I dare you to say that title ten times fast! If you read my posts often, you know I love a good salmon filet. In fact, I eat salmon a few times a week, not including the salmon taco I get at least once a week from our local taco truck. Salmon is one food I truly crave and I’m always looking for new ways to prepare it. I enjoy salmon made in a skillet, and to be honest, that’s the way I make it most often. However, I’ve always wanted to try the dry-skillet method, so I gave it a whirl this go-round. Sautéing fish in a dry skillet seasoned with salt and pepper is all that it takes – no oil, butter or fancy seasoning is required. I did submerge the filets in salt water for 15 minutes prior to cooking, but that was as advanced as it got. The results were remarkable and the skin, which I dig, came out blistered and crisp without drying out the interior of the fish.
Salmon does need some sort of sauce, glaze or at least a squeeze of citrus over the top to make it just right, and I thought a sweet & sour compote, like an agrodolce, would add the right balance of tastes to pair with this fatty fish. Kumquats are a fruit that I like to use raw because the skin is sweet and the interior slightly sour, so they work beautifully in an agrodolce, which basically consists of those exact flavors. A little honey, jalapeno and mint complete this compote, making this citrusy condiment ready to serve over my crispy skinned salmon.
This recipe is very simple and you can make the compote, while the fish is cooking. I do recommend finding some fresh kumquats and not substituting other citrus, because these little beauties have the right tang without it overpowering the other ingredients in the bowl. The juicy sweetness of this fruity compote, along with a good piece of crispy salmon, sets the scene of a delicious meal.
2-4 salmon filets
8 fresh kumquats, seeded and minced + more for plates
1/4 jalapeno, fresh or pickled – minced
1/4 shallot, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon honey, any variety
4 mint leaves, minced
salt & pepper
radishes, sliced – optional
- In a large bowl, add 1/4 cup salt and fill with cold water. Add filets and let rest for 15 minutes. Remove filets and pat dry with paper towels.
- In a non-stick skillet, sprinkle bottom with a big pinch of salt and pepper and place salmon filets skin-side-down in cold pan. Place skillet over medium-high heat and cook fish for 5-6 minutes, depending upon thickness.
- Flip over and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook salmon flesh side down for 5-6 minutes, or until either medium-rare or almost cooked through.
- While the salmon is cooking, add kumquats, jalapeno, shallots, honey and mint to a bowl, stir. Add a pinch of salt and stir. Set aside until fish is done cooking.
- Place filets on plates and spoon one tablespoon of compote over top. Serve with sliced radish or additional kumquats, if desired. Enjoy!