Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pan-Seared Salmon with Red Bell Pepper Chutney

Since I've been creating all these fish dishes for the feast of the seven fishes, I've been craving my favorite fish: ahi tuna. Unfortunately, it's not available at my local grocery store because the price has sky rocketed. So, I was thinking about the incredible blackened tuna with five pepper sauce that Matt introduced me to back in Virginia. I wanted to do something similar but this time with salmon and spicy chutney. And after figuring out how to make a sweet/sour/spicy red bell pepper chutney, I put this dish together and, my darling, it was good and slightly spicy!


Chutney (Makes 1 cup. You can make this a couple of days before and refrigerate)

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • A healthy pinch (about a heaping teaspoon) of red pepper flakes
  • Ground, black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • Handful of raisins
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fig vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 4 Salmon fillets, with skin on and about 1/2" thick
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoons dry white wine
  • Mashed potatoes

In a sauce pan, heat olive oil on medium and add coriander, allspice, curry powder and cumin and cook spices for one minute. Next add the onions and red pepper flakes and sweat for 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and several grinds of ground black pepper.

Add the red bell peppers and raise heat to medium-high. Sauté for 5 minutes more. Add the raisins, orange juice, vinegar, pomegranate molasses and brown sugar. Add more grinds of black pepper and more salt, if needed, and bring to a boil. Boil for a couple of minutes, then lower heat to simmer, covered, for 30, then uncovered for 30 more minutes, or until chutney thickens and most liquid is absorbed. If not using chutney right away, refrigerate. You can also use this chutney on pork or chicken.

For the salmon: Salt and pepper both sides of salmon fillets. Heat a large non-stick pan (large enough to fit all fillets) on medium-high and add enough olive oil to lightly cover the bottom of pan. When oil begins to lightly smoke, place the fillets skin side down. Cook for 3 minutes. Gently turn over and cook for one minute. Remove from pan. If you're not a salmon skin lover, you can remove the skin at this point.

In the same pan add 1/2 cup of your chutney and a one tablespoon of white wine or water. Bring to a boil. Place the fillets flesh side down over the chutney and simmer for one additional minute.

To serve: Place the salmon over mashed potatoes (I used spinach fettuccini that I lightly dressed with a little olive oil and salt and pepper--I forgot to buy potatoes) then spoon some of the chutney over the salmon and serve.

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