Oh the crunchy salty, sweet and tangy, tender juiciness of it all!!! ~~Salmon dinner delivers FLAVOR explosion...
I believe you go big, or go home!!!! Right?
Well, I'm already at home I guess. So let's change it to 'Go Big or Leave The Kitchen!' How's that? It's completely appropriate to say if you're biting into this dinner, since it contains all your favorite flavors and textures. And since it was so, so, so easy to make, going big is more accessible than ever.
Salmon is such a versatile canvas. The sweet and tender texture of its flesh is so easy to pair with any flavor. And one of my favorites is the fruity and zingy sauce you see above. By taking a few Kadota figs and cooking them down with some sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, fresh ginger and a bit of cranberry balsamic, you'll get a sweet/spicy combination that is both sophisticated and simple. A buttery braised stalk of bok choy is the perfect textural and flavorful accent along with the earthy flavor of black lentils, helping to complete this dish.
But the real star here, if you haven't looked closely, is that crispy, fatty thin skin that is still there on the salmon. Searing the fish in oil, butter and sea salt in a very hot pan creates a thin but crunchy topping. And if you've lost count for the number of flavors we've created so far, that's okay. You'll just realize it is everything you've ever loved. And it will be your new favorite!
Wow, this turned out even better than I thought it would. That beautiful fig sauce, the juicy and medium rare salmon, the crunchy skin, the hint of butter on the seared bok choy. I say go for it all.
Seared Salmon with a Lemon & Ginger Kodota Fig Sauce
4, 4 oz salmon filets, skins on
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
3 T sugar
1/4 C white wine, such as a Riesling or Pinot Gris (or use 1/3 C mild vegetable stock)
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 C Kadota figs, sliced into small pieces
zest of 1 lemon
2 T lemon juice
1 T fresh grated ginger
1/4 C sweet balsamic, such as Cranberry
Add chopped figs, lemon zest, lemon juice, grated ginger and sugar to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let cook on medium to medium low (don't let it burn!) until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add the cranberry balsamic and let simmer for about 6-8 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn't dry out. If it does, add a little water a tablespoon at a time. When it has reduced and it starting to become syrupy, turn off heat and transfer sauce to a bowl. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, or cover and let sit on counter for up to three hours before dinner time. This allows the sauce to thicken a bit so it's prettier on the plate.
In another saucepan brought to high temperature, melt the butter and add the oil. Place the salmon filets, skin side down into the hot butter/oil. Sprinkle a little salt and just a bit of black pepper (you can use white pepper) on the side of the filet not searing. Let it sear for a few minutes until nice and browned. Turn the heat down to medium and turn it over when you see the opacity at about 1/3 of the way up the filet, which only takes about 3 minutes or so. Now, deglaze with the wine. Cook/braise the fish on this side until you still see some pink remaining only in the center. Remove to a plate, cover loosely with foil and let sit for 10 minutes. It will continue to cook through. Cook longer if you prefer your salmon more done. But seriously, eat it this way so you can discover how moist and sweet it is just like this!!
To serve 4, take 8, trimmed and cleaned stalks of bok choy and sear for about 2 minutes on each side in butter. Remove, sprinkle with sea salt, serve.
The menu: PORK LOIN WITH A CRANBERRY PORT WINE REDUCTION. PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED ROASTED YUKONS. WARM SPINACH SALAD WITH GARLIC AND PINE NUTS. FIGS TWO WAYS: FLOATING DRUNKEN FIGS ATOP CREAM CHEESE/RICOTTA CUSTARD WITH HIMALAYAN SEA SALT, AND DRUNKEN FIG AND BLUE BERRY HAND PIES.
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style centers around a love for combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.