Cooking fish is always very intimidating for me. I mean, fishes are delicate, a little too much, it is overcooked, a little too fast, it is undercooked. Today, I tot of challenging myself. I will be franked with you, I indeed ruined a few salmon fillets before I finally got it. They are expensive but well worth lessons.
I had been doing research from various chefs' techniques and I sorta combine a few here and there to create something my own. Some would love to have their salmon's skin removed. I am not really a fan of fish skin; both the texture and the taste. But you can leave it on if desired. You can ask the fishmonger to help you remove it or you can do it yourself with a sharp knife.
Some would pan-seared their salmon in the skillet entirely, while some would bake them. I combined both. I pan seared my salmon skin side down, then I baked the salmon in the oven for a couple of mins, take it out, rest on the counter for a couple of mins, back in the oven again. This technique sorta cooked the salmon in a slow way while retaining all the juicy tenderness. It is like you're biting into raw salmon, but it is actually cooked.
I paired my salmon with the famous French beurre blanc sauce. Beurre blanc is actually white wine, Sauvignon Blanc, cooked with butter, hence the name. The sauce will not taste good on it's own. It has to be paired with something, either a steak or salmon. I also rested the salmon on a bed of a simple fruit salad. The freshness of the salad cuts thru the richness nicely and will definitely please your guests and families this Thanksgiving. I hope you will give this recipe a try.
Olive Oil, 1/4 Cup
Garlic Thinly Sliced, 1 Clove
Chili Flakes, Pinch
Good Quality Seedless Red Grapes Halved, 8
Carrot Shredded, A Handful
Pomegranate, A Handful
Arugula, A Handful
Fresh Lemon Juice, 1/4
Sea Salt, Pinch
Black Pepper, Pinch
Good Quality Salmon Fillet Skin Removed Room Temperature, 1
Sea Salt, Pinch
Black Pepper, Pinch
Good Quality White Wine Preferably Sauvignon Blanc, 1/4 Cup
White Wine Vinegar, 2 TBSP
Shallots Finely Minced, 2
Heavy Cream, 2 TBSP
Cold Butter Diced, 4oz
Fresh Parsley Finely Chopped, A Handful
Fresh Lemon Zest, A Pinch
Cast Iron Skillet / Pan
Prepare flavored oil.
In a skillet over low heat, add oil.
Once oil is heated up, add in garlic and chili flakes.
*You should see that the garlic is sizzling gently. If the garlic is sizzling rapidly, the heat is too high.*
Continue to sizzle the garlic until the garlic start to brown.
Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a bowl thru a fine strainer.
Discard the residue.
Prepare the salad.
In a bowl, add grapes and carrot.
As soon as the flavored oil is done, immediately add 2 TBSP into the grapes mixture.
Poach the grapes and carrot in the oil for about 30 seconds.
Add in pomegranate, arugula and lemon juice.
Toss to combine well. Toss, toss, toss.
Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
Set aside in the fridge until ready to use.
Prepare the salmon.
Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius or 350 fahrenheit.
Grease a baking tray with the flavored oil.
Trim the salmon fillet into a square.
Season generously with salt and pepper.
Heat skillet over medium high heat.
Add in 2 TBSP of the flavored oil.
Once the oil is heated up, lay the salmon skin cut side down into the skillet away from you.
*You should hear the amazing sizzling sound. If you decided to leave the skin on, with your slotted spatula, gently press the salmon to prevent the skin from curling up.*
Sear the salmon about 1 min or it is 1/4 cook thru.
Transfer salmon onto the baking tray.
Spoon all the oil from the skillet onto the salmon.
Wack into the oven and bake for 2 mins.
Remove from oven and set on the counter for 2 mins.
Repeat the process of in and out of the oven until the salmon is cooked thru.
*You should see that the color of the salmon is light opaque pink.*
Set aside on the counter.
Prepare beurre blanc.
In a skillet over medium heat, add wine, vinegar, shallots and cream.
Stir to combine well.
Bring it up to simmer.
Continue simmer until the liquid is reduce to about 30%.
Turn the heat down to low.
Add in 2 cubes of butter into the mixture.
Swirl the skillet to melt the butter.
Once butter has emulsified, add in another 2 cubes of butter.
Repeat the process until all the butter has emulsified.
*If you add too much butter at a time, the mixture will split and you have to start all over again. Be sure to allow the butter to completely emulsified before adding another cubes of butter.*
Once the sauce coats the back of a spoon, remove from heat.
Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Transfer salad onto serving plate.
Lay the salmon on top of the salad.
Ladle the beurre blanc over the salmon.
Garnish with parsley and lemon zest.