January 13, 2014

Sear-Roasted Salmon & Rock Climbing

Try, try again and eventually, you'll master something new!  Whether it's a cooking technique or rock climbing, there's something to be learned in every activity.

Rock Climbing Jan 2014-01Rock Climbing Jan 2014-03

Last summer, I finally located a local rock climbing class that worked with our schedule.  Initially, only My Oldest was going to take the class... but, after watching him, My Youngest insisted he wanted to try it, too.

As I watched them both progress last summer, I was actually quite amazed at how climbing up a wall required more skills than just strength to lift yourself up.  It also requires problem solving because you have to figure out which "rocks" to put your feet on or grab onto with your hands to pull yourself up.  Sometimes the first choice doesn't work... but, what I loved seeing most was that they didn't give up!  They wanted to prove that they could do it and when they did, the smiles were proof that they were proud of themselves.

Last weekend, I took them back for some more time to "climb the walls" since we weren't able to continue the classes once school started again last fall.  It only took a few moments before they were both climbing and finding that they could try more difficult or challenging walls than they did last summer.  Growing a couple of inches since then definitely helped their ability to reach farther.

Tonight, I was finally able to get a nice sear on a piece of salmon that I made for dinner... isn't it beautiful?

Sear roasted salmon #dinner #salmon #seafood

What I'm going to share with you is more of a "method" rather than a specific recipe.  I went to a tried-and-true source for this one... Molly Stevens and her book, All About Roasting.  I've made salmon many times, but not always with the best results... tonight, I felt like I conquered it when I saw the beautiful crust on the fish when I flipped it over.

When seasoning the salmon, choose one that you know you love.  I happen to be very fond of O & Co.'s Salt & Herb Mix for Fish.  It's a fresh blend of herbs and salt that is a perfect match to just about any fish you enjoy.

Tips for Sear-Roasting Salmon:

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees (or 400 for convection roasting) and use an oven thermometer to ensure it has reached the proper temperature.
  • It's also a good idea to allow the fish to begin coming to room temperature for about 15 minutes or so before you are ready to add it to the pan.
  • Use a neutral tasting oil such as grapeseed oil which also has a high smoke point.  This reduces the chances that you'll have smoke in your kitchen as you are searing the fish.
  • Heat the oil until it shimmers in an oven safe pan.
  • While oil is heating, pat the fish dry and season liberally with your selected seasoning blend. 
  • Add the fish, skin side up and allow to sear until a crust forms on side that is cooking.  After about 2 minutes, gently lift it to check to see if it has formed the crust. 
  • Once you have determined that the fish has seared and created a crust, flip it over and immediately move the pan to the oven.
  • Allow to roast until it reaches your desired level of "doneness" - we prefer ours a bit more done, so I allowed it to roast for about 7-8 minutes (140 degrees in the center).

 Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

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