With turkey headed to a Thanksgiving table near you, for this week’s edition of Cooking with Heinen’s we’re taking a trip to the seafood counter! Today I’m preparing pan seared wild Alaskan salmon fillets served with Meyer lemon sauce and broccolini (which is our new FAVORITE form of broccoli. We may never turn back).
Broccolini has a loose flowery head with a longer stem. It tastes like a cross between broccoli and spinach. I simply steamed them for about 3 minutes in the microwave. Yes, I use my microwave from time to time. Don’t tell anyone! Then I tossed them in a hot pan with olive oil and garlic for just a minute.
I also served lentils as a side. The beauty of these lentils is that they are ready made in the produce department at Heinen’s, soaked, seasoned and tender. Here’s a tip: brush a metal half cup measuring cup with a thin layer of oil then scoop a full cup of lentils and shake it over the plate. It’s just a nice way to portion and serve.
Now, for the unbelievable sauce. This, two-ingredient, lemon sauce will change your life and simplify it as well. At first I was skeptical of a two ingredient sauce. How could that be any good? I had to find out what kind of magic was involved. You would think that a sauce this delicious took hours of work and many unique ingredients… Nope, only two simple ingredients and 5 minutes. The Meyer lemon is a hybrid between a lemon and a mandarin orange. It has a sweeter more complex flavor that even suggests a bit of spice and a slight bitterness. The combination of this sauce with the sweetness of the seared salmon is a hit.
Meyer Lemon Sauce
- 6 Meyer lemons
- 6 TBS simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water brought to a boil or buy it prepared)
Yep, that’s it! Here’s the crazy part. You wash the lemons. Cut them in half. Pluck out and large visible seeds. Add ALL ingredients (both of them, lemons and syrup) into a high powered blender. No peeling, zesting or blanching. Just throw them in skin and all. Start the blender on slow and increase speed until they are blended to a creamy, silky, smooth. The outcome is a sauce so delicious, no one will believe it took you only 5 minutes.
Because Heinen’s seafood department offers such a vast selection of fresh fish, for me, the hardest part is making up my mind because I usually go to the grocery store not knowing what I want to cook. I decide when I see something that looks good. I know, not very efficient, but I’m usually motivated by whatever is fresh. I always have a few recipes swimming around in my head so I choose on the fly. The problem is that EVERYTHING looks GREAT at Heinen’s fresh fish display so it gets difficult to decide. Today the wild salmon looked so beautiful, it was pretty easy.
- Skin-on salmon fillets. I usually cook one per person; two if they are thin.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 TBS kosher salt
- 1 tsp chipotle pepper
- olive oil
- 4 TBS butter
- 1 cup white wine
- Put the salmon in a glass dish skin side down without overlapping. Rub a generous amount of the rub onto the salmon flesh to evenly coat. It will resolve on the fish. Marinate for about 20 minutes.
- In a hot heavy bottom or cast iron pan melt butter and a drizzle of olive oil into the hot pan. Place the fish in the pan skin side down. Let it get crispy then turn to cook flesh side. You may have to cook in batches. Don’t crowd the pan.
- Once the fish is almost finished add a splash of white wine. This will cause steam that will finish the cooking and deglaze the pan.
- Be sure to pour the pan juices over the fish when you serve it. Yum!
- Plate your fish by putting a tablespoon or two of sauce on the plate and drag the spoon across the plate to spread the love.