BUTTER FRIED SALMON AND PASTA

A dish that I developed in one of those nights that I got to cook on my own, for myself…

Photo credit: Arnold Lan | www.lantography.com


This is not something fancy that I planned to make πŸ˜€ The idea came from one time I watched an episode of Jame Oliver’s show. He has always been someone I look up to, not just for his cooking, but for what he is doing for the community and the food world. I saw him clarify butter to make a dish for Christmas, and I thought of making my own clarified butter. The thing that stuck to me was that clarified butter can stand way higher heat that the original form, since all the whey protein is removed, leaving the fat content that can withstand high heat just like vegetable oils. It is also used to make hollandaise sauce, and for other uses. I thought to myself, if I can clarified butter, I can use it for so many recipe instead of oil.

Some day later, I went to the supermarket and found a good piece of wild salmon, fresh and cleaned. I then thought I could totally fry the salmon skin-on with the clarified butter. Yummy! I tested it and have served it twice for dinner with my friends. They seemed to like it. the good thing about butter or fat when used for frying is that it has the softening effect to it, where it will leave the food soft and moist, unlike oil which sometimes dry up the food. The original method of Asian stir fry has always been using fat anyways, with chicken fat being the most favourited. So now I present to you the recipe that I’ve developed through the times cooking this dish.

For this recipe I’ll add in the simple dill pasta that I served the fish with the most recent time before writing this blog. The photo looks amazing because I had a friend take it for me, who turned out to be an amazing and talented photographer. You should definitely check him out at www.lantography.com. He even won a trip to Norway, all paid for by Tourism Norway. He even had a crew film him the entire time for documentary and for a TV episode. Cool eh! I’ll let his photos talk in his stead rather than blabbering here πŸ™‚

Now let’s start!

Cooking time: 1 hour
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • For the salmon:

– 1 large salmon fillet (around 2 lbs)
– 1 cup butter (don’t worry we’re not eating it! Stop freaking out!!!)
– 3 stalks of fresh thyme
– 1 stalk of rosemary
– 3 dried whole chilies
– 2 cloves of crushed garlic
– Dill stalks

  • For the pasta:

–Β  8 small balls of fresh tagliatelle
– 1 bunch of dill (leafy part), chopped up finely
– 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
– Juice of 1 lemon + its zest
– Salt to taste

Process:Β 

  • Let’s cook the pasta first

– In a large pot of boiling water, add a handful of salt and add the pasta in. Cook for about 5 minutes until the pasta is cooked al dente (still a bit hard, almost cooked).
– Drain out the water, and transfer the pasta to a large bowl; add the rest of the ingredients in and mix well until the olive oil coats the pasta and the salt is added to preference.
– Set aside and let it stay warm

  • Β Now let’s get to the fish

– Dry the fish fillet and cut into smaller parts to fit your pan, preferably serving sizes. Rub the fillets with oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper
– In a frying pan, slowly melt the butter into liquid form. After that raise the heat a bit higher to separate the fat and the whey protein, and skim out the scum that floats on top, leaving the clear liquid behind. Strain out the clear liquid butter and clean the pan of residues. You got your clarified butter!
– Add the clarified butter back to the cleaned pan, now on medium to high heat, add in the herbs and spices (thyme, rosemary, dill, chili, garlic) and fry until fragrant.
– Add the fish fillets in one at a time, skin side down and fry until crispy (3 minutes) while continually scoop the butter and baste the top fillet to cook.
– After the fillet is golden and crispy, set aside on paper towel to drain excess fat.

Served hot on top of the pasta, with a touch of extra virgin olive oil.

Notes:
– For the dill it’s obvious you don’t want to eat the stalk part of it, so that’s why I used it to add flavour to the butter. We should never waste food!
– Cook the fillets one by one to avoid the water draining out of the fish and ruins the butter. It also prevents the fish from crisping up. Basting the top part instead of turning ensures that the skin has more time to cook and crisp up, and also it helps the fish stay moist.
– You should cook this fillet on medium to high heat to ensure that the fish is crispy outside and soft and moist inside, almost medium rare. Cooking with butter does ensure that the fish retains more moist than with oil. Even so, if you cook with lower heat, the skin will not likely be crispy and by the time it seems like so, the fish will be cooked through and dry.
– Try to experiment with different herbs and spices that you have at home. The main point of this recipe is the clarified butter. Other than that you can substitute salmon for other fish, like haddock, trout… BUT they must be fatty fish, otherwise it will get really dry and boring. Some of the herbs you try using is shallots, sage, whole pepper, clove, or coriander seeds …
– Make sure you post your creations on Instagram and tag me in #acornerkitchen I’d love to learn from you guys <3

BON APPETIT


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