I've struggled to incorporate fish into my meal planning, especially when the weather isn't conducive to outdoor grilling. To get past what clearly was a lack of imagination, I started experimenting with different toppings and cooking methods.
This is one of my favorites. A fillet (skin on or skinless) is first rubbed with a spice mix and then marinated in an oil-vinegar mixture. I sear the top of the fish on the stove and finish it in the oven. The fish gets a nice color, and there's no lingering aroma in my kitchen (and beyond). With a rice or grain pilaf, dinner's made.
- For the salmon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar
- 2 (4 to 6 ounces each) skin-on or skinless salmon fillets, pin bones removed
- 1 lime, for garnish
- For the salsa
- 4 ounces fresh or canned pineapple, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice (1/2 cup)
- Flesh of half a medium avocado, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice
- 1 scallion, white and light-green parts, cut crosswise into thin slices (about 2 to 3 teaspoons)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Juice of 1 to 2 limes (to yield 1 tablespoon)
For the salmon: Combine the oil and vinegar in a shallow dish.
Combine the chili powder, salt and sugar in a small bowl. Use it to rub the salmon fillets all over, gently pressing it into the flesh, then place the fillets in the oil-vinegar mixture. Turn them over so both sides are coated; let them marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes while you prepare the salsa.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
For the salsa: Combine the pineapple, avocado, scallion, pepper, salt and the tablespoon of lime juice in a mixing bowl; toss to mix well.
Heat a medium nonstick skillet that is ovenproof over medium-high heat. (Alternatively, lightly grease an ovenproof baking dish with nonstick cooking oil spray.)
When the pan is hot, add the fillets (if skin-on, place them skin side up) and cook for 1 minute. Turn them over, then transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes per inch of thickness or to desired degree of doneness.
Remove from the oven; use a wide spatula to transfer each piece to individual plates. Spoon the salsa on top of each fillet. Cut the remaining lime in half and squeeze over each portion. Serve immediately.
From columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.