This recipe came out of my cooking class with Karen Lee on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It was a lovely day spent in her warm inviting kitchen. Karen’s classes always make for a day well-spent. (More information for Karen Lee Cooking Class (firstname.lastname@example.org) or cookingwithcandi.com
1 1/2 lbs. salmon fillet, skin removed (organic or wild but the organic king farm-raised is great, when it is available and the wild salmon is best from April through September)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin or 1 tablespoon fennel seed ( we used cumin)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
zest of 1 orange (you can substitute lemon or lime)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice, reduced to 2 – 3 tablespoons *see recipe below
2 tablespoons olive oil
Dunk salmon in a bowl of cold water for a second. Then let drain on paper towels. Rinse and dry salmon.
Rub down the salmon fillet on both sides with olive oil.
Mix together the salt and the cayenne pepper and rub onto both sides of the salmon then rub in the fennel seed or ground cumin, rosemary and orange zest. Press mixture onto both sides of the fillet.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place in a well seasoned iron skillet or steel fish skillet over high heat for about 2-3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil (you may need a bit more.)
Using a fish spatula, slide the salmon into the skillet. Sear for 2-3 minutes. Place the spatula under the salmon and jiggle to loosen. If it resists, then leave it for another minute or so. Continue to saute until the salmon gets very dark and well-seared. Flip the salmon and sear on the other side for another 2-3 minutes.
Place the salmon on a shallow roasting pan and roast in oven for an additional 1-3 minutes. (How long you roast will depend on how thick your fillet is and how you like your salmon cooked.) After fish comes out of oven, using a pastry brush, brush with the reduced orange juice.
(When sauteing the salmon, you may want to lower the heat to avoid burning the spices.)
*to reduce orange juice just put in a small saucepan and boil it down (a slow boil as opposed to a rolling boil,) until orange juice is reduced.