shine like thine sparkling river, and alight my cognitive function

May your skin be crisped to perfection by the searing kiss of my thick-bottomed cast iron pan…

  Okay, that’s enough. But if any fish deserves a infatuation-fuelled poem, it’s salmon. This simple recipe, focuses on how to perfectly sear a fillet of this prodigal fish to give you that snap-crisp skin. Soft flavours of sweet peppers, fennel and dill make the perfect bed for such a worthy suitor. IMG_1277

YOU WILL NEED (For Two):

  • 2 fillets of skin-on salmon – not too thick or it will be difficult to cook through
  • high smoke-point oil or ghee preferably
  • good thick-bottom pan – cast iron or stainless steel

For the Salad:

  • some finely shaved fennel bulb
  • a handful of arugula/rocket
  • 1 cup of cooked & salted quinoa (don’t overcook it – you want it to add a little crunch to the salad)
  • crumbling of goats cheese
  • handful of picked dill sprigs
  • olive oil
  • lemon

For the capsicum coulis

  • 1 large red capsicum (bell pepper)
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

For the coulis:

First thing, get your capsicum roasting on an open flame – just place that baby right over your stovetop and turn the flame up high. Turn the capsicum every few minutes until all the skin is blackened. Place in a pot with the lid on and let is steam itself to softness – about 5 minutes. Then remove all the skin and seeds, roughly chop and place the flesh in a saucepan on a low heat with the garlic and a good guzzle of olive oil. Fry for a couple minutes until garlic is soft. Remove from heat and blend with a hand blender  until extremely smooth – season with salt and pepper.

For the salad:

Toss everything together 😉

IMG_1297 For the salmon:

Prepare your fish 5 minutes before you are ready to fry. Salt the skin very liberally – this is just to draw any excess moisture from your fish before frying and will ensure the crispiest end result. Let sit for 5 minutes, and then wipe off excess salt and moisture with a paper towel. Meanwhile, heat your pan on a 6/10 flame for about 4 minutes. Add your oil and let heat for another half a minute. Place your fillet skin-down on the pan and restrain your fish with a spatula, gently pressing down with a spatula to stop it shrinking in. Hold it just for 10 seconds or so. Cook for about 5-8 minutes skin-down – you want most all of the cooking to happen skin-down. Depending on how thick your fillet is, determine how long to cook for – the fillet shown in the pictures, I cooked for about 7. Then, flip your salmon over and just ‘kiss’ the other side for half a minute if that. Get that salmon atop your salad while it’s hot, and enjoy the crunch!

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