I have been eyeing up the salmon at Adams Farms for a couple of weeks now. It has looked great and this week, the price was finally low enough where I decided to get some to have for dinner this weekend. Now, Michelle is not a big fan of salmon, but what she doesn’t really care for is the Atlantic salmon. This salmon is typically farm raised and can have a distinct, fishy flavor. Wild Pacific salmon, like sockeye salmon, has a completely different flavor to it, It’s a deeper red, more delicate and doesn’t taste fishy at all. The catch, of course, is that wild salmon tends to be very expensive. It’s most abundant in the spring and summer, when the price might be lower. I got mine for $11.99 a pound. Off season, it typically approached $20.00 a pound. The great thing about wild salmon is that you practically have to do nothing to it. This recipe is fast and simple, with next to nothing included but the salmon.
Pan-Seared Wild Salmon
1-2 pounds of wild salmon, cut into fillets (about 6 ounces each is good)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Lemon or lime wedges, for serving
Pat the salmon dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Gently lay the salmon skin side up in the skillet and cook until well browned, about 5 minutes.
Gently flip the fish skin-side down and continue to cook until all but the very center of the fish has turned from translucent to opaque, about 3 minutes. Serve with lemon or lime wedges.
A couple of notes about the fish. First, with salmon, you need to check for pin bones in the fish before you cook it. Typically, in most stores, the pin bones have already been removed for you, but it never hurts to check again to make sure they are all gone. Just run your fingers gently over the surface of the flesh. If you feel any bumps, there is a bone there that you should pull out. A pair of pliers will do the trick nicely. Second, a nonstick skillet when cooking salmon is a godsend. It will help you cook the fish all the way through without drying the fish out and leaving half the fish stuck to the pan.
I made a simple, quick sauce to put over the fish. This sauce will work for anything really – fish, chicken, rice, pasta, vegetables – you name it. It’s really just a simple vinaigrette with some herbs added to it.
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter
1 tablespoon minced onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Put the oil or butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is warm or the butter is melted, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens (turn the heat down if the onion starts to color), 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in two tablespoons of water and the lemon juice and sprinkle with some salt and pepper; maintain the heat so it bubbles gently for a minute or two. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve.
There are a lot of different ways you can go with this. Instead of using onion, try garlic, shallot or scallion. Add a couple of tablespoons of fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, oregano or mint. Add some jalapeno or a dried chile for some heat. You can pretty much do whatever you want with this. it also makes a great dipping sauce for some crunchy bread. I served the whole meal with some sweet potato, a tomato cucumber salad and some crunchy bread I got at the farmer’s market today.
That’s it for today. Tomorrow I plan to make some pulled pork indoors, so I’ll be posting the recipe for that one. It looks pretty good. Check back and see if you like it. Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!