Saturday, February 13, 2016

Crispy Skin Salmon and Experimenting with Beets

Continuing on with the whole salmon I purchased from the previous post, I wanted to use one of the fillets to try to achieve a true crispy skinned salmon. All my past oven-roasting attempts failed to crisp the skin. This time I cooked the salmon in a pan skin-side down for 80% of the cooking time, and achieved the perfect crunch!

For the side, I forced myself to experiment with the golden beets (roots, stems, and leaves) I got at the market. Beets have always been intimidating to me because of the color and the raw earthy taste. I couldn't resist buying the golden beets because they were so pretty and the leaves looked really fresh. I chopped the beets into half moon pieces and roasted them in the oven with sliced onions. I chopped the beet stems and leaves into quarter inch pieces and sauteed them with sliced garlic, cooking the stems first then the leaves. The beet stems and leaves are surprisingly tender! I actually prefer it over spinach because it doesn't leave an irony after taste.

To bring the dish together, I made a blackberry reduction with fresh blackberries, white wine, blackberry jam, salt, and pepper.

Crispy Skin Salmon with Blackberry Reduction, Oven-Roasted Beets, and Sauteed Beet Greens

Dinner was sublime! I was able to use the leftover salmon and sauce for a salad the next day. The blackberry reduction served as a delicious dressing!

Crispy Skin Salmon with Blackberry Reduction

Salmon fillets (4 oz pieces)
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
1/2 cup white wine
1 Tbs blackberry jam

Blackberry Reduction

Put the blackberries, white wine, and jam in a small sauce pan on low heat. Let the sauce cook uncovered while you cook the fish. Season the sauce with salt and pepper once it has reduced.

Crispy Skin Salmon

Sprinkle salt on the skin side of the salmon and let the fish sit for 5 minutes. The salt will draw out moisture. Pat the skin dry with a paper towel. Heat up 1 Tbs of vegetable oil in a medium sized pan. Cook the fish one or two at a time so you don't crowd the pan, which will steam the skin rather than fry it. When the oil is shimmering, place a piece of salmon in the pan, skin side down. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the flesh side of the fish in the pan. When the fish starts to looked cook halfway up, flip the fish over flesh side down. It should only take a minute or two at this point. 

Oven-roasted Golden Beets and Sauteed Beet Greens

Beet stems and leaves, cut into 1/4 inch
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
Golden beets, cut into half moon 1/4 inch thick pieces
1/4 onion, sliced

Beets all prepped!

When you prep the beets, make sure to separate the stems from the leaves because you'll want to cook the stems first before the leaves to soften it enough without making the leaves mushy.

Beets ready for the oven

Place the half moon beet pieces in a rimmed baking sheet with sliced onions and toss with olive oil and salt. Make sure all the pieces are arranged in a single layer and bake at 375 F. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.

Sauteed Beet Greens

Heat a pan with 1/2 Tbs of olive oil. Saute the garlic until fragrant then add the stems. Cook the stems until the stems are shiny then add the leaves. Season with salt and pepper.

When you plate the dish, make sure to put the reduction at the bottom of the plate to keep the salmon skin crispy!
One of my favorite meals!

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