Monday, September 14, 2009

Pan Seared Salmon

Pan Seared SalmonWith summer dwindling down that means that a lot of people in the great white north close up the backyard and put the bbq away for the season, but that does not mean you have to stop enjoying a great piece of salmon. Cooking salmon on the stove can be just as nice as the bbq and even better. Like a great steak, a beautiful piece of salmon should not be fussed with too much. Simply cooking it properly will create a memorable and mouth watering piece of salmon. There are a few keys to a great piece of salmon.

1. Make sure it is fresh, although frozen can be okay, it will not be as succulent as fresh.
2. The type matters, I prefer sockeye salmon for something meatier when it is in season (my local fish monger flies it in fresh during the summer) although a lot of people prefer coho or chinook salmon for their high fat content and smooth taste. During the off season I use an organic farm raised Atlantic salmon which also has a higher fat content. I do not enjoy chum or pink salmon as they have low fat content and do not stay as moist when cooked. I also stay as far away as possible from general farm raised as the chemical content and health of the fish is very poor.
3. Smell your salmon, although it doesn't sound appetizing, the best way to tell how fresh the salmon is, is to smell the salmon. The salmon should not have any odor at all, if the salmon is fishy that smell will come out in the taste.
4. Buy the salmon the day you are cooking the salmon, this goes along with number 3, buy fresh and eat the salmon that day.

So now that we have a beautiful piece of fish, on with the recipe...

The Recipe: Pan Seared Salmon

Serves 2
Prep Time 30 seconds, cook time 12 minutes.
1 lb (16 ounces) of fresh salmon fillet with the skin on(most restaurants will serve a 6 ounce portion)
1 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp of butter

Cut the salmon in two pieces, pat dry with a paper towel and evenly spread the salt and pepper on the flesh. Heat an oven safe skillet on the stove top to medium high heat. Add the the butter to the pan(the pan is slightly to hot if the butter browns immediately). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the salmon, flesh side down, in the pan and sear for about 1-2 minutes until a bit of a crust appears. Flip the salmon and place the entire pan in the oven for 10 minutes for a piece of salmon that is about 1 inch thick at its fattest point (adjust the cooking time slightly depending on how thick the fish is). Remove from oven, serve with your favourite salad and Enjoy!

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