Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Pan Seared Salmon with Avocado Remoulade

I really do not love salmon.

People always drown it in herbs and mustard-y sauces and then bake it within an inch of it's life until it is so dry you can pick capers out of your teeth with it and it just sits in your mouth like cardboard and you wish you could spit it into the flower vase, but you don't because that would be rude, so you just keep chewing and drinking water hoping the fish will just disintegrate, but of course it never does because it has the consistency of CARDBOARD and so you discreetly spit it into your napkin, while nodding politely and making conversation and complimenting the hostess and then, start pushing the spinach around your plate so it hides all the cardboard salmon you hope you don't have to eat and then, dinner becomes this stressful, anxiety-provoking exercise in trying to make it look like you've eaten your cardboard, tasteless, mustard-y salmon without actually having to eat it, before you offer to clean your own plate and finally, mercifully, drop the cardboard fish into the trash where it deserved to be along.

Whew. That's when you poor yourself another glass of wine and fill up on bread.

Salmon, for me, is the food of weddings, caterers and airplanes. Okay, it's not that bad. Just not my favorite, is all.

That said, it is that time of year when the wild stuff is in season (roughly April to October)and I found a lovely wild Alaskan slab and with my heart full of hope decided to try a new preparation and serve it when my sister and brother in law came for dinner last night.

The result was pleasantly surprising. The fish, pan fried in cast iron, was light, flaky, oily in a good way and slightly underdone at the center, which is the way I like it and it cooked in under 4 minutes which makes it a viable option with kids.

It's also pink which makes it the perfect fish to eat while wearing a brand new pink tutu, with matching princess heels, while waving a wand the size of a fireplace poker.

Thanks Aunt Martha.

The avocado remoulade, which is just a fancy way to say "sauce", really made the dish special. It was creamy, with just a little bite and really gave the mild salmon a little kick, something akin to Emeril's "Bam!". The only downfall is that because the remoulade is made with avocados, you cannot make it in advance, lest it go all brown and disgusting on you, so be prepared to be prepping sauce while the fish is searing.

I served the salmon with fresh corn on the cob with chive butter, a salad and very buttery garlic bread. Because you all know how I feel about butter.

And no one had to spit their cardboard fish discreetly into their napkin.

xxoo YM


Pan Seared Salmon with Avocado Remoulade Recipe
from Simply Recipes


* 2 large avocados, cut and peeled
* 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (can substitute lemon)
* 3-4 Tbsp light olive oil (light refers to flavor and color, not calories)
* 1 Tbsp minced shallots or green onion
* 1 Tbsp minced parsley
* 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or to taste
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of salmon fillets
* Grapeseed or canola oil


1 Put avocado pieces and lime juice into a food processor or blender and pulse until blended. Slowly add olive oil, pulsing, until you reach desired consistency of sauce. Add minced shallots (or green onions) and parsley, pulse just until combined. Remove to a bowl, add mustard, salt and pepper to taste.

2 Coat the bottom of a sauté pan with oil, heat on medium high until almost smoking. Season both sides of the salmon fillets with salt and pepper, carefully lay the salmon into the pan, skin side down. Cook the salmon until about medium doneness, about 3-4 minutes per side.

Serve salmon with avocado remoulade sauce.

Serves 4.



SaintTigerlily said...

I am convinced now, after careful reading of your blog for several weeks that not only do you have serious kitchen skills, your family and food is somehow followed around by a lighting design team and is constantly magazine ready...what is your secret?

Sweet Pea Chef said...

I am with you. I usually do not order it at a restaurant because I want my fresh, wild and with good seasoning so it doesn't taste too, well, um, salmon-y. Cooking it at home is the way to go, and your recipe sounds delish.


ntsc said...

Her husband is in theater, of course she has a lighting design team.

ib said...

MMMmmmmmm...That looks good.
Now what meal do have to match a black tutu?! Seriously I really do have a black tutu that my dad made...To bad your trying to blackmail my mum and not my dad because the tutu story is goood dirt.

The Yummy Mummy said...

Saint TL - Thanks so much for the lovely words ...but really, the only magazine I'm ready for is Circus Monthly. Spend some time here, you'll see. In fact, right now, as I write this, the kids are trying to juggle with light bulbs. Seriously.

See? Circus Monthly.

And NTSC, the theatre producer thing only means we have more...DRAMA.

Oh, and I always shoot the photos of the kids but I don't always shoot the food. Sometimes, but not always. Like the salmon, it came with the recipe. I get no credit for cutting and pasting this time around. This one goes to Elise at Simply Recipes.

But I do love you guys for thinking better of me...

xo Kim

The Yummy Mummy said...

Oh! And Lucy, my 3 year old, shot all the pictures of me and Edie in the right hand column totally by herself. Aren't they awesome?

I've been meaning to make a note of that. Thanks for reminding me.

avra said...

Okay, that does of these days I am going to post my knockout recipe for barbequed salmon with sundried tomato and parsley. There are never any leftovers, no matter who I serve it to.

Interesting that your 3 year old likes cameras. I have a 3 year old photo bug too...(pics at:

And finally, I have to say -- you are on some kind of blogging spree!(is this what happens when CSFB is back in town??) How am I supposed to get anything done around here?

Izzy's Mama said...

You have been hanging with the wrong salmon people. I can't say as I've ever had the ill fortune to meet up with a cardboard salmon. I thought it was hard to ruin. Love the look of the salmon and avocado combo.

Krysta said...

I'm a salmon snob... has to be wild, freshly caught only hours ago type person. I blame it all on my dad who use to go salmon fishing all the time. Other than that it should be a sin to serve cardboard salmon. Bourdain should come down from the Mount and smite thee who cooks bad salmon.

melissa said...

Oh! And Lucy, my 3 year old, shot all the pictures of me and Edie in the right hand column totally by herself. Aren't they awesome?

They are! How wonderful that she took those. :)

This salmon dish looks like perfection to me. I love salmon - but only when I make it. I hear you on its ability to turn quickly into cardboard.

The sad thing? Steve hates it. It drives me CRAZY since it's the fish I cook most beautifully.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kim:

Finally getting around to checking out your website. Love your recipes, in fact, I saw the one that you served Mary & I (marinated steak) delicious!! I'm definitely going to try that one.
I also love salmon. You're right though. I recently had it at Applebees. Not exactly a gourmet restaurant I know, but when it came out, i t looked like a shoe and tasted worse.
I love the pictures you're posting.
Thanks again for inviting us for dinner.

Rita said...

I don't know why my comment came thru as anonymous??