I am still recovering from last week, it seems. I felt fine on Monday, but Tuesday came along and smacked be across the face. Hard. I suspect I may be in dire need of fruits, vegetables, and vitamins in general. Who knew you wouldn’t just eat a bunch of pizza and Chinese food and seafood for a week straight? It’s news to me. Thanks, body, for filling me in. I have grand plans for the weekend, though, and I’m not going to let anything stop me. Tonight, Kramer and I are going to go check out The Expendables 2, because I am man enough to admit that I love these kinds of movies with all of my heart. I don’t care if it’s all explodey with zero plot. I do not go see a Jason Statham movie for the magnificent story telling. I go see a Jason Statham movie to see him run around like a maniac throwing punches left and right and leaping through fire. He just knows how to please his movie-going audience, and I will pay real American dollars to see anything he’s in (case in point: I have seen both Crank and Crank 2 in theaters, and if they make Crank 3, I’ll be there). To fuel up for our inevitable thrill ride experience, Kramer and I are going to first stop at my favorite sandwich spot, Mile End, where I’ll finally get to try the pickled veal tongue sandwich and poutine. Wait, what was I saying about needing more vitamins and vegetables in my diet? Never mind. Give me pickled meats or give me death. I had such a great vacation that I’m doing all I can to cling to those not so distant memories…including indulging in some less than healthy fare. Whatcha gonna do about it?
Anyway, I’ve gone a bit salmon crazy this summer. I’ve been reaping the benefits of good deal after good deal on beautiful wild fish, and who am I to turn down center-cut Alaskan salmon for $11 a pound? I can hear my father now, saying “What? So cheap! Get 2! Get 4!” And if you know anything, it’s that you just don’t stand in the way of your Italian father and quality meat or seafood. Therefore, as my father’s daughter, I am morally obligated purchase and somehow prepare these items. I was flipping through my favorite cookbook for inspiration (Think Like a Chef by my main man, Tom Colicchio, of course) when I stumbled across this salt-roasted salmon. The rain has cooled the city off a bit, so I figured I could safely turn on my oven for the 10 minutes that this recipe requires. You’ll not find an easier way to turn your piece of salmon into one of the most flavorful bites of fish you’ve ever tasted. It’s so simple and foolproof that you can even make it after work, like we did. All you need is salt, salmon, a pan, and an oven. You can finish it with a quick grind of fresh black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, then serve it alongside a big, green salad or some other variety of vegetables. Kramer and I both licked our plates clean and I bet that you will do the same.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1½ pounds center-cut salmon fillet (about 1-1/4 inches thick), skin on, cut into 4 equal pieces (note that I only cut mine into 2 pieces)
- 3-4 cups coarse sea salt (kosher will work, too, but sea salt is best)
- freshly ground black pepper, for serving
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy, ovenproof pan (I suggest a cast iron skillet) over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add in the salmon by careful skimming it skin side down along the hot oil before placing it in the pan (this will help the skin not stick). Cook skin side down until beginning to crisp, about 3 minutes.
- Carefully mound the salt around each piece of salmon, being sure to cover the pieces entirely. Roast the salmon in the oven for 6 minutes for medium-rare (I know it’s hard because you can’t see it, but trust me, 6 minutes is perfect). Remove the salmon from the oven, brush away as much of the salt as you can (I found a pastry brush worked well), then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with ground black pepper. Serve alongside a big green salad or other vegetables.