Monday, April 8, 2013

Salt and Pepper Salmon with Herbs and Meyer Lemon

I am happy to report that spring is finally making an appearance in New York.  Today was the first day since last fall that I came into work and didn't need a jacket of any sort.  It was marvelous.  And over the past two weekends the farmers' market has been growing more and more populous (both in terms of the number of customers and the number of vendors), which is totally exciting.  Right now the produce selection is still fairly limited, but I bet that in a few short weeks I will be able to buy all sorts of yummy spring veggies.  I can't wait.  With spring approaching, I have been craving lighter fare, like seafood and veggies/salads.  I'm sure if you went back through the blog you could track the seasons relatively well by what I am cooking and right now, I'm all about fish.  We make a lot of salmon at home because it's relatively easy to find at any grocery store and it's a great blank canvas.  This salmon was a riff on our favorite Salt and Pepper Salmon from Tyler Florence.  We had a bunch of Meyer lemons laying around the apartment so we have been on a Meyer lemon kick.  First I made roast chicken breasts with a Meyer lemon and thyme marinade.  Now that I think about it, those two recipes for salmon and roast chicken breasts represent the two dishes on the blog that we make all the time.  We also made a number of Meyer lemon vinaigrettes, but there's nothing new or earth-shattering there.  Since we had the lemons and an abundance of fresh herbs, I decided to make our standard salmon, but top it with a Meyer lemon and herb compound butter.  It was springy and best of all, it was easy.  Once the butter melted down over the salmon it created a really nice delicate sauce.  In a lot of ways think this would be the perfect salmon recipe for people who are on the fence about salmon - you taste the flavor of the salmon but it's layered under the flavor of the compound butter. 

Recipe after the jump!

Salt and Pepper Salmon with Herbs and Meyer Lemon

2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 1 tsp, separated
1/2 tsp meyer lemon zest
1/2 tsp dill, finely chopped
1/2 tsp thyme, picked and finely chopped
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
2 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skin-on
1-2 tbsp olive oil

In a small bowl, combine the 2 tbsp butter, lemon zest, herbs and garlic.  Mix until everything is well mixed.  Season, to taste, with salt.  Set aside.

Heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is almost smoking.  Add 1 tsp butter.  Season the salmon on both sides with s&p. Add the salmon to the pan, skin-side down. To get super crispy skin, cook the salmon almost to completion, about 6 minutes.

Flip the salmon and cook until flesh side is nicely seared, 1 to 2 minutes (if your salmon is thicker than 1 1/2-2 inches you can cook them another minute or two flesh-side down).

 Remove from the pan and top with the room temperature compound butter.  The butter will melt over and coat the salmon.

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