When you're cooking for yourself, convenience is probably a priority. Luckily, convenience and visual presentation don't have to be mutually exclusive. There are some crucial tricks that will keep these recipes a breeze to make.
Take this dish, for example: seared salmon with avocado, orange, cucumber, and fennel salad with pickled red onions and lime-cilantro crema. There are a lot of components, yes, but these components can be made in larger batches and reused in an array of different dishes. The lime-cilantro crema and pickled red onions could easily be used in a taco recipe, and it's always good to have some fresh cucumber, orange, and fennel in your crisper, as they will brighten up any dish, visually and in flavor.
In fact, you will probably see these usual suspects in a few upcoming recipes. Stay tuned!
- 1 4-6-oz. salmon fillet
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup lime-cilantro crema (recipe below)
- 1/2 ripe (but not too ripe) avocado, diced
- 1/2 orange, supremed and diced
- 1/4 fennel bulb, shaved with a mandolin slicer
- 1/2 Persian cucumber or 1/4 regular cucumber, shaved with a mandolin slicer
- 6-8 slices pickled red onion (recipe below)
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the lime-cilantro crema (makes 2 cups that you can save):
- 1 16-oz. sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Juice and zest of 2 limes
- 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
For the pickled red onions:
- 1 medium red onion, sliced thin
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 cup white vinegar
- Pat salmon fillet dry with a paper towel and bring it to room temperature if it is not already. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper, seasoning a bit more liberally on the skin side.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat until the pan is hot. Coat with olive oil. Put the salmon skin-side down and sear until the skin side is brown and crispy (about 3-4 minutes), pressing gently occasionally to keep the skin from curling. Once the salmon fillet is 75-80% light and opaque, turn off the heat and flip the fillet over. Cook for just 10-15 seconds before removing from the pan.
- To make the crema, scoop all ingredients into a food processor (you might have to do this in batches) and pulse until well blended.
- To make the pickled red onions, add the sliced red onion and garlic clove to a mason jar with a wide mouth or a large glass. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, and peppercorns to a saucepan. Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Cover and bring the vinegar mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it's boiling, remove from heat and pour over the red onions and garlic. Let cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator. They can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.
- To assemble, spoon your desired amount of lime-cilantro crema onto a plate, top with shaved fennel and cucumber. Gently place the salmon fillet on top and sprinkle with orange and avocado cubes and pickled red onion. Garnish with fennel fronds.