Friday, October 05, 2007

Corn Salad (With Perfectly Crispy Skin Salmon)

I have a reputation. Completely unfounded. When I was living with A I bought a cheap eggplant and didn't cook it. It was left soft and mushy at the bottom of the fridge. The same thing may have happened with a cauliflower. "But it was cheap!" I protested as he shook his head. "It's not so cheap when you have to throw it away!" I always end up with these kinds of fellas. The ones that just don't understand.

But I can't help it sometimes. Like on the weekend when I saw two perfectly symetical pears, and they were too pretty to leave behind, or four corns in their silky husks for $2. I'd never cooked fresh corn before, but to me, their crunchy taste and chartreuse coats are the epitome of spring. With inspiration from MattBites, I made this delicious salad, which ended up being one of the most delicious salads ever. Oh yea, ever.

For four serves, take two fresh corns and peel away the husks and silk. Slice the corn off - it slices off easily - and what's nice is you have clunks of kernels which look pretty. In a little butter saute the corn in a frypan over low-medium heat for about five minutes. Taste so that it's cooked but has lots o' crunch. Transfer to a salad bowl. Dice half a red capsicum and add to the corn, along with a good handful of coriander leaves and a crumbling of feta. Season and chill before eating. It would also be great with steak, grilled chicken or prawns.

I had a nice fillet of salmon which I was going to slow-roast but my oven was occupied, so I heated a little olive oil in a frypan until very hot, and added the fillet (after it had been washed and dried and well-seasoned) skin-side down. Don't touch until you can see the fish cooked about a quarter way up from the bottom, then flip over, and cook for another few minutes. As you can see, I like my salmon rare. The skin is so good, crispy and salty like chips.



Blogger The Late Bloomer said...

Wow, this sounds delish, Julia! Funnily enough, when I bake salmon "en papillotte" in the oven, I usually don't eat the soggy skin! I never thought it could be crispy and delicious by searing it in a pan... Something to keep in mind. I need to work on my seasoning a bit too -- that probably sounds pathetic, as seasoning is the basics, but I don't think it's that easy to get just the right amount of salt and pepper -- I have a bad habit of using too much or too little!

7:08 PM  
Blogger Julia said...

LB, you are very true - seasoning is quite hard, and I think it's Gordon Ramsay who tests new cooks in his kitchens by giving them the most basic of dishes to prepare and see how they season. The key is to taste as you go, add salt and pepper in small amounts, taste, then add more if needs taste, taste, etc. I find with fish that more salt than you think pays off, especially cooked like this, a salty crispy skin is so delicious while a crispy underseaoned skin ends up left on the plate (and this comes from someone who HATED fish and would cringe at the skin not long ago). The salt gets baked into the skin/fish as it's cooked. Give it a try!

I want to eat more fish/chicken 'en papillotte' (soggy skin, ew!) so if you have some good ideas please pass them on!

7:33 PM  
Blogger The Gourmand said...

Fabulous picture, my dear. X

10:28 AM  
Blogger AlphaChick said...

Looks marvelous!

On the bouy fresh veggies and then letting them go off ... my solution lately is to chop them up and freeze them. Did this some delicious red peppers from the Union Square Farmers' Market. The best bit is actually getting to part 2 of the deal (cooking them). Did that yesterday ;)

7:03 AM  

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