It's happened to all of us (especially if you're female):
Scene: Bustling eatery downtown, two women at a table, reading menus.
Woman 1, sipping her cocktail, eyeing the Kobe burger, slathered with foie gras, and topped with gruyere:
"Hmmm.....everything looks so good, but I think I know what I'm getting. You?"
Woman 2, primly puts down her menu, reaching for her water glass:
"Well, the baked salmon looks like the healthiest thing on the menu, so I'll get that, but I'll ask for the sauce on the side, just to be safe."
Woman 1, sighs and guiltily pushes away the wine list:
So, you order the damn salmon and you're pissed, not only because it's the most boring thing on the menu, but you also feel that salmon is so maligned as a dish and would buy it more for dinner at home if it didn't have such a stigma. And if you knew how to cook it in ways that don't include steaming and/or baking. And if you knew how to add flavor instead of just squirting it with lemon and hoping for the best. And if you weren't afraid to add cheese.
That's why you're here, right? Slut it up!
Buttery Orange and Garlic Salmon with Goat Cheese and Cilantro
1 large orange, zested and juiced
2 big, thick salmon steaks (wild caught, no color-injected farmed shit, thankyouverymuch)
Butter, softened (some for the pan, some to finish the sauce...I don't know, like maybe two 1/4-stick portions?)
Generous salt and pepper to taste (salmon is a seasoning whore)
6 cloves garlic, crushed (if this much garlic makes you nervous, go away)
1/2 cup chicken broth (or 1/3 cup stock)
Gobs of goat cheese to taste
Coarsely chopped cilantro to taste
Spread with half of the butter onto the salmon and press the orange zest into it. (Lick your fingers at your own gastrointestinal risk.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add the garlic and chicken broth to whatever bowl into which you juiced your orange. Set aside.
Get a pan (that has an accompanying lid - I hate it when recipes don't tell you that ahead of time!) screaming hot and add the salmon, buttered side down. Sear for about three minutes, or until the salmon gets opaque about halfway up the sides and the side touching the pan has some nice crustiness to it.
Flip and cover, turn heat to medium high. Cook for about five minutes, then add the orange juice mixture. Leave uncovered and cook for another minute or two - for however done you like it. Remove the salmon to two dinner plates.
Turn heat to screaming hot again and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce by 1/3 or 1/2, add the remaining butter, then drizzle over the salmon. Top with goat cheese and cilantro. Doneskies.
Serves two. Takes maybe 20 minutes to make.
What to serve with it? Like as in a side dish? All the food magazines show salads/kale bullshit with their proteins, but I would do some sauteed asparagus with a little shallot and olive oil. And for the starch? YES, we eat a starch at dinner, we are HUNGRY. I would suggest rice pilaf (augmented by some onions and tarragon). Booze? Rose or Pinot. Or shots of jet fuel. Whatevs. xoxo