Golden Pan-fried Salmon

This is a lovely little dish – the spices used on the salmon, which include cumin and turmeric, turn it a wonderful rich golden colour and bring a lovely buttery warmth to the fresh flavour of the fish. I really recommend investing in herbs and spices – although they can seem a little pricey, they last for ages and really make the difference between a bland dish and something a bit special. However, if you’re strapped for cash, you could just use the turmeric and the cumin, and leave out the others – just add a little more of each. I chose to serve this with a little creamy tomato risotto (well, a cheat’s risotto, which actually makes a great dish by itself) and salad.

This is the sort of fillet you want - although
you don't have to splash out on
Taste The Difference stuff, obviously!
A couple of salmon fillets – the ones which are wide & thin, rather than narrow & chunky
1 tsp each of cumin and turmeric
½ tsp each of ginger, chilli powder and ground coriander
Salt and black pepper
Lemon juice
For the risotto:
200g rice
About 75ml sour cream
Half a tin of chopped tomatoes
Sweet chilli sauce
Plus fresh rocket, to serve

Serves 2.

Getting the two parts ready at the same time requires a bit of clever timing, but keep on top of it and you’ll find it’s quite easy. First, get the rice started – rinse it well in a sieve, then pop into a small saucepan and boil on the hob for about six minutes. While it’s bubbling, prepare your spice mix in a bowl – add the cumin, turmeric, ginger, chilli powder, coriander, salt and pepper.
Once the timer goes for the rice, drain it and rinse again (this stops it going all sticky at the end, because it makes sure all the starch released by cooking is washed away). Leave it in the sieve, and pour a bit more boiling water into the little saucepan (to a depth of about 2cm) then pop the sieve on top. Put the whole thing back on the heat, so that the rice gets steamed by the boiling water underneath – this is a really good trick to get the rice nice and fluffy at the end.
Next, prepare the salmon - sprinkle the spice mix onto both sides and use a pastry brush (or the back of the spoon) to make sure the fish is well-coated. Place a frying pan on a medium-high heat, with a splash of vegetable oil and a scoop of butter, and let it heat up properly before you add the salmon, skin-side up. Set a timer for five minutes, and when the time’s up, flip the fillets over and set the timer for another five minutes. By now the rice should be nearly ready – have a taste, and when it’s done, rinse out the small saucepan and pour the rice back in (all this chop-changing is to save on washing-up, but you can use new saucepans each time if you want!). Put it back on a low heat, then add the chopped tomatoes and sour cream, and a generous dollop of sweet chilli sauce, and season well to taste.
By now, the salmon should be about ready – just keep stirring the rice on the heat if not. Serve up the salmon fillets on a bed of cheat’s risotto, and serve with fresh zingy rocket and little more sour cream on the side. Delicious!