Pan-Seared Salmon with Balsamic Glaze takes a little patience, but is worth it
Peggy Lampman | Contributor
I blogged about the secrets of searing scallops last Friday. Today I'm taking the lessons learned and applying them to salmon.
Perfectly pan-seared salmon also depends on a very hot pan. Use a heavy cast-iron skillet, if available, or heavy-bottomed saute pan which heats evenly. Warm the pan before you add the oil; this restaurant trick allows the pan to get really hot without burning the oil. A preheated pan also requires less oil. When searing I always use an oil with a high-smoke point, such as grape seed oil or refined canola oil. Smoke point refers to the temperature when the oil begins to break down.
If working in batches, preheat your oven to 200 degrees to keep the cooked salmon warm as your finish searing. You may find it necessary to add a bit more grape seed oil to the pan between batches.
This recipe was originally inspired by Sara Moulton, an ex-pat Ann Arborite now turned Food Network star.
Yield: 4 servings
Time: 25 minutes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar â€¨
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon brown sugar
â€¨ 4 salmon fillets, center pieces, approx. 1/2 pound eachâ€¨
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon brown sugarâ€¨
2-4 teaspoons grape seed oil â€¨
1 tablespoon chopped chives and lemon zest, optional garnish
1. Combine vinegar,1/4 cup water, lemon juice, and brown sugar in a bowl and mix. Set aside.â€¨
2. Wash and dry salmon. Lightly season flesh with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.â€¨
3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet on high heat. Make sure heat is high, but the skillet is not smoking.â€¨
4. Add salmon to skillet, working in batches if necessary, and sear until brown, about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until just done on the inside. (Review above tips for creating the perfect sear.)â€¨
5. Transfer salmon to plates and deglaze pan by adding vinegar mixture to the skillet. The mixture will sizzle and steam. Simmer mixture while stirring until thickened,1-2 minutes.â€¨
6. Spoon the glaze over salmon and serve.