Pan-Seared Salmon with Sweet-and-Sour Chutney

After binging on cookie dough all day yesterday, I wanted something healthy for dinner. We had Alaskan salmon fillets from my mom in the freezer and some rainbow chard that was almost ready for the compost bin. I looked through our trusty America’s Test Kitchen New Best Recipe cookbook and found two amazing (and easy!) recipes which made for a fantastic Saturday night dinner.

Pan-Seared Salmon

4 center-cut salmon fillets, 1 1/4 inches thick
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tsp canola or veggie oil

1) Heat a 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat for 3 minutes. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper to taste.

2) Add oil to the pan and swirl to coat bottom. When the oil shimmers (but does not smoke), add the fillets skin-side down and cook, without moving, for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to medium-high; continue to cook until the skin side is well browned and the bottom half of the fillets turn opaque, about 4.5 minutes. Turn the fillets and cook, without moving them, until they are no longer translucent on the exterior and are firm, but not hard, when gently squeezed. 2-3 mins for medium rare. Remove from the pan and place on a platter for one minute.

Sweet-and-Sour Chutney

1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 TB sugar
2 TB water
1 TB minced parsley leaves

Mix fennel seeds, cumin, coriander, cardamom, paprika, and salt together in a small bowl. Heat the oil over medium heat, add the onion and cook until soft for 3-4 minutes. Add the spice mixture and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the vinegar, sugar, and water; cook until the mixture is reduced by 1/3 and reaches a syrupy consistency, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Remove from heat and serve with pan-seared salmon.

Sauteed Tender Greens with Pine Nuts and Currants

3 TB olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup pine nuts, chopped coarse
2 TB currants or raisins
2 lb damp tender greens, washed and chopped coarse

Heat oil, garlic and pine nuts in a dutch oven over medium-high heat until they sizzle and turn golden. Add currants and greens, cover, and cook until greens wilt completely – 2-3 mins. Uncover and season with salt and pepper to taste. Raise the heat to high and cook until the liquid evaporates, 2-3 minutes.

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