Tonight for dinner, I made a quick and easy salmon dish, one that is so easy, it’s almost like cheating. (But, rest assured, I’ll share it anyway!)
First, gather your ingredients, as usual. For this recipe, you’ll need one pound (or a little more) of fresh salmon fillets, cut into single servings; 1 1/2 teaspoons of 365 brand Blackened Cajun Spice (from Whole Foods, fabulous mix, second only to DennyMike’s CowBell Hell in peppery goodness); half-and-half (or cream), sea salt; one crushed garlic clove; and(not shown) olive oil and 1/4 cup of white wine.
Remove the skins from the salmon fillets, either by (carefully!) cutting them off or by heating a sauté pan and placing the salmon, skin side down, in it for exactly one minute, then removing from heat and peeling off the skins. (This is an optional step. I do it because I’m a picky eater and don’t like skins.
Then, heat about two tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan, add the crushed garlic clove and blackened cajun spice mix and stir, constantly, for one minute longer. This will soften the garlic and cook the spices.
Raise the heat to medium-high and add the salmon fillet pieces, top side down, into the pan and cook about 3-4 minutes. (My thickest fillets were one-inch thick, so judge from that: less time for thinner fillets, slightly more for thicker.) Your benchmark is that the fillets cook up to the mid-way point (but no more).
Flip the fillets onto the bottom (skin) side. (Again, you can keep the skins on if you like.) For thicker fillets, briefly turn onto their sides to crisp them up before flipping to the bottom sides. (Here you see one fillet that’s on its side.) Grate a little sea salt over the top. (And, optional, for fun, I added a smidgen of smoked sea salt, too. This was a gift from my wonderful step-daughter chef, Northwest Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt, fabulous!)
Cook no more than 3 minutes. Remove the fillets to a plate and lower the heat to medium-low. Then add one-quarter cup of white wine to deglaze the pan.
When half of the liquid has evaporated, add one-half cup of half-and-half (or heavy cream) to the pan and stir.
If you like, add one tablespoon of grated parmesan to serve as a binding agent to the sauce. You can see the difference (I hope!) here.
Put the fillets into the sauce, top side down, for 30 seconds, then turn, then remove to a serving platter and spoon a little extra sauce on top.
This was really lovely with the white wine we chose tonight, a 2014 Sugar Hollow White from Stinson Vineyards in Virginia, near Charlottesville. This is a 100% Vidal Blanc, with 1% residual sugar and a nice, clean finish. It paired beautifully with the spiciness and richness of the salmon.
Start to finish, 20 minutes! (And that included photography time!)