Here we are at day 2 of my Not A Cleanse Eating Right Fortnight (I just came up with that – pretty good, huh?) and I feel goooood. I went to the grocery store yesterday to stock up on yummy, healthful items like fresh & dried fruit, granola, almond milk, veggies, veggies, and more veggies. I walked briskly by the pepperoni and bacon, and instead grabbed some salmon and ground chicken breast.
When the hubs got home from work he was slightly concerned. “You still got beer for me though, right?” Apparently he can live without some of our beloved meats, but don’t mess with the man’s beer supply! (I did get beer for him in case you were wondering; what kind of a wife would I be…)
I knew exactly what I was going to make when I saw that salmon. I made this dish once for my mom a couple years ago and she hasn’t stopped raving about it since! (Hi mom!) That time I grilled the salmon because, well, I had a grill. We left ours in San Diego with the West Coaster guys to make moving a little easier on ourselves. I miss it dearly, but I bet they’re getting some good use out of it. Mike makes a mean grilled steak taco.
So for now, a good pan sear and the same delicious sauce will do. Unfortunately, Mountain View seems to be fresh out of pomegranates; two different stores yielded me only frozen seeds. Arg. Not the same.
One good thing about NACERF (Are we at the acronym stage yet? Too soon? Eh.): it’s a good excuse to cook things that Josh hates. Hey, I’m just trying to eat healthy over here! This man is a hater of all things from the sea. So while he dined on leftover chili (and BEER, rrrg) I had this lovely salmon (and the subsequent leftovers) all to myself.
Salmon is one of my favorite fish. It can stand up to a lot of flavor, and gets along mighty well with tangy pomegranate, spicy ginger and star anise. The pop of cilantro at the end really brings everything together.
Pan Seared Salmon with Pomegranate Reduction
I sear the salmon in a pan for this recipe, but it's also delicious cooked on a grill. To do so, prepare the same way - just throw it on the grill instead of a pan! Maybe don't throw it.
Serves4, with leftover sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil + more to brush salmon
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 clove garlic, sliced thin
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup orange juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
- 1 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
- 2 star anise pods
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water, mixed together well
- four 6 ounce salmon fillets
- pomegranate seeds, for garnish
- cilantro, for garnish
- Warm a saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the shallot and cook until softened and just starting to brown. Add garlic and ginger, cook for one minute. Add wine and reduce by half.
- Add orange juice. pomegranate juice, and star anise. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat until reduced by about half. Whisk in the butter and honey, then the cornstarch mixture. Continue whisking while it thickens, about 2 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, strain through a sieve, and set aside.
- Set a large pan over medium high heat. Brush the salmon with oil and season with salt & pepper on both sides. Cook the fillets for 3-5 minutes per side (depending on the size), until nicely browned and almost cooked through. They'll continue to cook as they rest.
- Garnish with pomegranate reduction, pomegranate seeds, and cilantro.