Friday, August 8, 2008
Pan Fried Salmon with Gluten Free Breadcrumbs and Summer Tomatoes
I am always so dazzled by the cooking enterprises and straight talk of Jamie Oliver, who I know is an icon for many other gluten free chefs as well. Lately I’ve been enjoying his Cook With Jamie guide, and particularly interested in learning about where all the different cuts of meat that we eat come from on the body of each animal. Heck, if you’re going to cook and eat something, you might as well understand it!
I saw a recipe in his guide for pan fried red mullet and wondered if I could freeform off of it to create something delicious with the salmon we love. My main sticking point however was the breadcrumbs. I didn’t know if gluten free breadcrumbs even existed!
Happily, they do. After some searching I found a wonderful mix by Gillian's Foods. These Italian style breadcrumbs are not only wheat and gluten free, they are also dairy free. What they do contain is an incredible herb and spice mixture that makes them the most flavorful, truly tasty breadcrumbs I can ever remember using. I’m not just saying that because I eat gluten free – even my husband the wheat maniac really loved them.
My favorite part about this meal is that it is so fast and easy to prepare, yet looks so sophisticated on a plate. You could whip a batch of this up in 30 minutes or less for your friends or family and they will think you’ve been cooking all day!
Pan Fried Salmon with Gluten Free Breadcrumbs
and Summer Tomatoes
What You’ll Need:
For Summer Tomato Salad...
A few handfuls of fresh multicolored tomatoes
A large handful of fresh basil leaves
Nice sized splash of red wine vinegar
Bigger splash of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2-3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp and 1 tsp Red Mill gluten free baking flour
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
12 oz Whole Catch frozen sockeye salmon, defrosted and skinned
1/2 cup (plus a shake) of gluten free Italian bread crumbs
zest of 1 small lemon
handful of fresh basil leaves, finely minced
How It Works:
Take several handfuls of multicolored summer tomatoes, the freshest ones you can get. Chop them up into a variety of sizes, but all small enough to eat with ease. Give them a good splash of red wine vinegar and then an even larger splash of your extra virgin olive oil. Salt and pepper them to taste, and mix them together with your fresh basil leaves. Set the salad aside.
If you’re using Whole Catch frozen wild sockeye salmon fillets, defrost them in warm water or by using your microwave. Next, gently remove their skin so that they are ready to cook.
In shallow bowl or on a large plate, combine your Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF Baking Flour with the garlic powder and fresh ground black pepper. Blend it thoroughly with the tines of a fork. Next, gently coat each side of your fish fillets with the flour/garlic/pepper mix.
Heat 2 – 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan at medium temperature. When oil is hot but not smoking, place your battered fish in the pan. Sauté for somewhere between 3 and 4 minutes per side, depending on how thick your salmon fillet is. One of my fillets actually took 5 minutes on one of its sides to be fully cooked. You will know it is cooked when the salmon flesh turns to a light pink color and the fat begins to turn white. Remove fish from heat.
Use about 1/3 of your tomato salad as a bed for each piece of fried fish, spreading it on your serving plate before you place the fish fillet on top. Divide the last 1/3 of tomato salad into halves and sprinkle one half on top of each of the salmon fillets.
To prepare your breadcrumbs, grate the zest of one small lemon:
Returning your pan (with its juices and olive oil) to medium heat, add the gluten free breadcrumbs, lemon zest and minced fresh basil. Fry for a few minutes until crispy but not burned, stirring frequently.
Take a spoonful of the breadcrumbs and lightly dust them over the top of each of your fillets of fish. You may end up with extra breadcrumbs left over, this is fine. They are so tasty, your guests may wish to add more of them to their plates from a serving bowl on your dining table while eating. You can also save them in the refrigerator for future use inside of a gluten free macaroni casserole.
Serves 2, ingredients may be doubled, etc. for more guests.