Saturday, February 21, 2009

Seared Salmon with Balsamic Glaze and Watercress


For the Salmon:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Four 4-ounce wild Alaskan salmon fillets with skin
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Watercress:
1 large bunch watercress, large stems removed, washed and dried well
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 of a lemon lemon or lime (use what you use in the balsamic glaze)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Serves: 2-4 (one to two fillets per person)


For the Salmon:

1. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, water, brown sugar, and lemon or lime juice.
2. Dry the salmon very, very well with paper towels (this is critical!). Salt and pepper the flesh side of the fillets. Don’t be afraid to season the fish well - I used a very generous pinch of kosher salt per fillet.
3. In a large non-stick pan, heat the olive oil over high heat until it is very hot (but not smoking). Add the salmon fillets skin side up and sear 2-3 minutes for medium rare (this will depend on the thickness of your fish - my fillets were about an inch and a half thick), or longer for medium (even longer for well-done).
4. Gently flip the fillets and sear on the skin-side for another 1-2 minutes (for medium rare).
5. Remove the salmon fillets to a plate.
6. Very carefully add the vinegar mixture to the pan - it will sputter and splatter, so be careful! Boil over high heat until the sauce has reduced to a medium-thick glaze (reduce by about 1/3).

For the Watercress:

1. In a medium bowl, toss the watercress, the olive oil, the salt, and the pepper.
2. Add a few squeezes of lemon or lime juice. Taste and correct for salt and acid.

To Plate:

1. Place a piece (or two, if you’re hungry!) of salmon on a plate. Top with the balsamic glaze and a pile of the dressed watercress.

No comments: