Pan-Seared Salmon with Lemon
Fish, in general, is an excellent light meal idea. Salmon in particular, if prepared properly, can be very moist and flavorful. First, make sure to ask your fishmonger to clean the fish and its skin. The next important issue is the marinade. Finally, don't overcook the filet and a delicious dinner will be in your future.
For this recipe I used lemons as a tenderizer and flavoring. I pan-fried and created a crust around the salmon steak and finish baking it in the oven on a bed of lemon slices. I served it with pineapple salsa (mango salsa would work too).
Yields: 4 servings4 (6-ounce) salmon steaks
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 sprig thyme, chopped
1 sprig oregano, chopped
½ teaspoon celery seeds
¼ teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon pink, green and black peppercorn medley
1-¼ teaspoons fleur de sel de Guérande (or regular salt)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons honey (optional)
1/3 cup canola oil (or any neutral oil), as needed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons curly parsley leaves, for garnish
Prepping the lemons: Slice one lemon. Zest and juice the remaining 2 lemons. Reserve 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
Marinating the salmon: Ask your fishmonger to prep 4 salmon steaks. Wash and pat dry using paper towels. Place the fish steaks in a small, shallow dish. Brush the fish with the lemon juice. Season with ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1 clove of garlic. Make sure the spices coat the fish. Spread a tablespoon of oil evenly in the dish. Marinate the fish for no more than 30 minutes.
Making seasoning salt: In a mortar and pestle, combine the fleur de sel, lemon zest, garlic powder, coarsely crushed peppercorns, remaining cayenne pepper, thyme, oregano, dried sage and 1 teaspoon curly parsley. Grind until fragrant.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a bowl, mix the seasoning salt with honey and the reserved lemon juice.
Pat dry the fish one more time. Spread the seasoning mixture evenly all over the fish. Brush with a tablespoon of oil.
In a non-stick pan, heat the rest of the oil and fry the remaining garlic cloves until golden. Remove the garlic and set aside. Once the oil has a nice garlic flavor, add the butter over medium heat. Place the fish in the oil, making sure the fish steaks don't touch each other. Jiggle the pan to make sure the fish does not stick to the bottom of the pan and is totally coated with oil. Cook until lightly golden for about 2 minutes, flip each piece (I use chopsticks which I find easier to maneuver; you could use a slotted fish turner) and pan-fry the other side for another 2 minutes until crispy, lightly browned. Do NOT over-cook. Jiggle the pan again.
Transfer the fish steaks to a baking dish lined with sliced lemons. Bake for 4-5 more minutes.
Remove from the oven and check for doneness. The fish should be flaky. If the fish is not cooked through, bake for another 3-4 minutes.
Garnish with lemon and curly parsley. Serve warm with spicy mango salsa on the side.
You can store leftover seasoning salt for other recipes. You can also make your own variation using your favorite flavorings.Published By: on April 13, 2011.