Recipe: How to Cook Crispy Salmon
NOTE: Recipes posted prior to February 28, 2013 are not Plant Paleo recipes, including this one.
I know I recently posted Gordon Ramsay’s scrambled eggs recipe, but I’ve got another favorite Ramsay recipe that I’d like to share with you.
Amy and I love learning new recipes and watching cooking shows on TV. I’m not too crazy about the amateur reality shows where aspiring chefs scorch their way through rounds of mangling boars’ heads and handling live octopi. I can only take those in small doses.
But I can watch the masters cook all day long. Ramsay is a master.
“Everyone gets a little bit nervous about cooking fish, because they think it’s sort of difficult. It’s not. The most important thing to remember when you’re cooking fish is: stop touching it. Leave it. Leave it in there to cook. Turn it once and once only.”
— Gordon Ramsay
From the time I was a child, I enjoyed watching them cook on public television — everyone from Julia Childs to Jacques Pepin, Lidia Bastianich, Martin Yan, and Jose Andres. These days, there’s Bobby Flay, Alton Brown, Mario Batali, and many others. And even though I’ve made fun of her pharmaceutical-peddling ways on Latest in Paleo (Latest in Paleo 47: Your Brain on Porn), she makes some pretty awesome food that is sometimes easy to Paleo-ize…how I’m looking forward to sharing those with you!
Anyone down for an Iron Chef marathon? Japanese or American? ‘Cuz I’m fine either way.
Absorb, Combine, and Experiment
Amy and I will soon start posting recipes with photos of some of our favorite home-cooked dishes. But, I think what’s even more important than the recipes themselves is the method for creating them.
- Absorb. When you’re interested in cooking a certain dish, read (and/or watch) as many variants of the recipe as you can stand. And try to find at least one master chef or highly trusted source. If it’s an ethnic dish, I always include at least one recipe by someone of the ethnicity in question. Bonus points if this person is a grandparent.
- Combine. You know what you like. What sounds good and what sounds like manure. Don’t like cilantro? Substitute something, maybe a milder parsley. Take all of the best parts of the best recipes and…
- Experiment. Make it happen. You’ll win some and lose some, but I’ve got to tell you that my experience has been that even the biggest losses are rarely total flops. If you are doing a good job of recipe selection and you are using high-quality ingredients, the force is with you.
If you learn to do this, you may never need another recipe book again, except possibly to find those recipes from the masters that Google cannot uncover.
Gordon Ramsay’s Crispy Salmon
Now, of course, after laying that foundation I’m going to show you a recipe that needs zero alteration in my opinion. If anything at all, you can cook with coconut oil and then drizzle a bit of olive oil on the fish after it has cooked. If you do this, choose your coconut oil wisely.
Go with extra virgin if you want to give your dish a coconut flavor and go with an expeller-pressed coconut oil for neutral flavor. If you opt for neutral, you can then drizzle with high-quality extra virgin olive oil when you’re done. You could even go with organic grass-fed ghee, if you want to lean this dish toward the buttery side of your palate. Although I’m unsure how this would go with the crab and new potatoes, I am certain it will turn out better than a sharp stick in the eye or anything from your local drive-thru’s 99-cent menu. Perspective.
How can you tell when your salmon is cooked? How do you know when to flip it? You’re about to find out.
Doesn’t that look amazing? Real food. Respect for the ingredients. A master’s touch. And you can do this, too. Amy has prepared this for me at least a dozen times and it is fantastic. We still haven’t tried the crushed new potatoes, and she doesn’t drizzle on the vinaigrette at the end, either. Instead, she usually cooks them up with other side dishes and tops the salmon with a slice of lemon.
Who are your favorite master chefs? Do you enjoy combining and experimenting with recipes? Do you have a recipe you would like me to try? Let me know, and maybe I’ll even write it up.
If you're new to the blog, have a look at what Humans Are Not Broken means. Then, you might want to take a look at The Plant Paleo Diet to see how I eat to maintain my body transformation and health. It's an omnivorous diet that is heavy on plant foods, based on scientific evidence and evolutionary clues (Part 1 and Part 2. If you're into podcasts, you'll probably really enjoy Latest in Paleo, which looks at the latest health news in an entertaining and thoughtful way.