The apartment we rent in Paris has a petite kitchen. Counter space is practically non-existent, the fridge is 3/4 size (big for Paris!), and the oven not much larger than a microwave. Amazingly, though, it works beautifully if I keep the menus simple. Dishes like the pan-seared salmon fillets featured here are perfect to prepare in this small space.
For this recipe salmon fillets are seasoned with an herb and spice rub that includes smoked paprika, thyme, and rosemary. The fillets can rest in the fridge for up to an hour before being quickly pan seared. For sides I drizzled olive oil over a pan of asparagus, seasoned them with salt and pepper, and popped them in the oven to roast for 20 minutes. Basmati rice cooked on the stovetop in a saucepan of water scented with several pinches of turmeric made another colorful garnish.
The salmon fillets would be just as good (and equally easy) to grill. Place then on an oiled rack over a hot fire, flesh sides down for only a few minutes to set the grill marks, and then turn and cook until the flesh is opaque, only minutes more.
So when you need a delicious, healthy, and fast main course—even in the tiniest of kitchens—consider making these Parisian-inspired salmon fillets.
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Last Minute Pan Seared Salmon Fillets
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried crushed rosemary (see note)
Scant 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
Four 6 to 7-ounce salmon fillets, cut 3/4 to 1 inch thick
Olive oil for sautéing
4 large lime wedges
1 to 2 tsp chopped chives, optional
1. In a small bowl, mix together the smoked paprika, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper until well blended. Divide the mixture evenly and rub over the top of each salmon fillet. (Salmon can be prepared 1 hour ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
2. In a large, heavy skillet (preferably nonstick) set over medium high heat, add enough oil to just coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, add the fillets, flesh sides down, and cook until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. With a metal spatula turn the fish so that the flesh sides are up and cook until the flesh is opaque all the way through, 3 to 5 minutes. (Time can vary depending on the thickness of the fish. Watch carefully so you do not overcook or the fish will be dry.)
3. Remove and serve the salmon fillets with lime wedges to squeeze over them. Sprinkle with chives if desired. Serves 4.
Market Note: Buying crushed rosemary, which can be found with other herbs and spices in most supermarkets, is a great time saver.
Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2015