Two grown men getting together to cook just for the fun of it, is not what some would consider the most manly of activities for a father and son. But we will assert it is indeed. Consider how women just love it when I guy bounces around the kitchen, while she, with a glass of sangria in hand, sits back and enjoys the show. If that isn’t manly enough to the garner romantic attentions from a woman, well…
So I traveled the four-hour straight line of the fifteen freeway from LA to Vegas to spend a weekend with my son and his family. While we did engage in typical macho stuff like lots of beer and shooting both guns and bows in the desert (no live targets), we also set aside time to play around in his kitchen. And when we do that, one of us will always have something to show off. Such was the case for AJ. While we worked to prepare dinner for his lovely wife and my two incredible grandkids, AJ, in the spirit of showing off, made his wonderfully elegant seared salmon. “You’re gonna dig this.” says he.
I did. So much so that we’re sharing AJ’s special Seared Salmon with you Enjoy…
What you need:
- Large cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Flat spatula
- Mixing bowl
- Fry pan
- A pot
- A cooking tray
- Salmon Steak (Skin off)
- Soy sauce
- Brown sugar
- Flat leaf parsley (Or Italian parsley) chopped
- Warm water
- Natural white Miso
- Cherry tomatoes – cut in half
- Green beans – chopped to 1 inch pieces
- Olive Oil
- Garlic – peeled and chopped
FIrst get the music going. Because cooking always goes better with music. Beer works too. Have one… or two… or ten… Preheat the oven to 400 and get a pot of water boiling on the stove top (though if you’re drunk you may want to reconsider that. We don’t want anyone getting hurt). We like to add a big pinch of salt to the water when it goes to boil. Salt is simply for flavor. Flavor, good.
The glaze. Into a mixing bowl, pour a quarter cup of warm water, a third cup of Soy sauce, two to three tablespoons of brown sugar, and two tablespoons of natural white Miso. Using your whisk, mix all that up until the Miso breaks down to a million tiny bits hanging around in the mix. Put that in the fridge. Pour a glass of wine for your lady… though we really shouldn’t have to remind you.
Boiling off the green beans. We do this as sort of a pre-cook, to keep the balance between the different cooking times of everything we’re putting together in a bit. Read on…
Break off the ends of the green beans (Let the beans decide where they will break). Rough cut to somewhere around one inch long pieces. Doesn’t need to be perfect. We’re going to boil the green beans and then sauté them together with the tomatoes and chopped garlic. So feel free to cut your tomatoes while cutting your green beans.
Toss your green beans into the pot of BOILING water. Cover and let those boil for about three minutes until the beans are a nice bright green. Shock them in cold water to stop them cooking (This part is important because over-cooked green beans are just… well.. shitty…).
Sear and bake your salmon. While the green beans are in a cold water bath, get your fry pan with a tablespoon of oil nice and hot. Add two chopped garlic cloves and let those get just a little golden-brown. Get your glaze from the fridge and brush the presentation side of the salmon with it, and place it, presentation-side down in your pan. While searing, brush the upward facing side with your glaze. Then flip and brush the presentation side again. Each side should sear for no more than about a minute.
Take your seared salmon from the pan and place it on a cookie sheet (presentation side up). Place that on the center rack of your preheated oven for about 5 minutes. The steak should be just a little firm when it’s done.
The Sauté. If you time it right, you can do this part while the salmon is in the oven. Start with the garlic and let that get just a bit golden-brown. Since the green beans are a more resilient than the tomatoes, add the beans to the pan next. In about a minute the green beans will be nice and hot so now is the time to add your tomatoes along with a little salt and pepper to taste. Keep all that moving in the pan for only a few minutes (until you see the tomatoes just start to soften).
Plating. Because presentation is everything. Start by making a small bed of the sautéed veg in the center of your plate. Then gently lay the salmon steak right on top of that (by now you should know the presentation side should be facing up). Garnish with a little chopped parsley. Bam! You can serve this as is or add a bit of your favorite rice or risotto next to it.
This is a wonderful light dish. Perfect for those evenings where bogging down the body with a heavy meal would be the wrong thing to do.