Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

A simple thing I’ve learned to to with salmon filets, is to cook them ‘unilateral’ – a very simple method that call for skin-on filets cooked skin side down in a pan to which no fat has been added (no olive oil, butter etc). Just the salmon in the pan. You cook only on the skin side, never turning. The salmon slowly cooks through, leaving the top pleasingly opaque and slightly rare. As the fish cooks you’ll notice the skin giving off a lot of delicious salmon flavored fat. Think of bacon rendering but instead of bacon you’re using salmon. Once done you can finish the dish with a little brown butter, beurre blanc, or whatever. Even your best olive oil would be quite good.

I’ve found when I buy a whole salmon filet at the market to take home and portion into perfect serving size filets, I am often confronted with question of what to do with the ‘flap’ of super fatty salmon belly which is often attached to the rest of the filet. Often this is trimmed away and discarded which is a shame – it is arguably the most flavorful part of the salmon. I do trim it off the filet, skin intact but don’t through it out. Instead I dreamed up this lovely little idea for an ‘amuse bouche’ or little mouthful you often see at restaurants.

First, I carefully remove the skin. This I put in a small non stick pan and crisp it up – again no oil or butter is used. The fat in the skin is ample. Once done I drain on paper towels and season lightly with salt.










The belly I chop raw and place in a bowl. To this I add a minced scallion, capers, and black sesame seeds. I like to use my best olive oil or walnut oil to finish the tartare. I refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour before serving. To create the amuse bouche, I carefully cut my crisped salmon skin into squares, the size of a wheat thin cracker. I season the chilled tartare with a good salt (use fleur de sel or a good kosher salt here), and a few scant drops of lemon juice (please be sparing with the lemon juice – too much and you’ll cook the tartare with the lemon’s acid). A spoonful of tartare goes on the salmon skin cracker and voila! A perfect, super delicious amuse bouche.

You could gussie it up even more by topping with some salmon roe, which gives the diner a very intense three layer effect of flavor and texture: the salty crispy crunch of the salmon skin cracker, the creamy coolness of the tartare, and the intense oiliness of the roe. Want to add another dimension of flavor? Make the tartare first, after its done chilling, then you start the salmon skin crackers. You want them hot, so when you assemble you get the three layer effect plus hot and cold in the same bite too!


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