TAKE A PIECE OF SALMON, dredge it in almond meal, parsley, and lemon zest, fry it until the crust turns crisp and golden, and what do you get? My fabulously-fragrant, gluten-free version of Salmon Almondine.
Almond meal is nothing more than blanched almonds, ground into a flour, or “meal.” If my low-end Hannaford sells the product, your high-end Piggly Wiggly probably does, too. Otherwise, it’s available at health food stores and, of course, at Amazon.com. Or, if you are feeling energetic, you can buy blanched almonds, and grind them yourself.
Enough chit-chat. Let’s make this lemony Salmon Almondine already!
Although I don’t grind my own almonds, I do grind my own pepper. Why? Because the freshly-ground stuff is infinitely more “peppery” than the stale, canned, already-ground version.
No picture of this next step, because I forgot to take one: Grab a salmon fillet (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 lbs), its skin removed by either you or your fish monger. You can leave it whole, or cut it into four equal serving-portions. I left mine whole, and sliced it after I cooked it.
Then flip the fish, and coat the other side.
Gently lay the fillet in the hot fat, and leave it there (don’t fiddle with it) until the crust turns a beautiful shade of brown — about 5 minutes. Then flip the salmon and let it cook for another 5 minutes. You want the salmon to be cooked through, but not over-cooked. Its interior should be pink, not white.
And if you didn’t cut the fish into serving portions before you fried it, perform the task now.
For a simple supper in front of a roaring fire, my partner and I enjoyed this fish along with small roasted potatoes, a handful of mesclun greens, and several goblets of fruity Sauvignon blanc. We both thought the salmon’s lemony, almond-y, mouth-wateringly crunchy crust was out of this world.
Think you’ll try this perfect-for-a-weeknight deliciousness? Perhaps you can let me know by leaving a comment.
And here’s a printer-friendly, copy-and-paste version of the above:
Kevin Lee Jacobs/A Garden for the House
Ingredients for 4 generous servings
1/2 cup almond meal
2 Tablespoons finely-chopped flat-leaved parsley
Zest of one lemon
Seasonings: 1/2 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 generous tablespoon olive oil
1 egg, well-beaten in a small bowl
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 salmon fillet, skin removed
In a pie plate, mix together the parsley, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and almond meal.
In a large, heavy skillet (well-seasoned cast-iron preferred), heat the butter and oil over a medium flame.
Brush the fillet with the beaten egg.
Lay the salmon in the almond mixture, and gently press it down to help the almonds and seasonings adhere. Flip the fish to coat its other side.
Set the fish in the hot skillet, and leave it there until the crust browns — about 5 minutes. Then flip, and cook for another 5 minutes. Cooking time will be longer for a particularly thick fillet.
Transfer the fish to a platter, surround it with slices (or wedges) or lemon, and then cut the fish into four equal portions.
Serve at once with small roasted potatoes, handfuls of salad greens, and copious quantities of fruity Sauvignon blanc.
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