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.
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.