Mostly Baked Salmon and Smashed Potatoes

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Well, this meal is fantastic. No, it’s not raw, but I’m on a mini break from that; I went camping this weekend (and everyone knows you need meat on a camping trip), and therefore had no time to prepare massive raw things to consume this week. It’s cool, I think a break was needed anyway, and when I get back to it next week I will be happier to be eating that way.

I think finding good salmon is important, since otherwise it’s supposed to actually be terrible for you. This here is wild Alaskan sockeye from Iliamna Fish Company, and is terrific. If you live in the NYC area you can also find it (seasonally) at Mermaid’s Garden.

Also, this recipe can be customized to whatever you feel like, whatever you have in the house, etc. Get crazy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 salmon fillets, skinned or not
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbls. smoked spanish paprika
  • 1 tbls. fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbls. orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking potatoes
  • 2 pounds small potatoes (about 20), like Yukon gold
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Coarse sea salt

Preparation:

  1. Season fillets on both sides with salt and pepper.Mix paprika, rosemary and orange zest, and press onto the top of each fillet.
  2. Place a steamer basket in a large pot filled with an inch of water and add the potatoes and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Steam until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 15 minutes. Remove the basket and let the potatoes cool enough to be handled.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 3 or 4 minutes — I used a comal, which works perfectly if you have one. Add the oil and once it glistens, add the fish, coated side down. Cook about 1 minute, or until the spice mixture forms a nicely browned crust.
  5. Flip your fish and cook about a minute more, then transfer to the oven. Cook about 4 minutes for rare salmon, 5 to 6 minutes for medium rare and 8 minutes for well done.
  6. While salmon is cooking, gently flatten the potatoes, one at a time, between your palms so that they remain in one piece if possible (broken potatoes are also fine). Pour 1/4 inch of oil into a medium frying pan set over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and fry on both sides until crisp and browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Arrange on a platter and sprinkle with sea salt.

You’re done. Totally delicious, and mostly healthy.

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