If you can break up the timing/prep of this recipe, make the aioli in advance so it's nice and chilled by the time the fish is done.
Fresh horseradish is worth having on hand, so don't be worried if you have to buy a larger piece than is called for here. It brings a bright intensity to the aioli. (The flavor will mellow after a day or two.) Grate it fresh as you need it to make your own cocktail sauce, a dip with sour cream or creme fraiche (for fish, chicken or prime rib); add it to a slaw or mashed potatoes. It lasts in the refrigerator in a food-safe plastic storage bag for weeks; wrap the cut side with a damp paper towel.
You'll have leftover aioli, which can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Serve with a mash of minted fresh peas or new potatoes.
- 1-inch-wide piece fresh horseradish
- About 6 leaves flat-leaf parsley
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Four skin-on salmon fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each, preferably center-cut
- Wondra or all-purpose flour, for dusting
Peel the horseradish. Use a Microplane grater or the small-holed side of a box grater to grate the horseradish to yield 2 tablespoons. Mince the parsley to yield 1 tablespoon.
Combine the egg yolks, salt and water in the bowl of a food processor. With the motor running, gradually add the 1/2 cup each of canola and olive oils (one after the other) to form an emulsion close to the consistency of mayonnaise. Squeeze in the juice from the 1/2 lemon (1 tablespoon), then add the Worcestershire sauce, the grated horseradish and the parsley. Pulse a few times, just until well incorporated. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate while you cook the fish.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Heat a large, ovenproof saute pan or skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until it is quite hot. Meanwhile, use paper towels to pat the salmon fillets dry on all sides. Season them lightly with salt. Use the Wondra flour to dust the fillets on all sides, shaking off any excess flour.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil to the pan or skillet and swirl to coat. Add the fillets, skin side down. After about 30 seconds, shake the pan or skillet to keep the fillets from sticking (or use a fish spatula to gently dislodge them if needed). Cook for about 3 minutes, then turn over the fillets. Transfer the pan or skillet to the oven and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through but not yet flaky.
Divide among individual plates. Serve warm, passing the chilled aioli at the table.
Adapted from "In My Kitchen: 100 Recipes and Discoveries for Passionate Cooks," by Ted Allen (Clarkson Potter, 2012).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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