Hey hey! It’s been a little bit I, know- life gets in the way! I’m so excited to share this salmon recipe with y’all!
But who is hungry? Let me rephrase – who is hungry for new delicious recipes? Something I’ve realized whenever I am with my girlfriends or family – is life gets so crazy. Curveballs are thrown at us every day – not to get all deep or anything – but we are exhausted! So we cook the same recipes again and again because our brains are just fried from doing our day-to-day responsibilities! We have no energy left for imagination.
Well my friends, that is why I started this. To give you easy and delicious recipes that take you out of your comfort zone of the same recipes week after week. One new recipe a week spices up your kitchen enough! So get excited! (are you loving my little
Bitmoji’s I’ve included?!)
This seared sockeye salmon recipe might be my most favorite recipe to grace the blog in months. In fact, it might be one of my top ten favorite recipes ever.
Before I go into detail and attempt to convince you to make this dish as soon as possible (prepare yourselves!), I have to squash any preconceptions for today’s recipe. This dish looks a bit fancy. Perhaps even a little high-maintenance? (If you know me personally….I understand why you think I’d be drawn to something like this! But I swear! Its not.) I don’t like cooking high maintenance things. We work, we are tired, so are you thinking this dish is too pretty for a weeknight meal? I feel you. It is not. It is all about the plating and looking pretty!
Why it is approved by a full-time worker.
It is one of the easiest, fastest main course recipes on this blog. I repeat, this dish comes together in less than 45 minutes! It is 100% feasible to prepare this recipe on even the busiest of weekdays (in fact, it can take less than 20 minutes if you prepare the adobo sauce in advance). It is the type of dish that you will want to share and enjoy with loved ones, but also the type of recipe that can easily be scaled down to just one or two servings. (like I did tonight).
Whenever you are making simple recipes with minimal ingredients, it is really important to seek out the best-quality ingredients that you can get your hands on.
This dish is all about the salmon, so I implore you to seek out the best of the best. Luckily, the summer months are the best months of the year to get your hands on wild Alaskan salmon. I got from Central Market a Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon –
fresh, reasonably priced, and DELICIOUS.
It was the most beautiful, vibrant, and delicious salmon that I have ever bought. So beautiful, I almost cried. (Seriously -nerd alert**)
This beautiful piece of sockeye salmon deserved only the best. The herby, citrus-y green chile adobe sauce complimented the fish so well, and didn’t overpower it one bit. The addition of a crisp, lightly bitter frisée salad (tossed with sliced red onions, olive oil, and lime juice) added wonderful texture and freshness.
It is a light, healthy, yet very filling main course that is perfect for the summer months. The actual fillets of sockeye salmon are prepared very simply. Patted dry, seasoned with salt and pepper, and pan-seared in a non-stick skillet. Whenever you are searing salmon, it is best to sear it skin-side down in the pan and cook it almost entirely on this one side.
The salmon skin acts as a heat barrier, and you’ll be left with the crispiest, most delicious salmon skin ever– it is a crime not to eat crispy salmon skin. [Always remember to serve it crispy, skin-side up — it is elegant and keeps the skin crispy!]
I also implore you to cook your salmon to around 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit – or medium rare, if possible! You want the salmon to be lightly opaque in the center. The difference in texture, flavor and overall enjoyment between medium-rare and overcooked salmon is night and day – and this is particularly important for leaner salmon cuts, particularly sockeye.
Fun Facts –
Copper River sockeye (sometimes referred to as ‘red salmon’ due to its color) has the longest fishing season of all wild salmon
species, and is harvested between the months of May through July. Wild salmon travel more than 300 miles from the ocean to their spawning grounds, and this long, long journey (which requires extra energy stores) contributes to their amazing flavor, texture, and health benefits.
If you’ve never had the opportunity to try fresh, wild Alaskan salmon. I encourage you to visit your local fish market and seek it out! If you can’t find it, ask/make a polite request/demand that your supermarket offer it.
You’d be surprised how receptive fish markets and grocery store are to customer requests!
Anyway! Please, oh please, make this recipe. I can’t wait to hear what you think!
Crispy seared sockeye salmon with green Chile adobo sauce and a simple frisée salad. This elegant, healthy main course can be prepared in less than 45 minutes!
- 1 batch of green Chile adobo sauce (see below), for serving
- 4 Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Fillets (roughly 6 ounces each), skin on
- kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- roughly 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- fresh micro greens, for garnishing (optional)
- lime wedges, for serving
- 2 heads of Frisée (curly endive)
- 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
- extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- roughly 1/2 juicy lime, for squeezing
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 avocado (optional)
- 2 serrano chiles, stems trimmed
- 6 large cloves of garlic, unpeeled
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 juicy limes)
- 1 cup packed fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley leaves
- 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place the Serrano chiles and unpeeled garlic cloves in a medium, dry skillet and place over medium heat. Dry roast the chiles and garlic cloves for 10 to 12 minutes (it will take about 5 minutes to notice anything happening), flipping them once or twice, until they are charred black in some spots. Remove the chiles and place on a cutting board. Continue dry roasting the garlic cloves for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are charred in spots and they are beginning to soften. Transfer to the cutting board with the chiles and allow to cool slightly before handling.
- Slice the Serrano chiles in half lengthwise, and gently scrape out and discard the seeds and ribs. Remove and discard the skins of the garlic cloves. The unpeeled garlic cloves should be charred, fragrant, and slightly soft.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the lime juice, roasted Serrano peppers, roasted garlic cloves, parsley, cilantro, and salt. Pulse and blend until coarse. While the machine is on, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Be sure to scrape down the bowl multiple times to ensure the ingredients are evenly incorporated).
- Serve or use the sauce right away. If preparing in advance, transfer the sauce to an airtight container, drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on top, and refrigerate for 1-2 days. Stir before using and add a small squeeze of lime juice to brighten it up.
- Fill a large, wide mixing bowl with ice and cold water. Submerge the heads of Frisée, stem side up, in the ice water. Gently shake the Frisée in the water, holding the stems with one hand to clean. Allow the Frisée to sit in the ice bath for 10 to 15 minutes while you prepare the remaining salad ingredients and salmon. The cold ice water will refresh and re-crisp the leave of the Frisée.
- Remove the Frisée from the ice bath. Shave and discard any very dark green Frisée leaves with a chef's knife. Remove the stem of the Frisée and gently break the Frisée into small pieces. Spin dry in a salad spinner and place in a clean, medium mixing bowl. Add the red onion to the bowl and set aside.
- Just before serving, drizzle the salad with extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lime juice, and toss gently until lightly dressed. Add avocado if desired. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper, and toss again.
- Pat the salmon fillets dry with paper towels, and season both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. In a 12-inch non-stick skillet set over medium heat, heat roughly one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the salmon fillets, skin-side down, in the skillet and cook until the skin has rendered and is crispy, about 5 to 6 minutes (time will vary depending on the thickness of your salmon fillets). In the first few minutes of cooking, press the fillets down in the pan with a heatproof spatula - this will prevent the salmon skin from curling as it cooks.)
- Flip the salmon fillets and continue cooking until the flesh is slightly opaque in the center, and an instant thermometer inserted in center of fillets reads between 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit. Sockeye salmon dries out more easily than other varieties of wild salmon, and is best served medium-rare. Transfer the salmon to a paper-towel lined plate and allow to rest as you assemble the plates.
- Place a large spoonful of green Chile adobo sauce onto the edge of each plate. Distribute the salad onto the plates and top with a salmon fillet. Garnish with micro greens (optional) and serve with lime wedges for squeezing