Salmon is a staple in our diet, and I typically make it in the oven, spritzing with some lemon juice, then smearing with a little Dijon mustard, dill and roasting it for 12 minutes at 400 degrees. But I recently started pan searing it and have discovered our new favorite way to eat salmon. The browning in butter makes for a crunchy top, and adds more flavor to an already distinctive fish. Start by seasoning the salmon with salt and pepper, then placing skin side UP, into a skillet that’s been coated with some olive oil, and turned to medium to high heat, as in the photo below.
After it’s been cooking for about three or four minutes, check to see if it’s browned enough to your liking. Then flip it so that the skin makes contact with the pan. Warning: This splatters a lot so be prepared to clean your cooktop after dinner is over. Place a lid on the pan and let it cook for another couple of minutes.
Remove the lid and lower the heat a bit. I wanted the butter to be the dominant flavor, so I drained the olive oil at this point, but if you don’t mind the extra calories, leave in the olive oil when you add the butter. Add the shaved garlic and lemon juice, and spoon a little of the liquid over the salmon. Sprinkle with the parsley, and place a lid on top again.
Cook for another two to three minutes and serve. Rice is always a good complement to fish, as are any number of vegetables, from squash to green beans. Serve with extra lemon.
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- FOR TWO SERVINGS:
- 2 pieces of salmon, with skin on, total weight about 1-1/14 lbs.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
- juice of ½ lemon, plus a few slices for garnish
- salt, pepper
- minced parsley
- season the salmon with salt and pepper and a little lemon juice, saving most of the lemon juice for later.
- Turn up the heat on the skillet to medium high and place the salmon, skin side up, in the pan.
- Let it sear for about three or four minutes, or until it forms a nice crust.
- Using a long spatula, carefully flip the salmon over, being careful not to break the skin.
- Turn the heat to medium, and place a lid on the pan.
- Cook over medium heat for another two minutes.
- Remove the lid, and drain off most of the oil (or you can leave it if you want).
- Lower the heat to low to medium, then add the two tablespoons of butter, the garlic slices and the lemon juice.
- Spoon a bit of the liquid over the salmon.
- Sprinkle with parsley and place the lid on again.
- Cook for another two to three minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.