Summer is coming and the desire to eat more fish, especially if you live near the shore, seems to increase with the temperature. We all know fish is a nutrient-dense food that should be on your regular rotation list. But too often the mania surrounding us makes us opt to microwave it because it’s quick and alleviates the sting of a dinnertime crisis. (That’s when the dinner bell rings and not only is there nothing on the table, but you haven’t begun to decide what to make.) Another mistake we make with fish is to roll them in breadcrumbs and fry them. But resist the urge to take the easy way out.
There’s no end to what you can do with fish, but sometimes a little nudge is in order. This recipe serves as the perfect sweet and sour dish with a Japanese element, if only for the way the combination of salmon, chili and avocado mingle on your palate. Whomever is fortunate enough to eat this recipe when you prepare it will not only be grateful for the flavor, but for the nutritional value as well. It’s the perfect way to welcome summer.
To make the avocado crema:
- ½ avocado, peeled and pitted
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Pinch of salt
To make the salmon:
- 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 4 5-ounce salmon filets
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lime, thinly sliced into rounds
- For the avocado crema, in a blender or food processor, combine the avocado, sour cream, lime juice, garlic, parsley, and salt, and pulse until smooth. The consistency should be similar to sour cream---thick yet spreadable. To thin it, add a tablespoon or two of water and pulse to incorporate. Cover and set aside until ready to serve. The crema will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 day.
- For the salmon, in a small bowl, combine the sugar, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. Lay the salmon filets on a clean work surface and sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over each filet, rubbing it into the flesh on all sides.
- In a 12-inch nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil. Add 2 of the salmon filets (skin side up, if they have skin on) and cook, undisturbed, until their undersides are crisp and just beginning to blacken, about 4 minutes. Flip the filets and cook until the fish feels firm to the touch, 4 minutes more. Transfer to a warm plate. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining 2 filets of salmon. Set the salmon aside.
- Add the lime slices to the skillet and cook just until they begin to caramelize, about 30 seconds. Flip and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
- To serve, divide the salmon filets among 4 plates and spoon 2 tablespoons of crema over each. Press a caramelized lime slice into the crema to garnish.
Source: Eating in the Middle