One of our favorite restaurants in California is Don Giovanni, just north of Napa. Every time we visit the valley, we stop in to enjoy yet another delicious dish off the menu. Years ago, after sampling their salmon, I decided it was time to start making it at home.
Some like to sear in an open pan, some like to broil in the oven… I find that pan searing in a covered pan yields an unbeatable result. Crispy, yet tender and oh, so juicy. On the side, we like a little arugula salad, steamed vegetables, or Avocado Remoulade.
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
|8 ounces of salmon fillet, divided into 4 ounce portions||Lemon marinade: In a 1-cup tempered glass bowl melt butter/ghee on medium microwave power. Whisk in seasonings until uniform in color. Roll the fillets in the marinade, turning to evenly coat; gently pat into the flesh in with your fingers. Set aside.||Ghee adds great flavor, has low PUFAs, sports a high smoke point (485°F), and leaves less residue than oil. Lemon juice brightens the dish (lime juice also works well).|
|Side of choice||Preheat an empty 12-inch cast iron skillet (no substitutions) over medium heat until water droplets dance across the surface when flicked from your fingertips (3-5 minutes). Have a domed lid handy.||Preheating discourages sticking and promotes fish searing (rapid browning). Cast iron is naturally non-stick and delivers a superior sear.|
|1 teaspoon Ghee||Plate salmon with the side of choice. Any sauce should be served below the fillets, or to the side, to avoid softening the beautiful sear.|
BLACKENED PAN SEARED SALMON
Replace the lemon marinade with 1 tablespoon melted butter/ghee, 1 teaspoon each honey and extra dry vermouth, 1/2 teaspoon each fine sea salt, roughly ground black pepper and paprika, 1/6 teaspoon each ground cumin and chili powder.