Monday, November 10, 2008

Frito Salmon

It was serendipity.  I don't even like Fritos, nobody here does.  That is why we have the little lunchbox baggies of them kicking around the pantry.  But as I prepared the BBQ sauce- coated salmon for the oven they just looked so naked and blase, I knew I had to add a crunchy topping.  Buttered breadcrumbs don't have enough time to crisp up during the 10 minutes the salmon needs- it had to be something that was already crunchy, but that wouldn't soggify on the sauce.  Fritos!  Brilliant (if I do say so myself).

The side dish was sweet potato and Brussels sprout hash.  First I cooked 2 slices of diced bacon til crispy, then removed the bacon but left the fat.  Into the pan went diced sweet and new potatoes to brown.  Meanwhile, I boiled the Brussels sprouts in salted water until tender, and drained.  When the potatoes were soft, I pushed them aside and added the sprouts to get a little caramelization as well.

Finally I added some thinly sliced scallions and the reserved bacon. 

Those salmon fillets took 10 minutes at 425'.  I whipped up a little sauce from equal parts mayo and light sour cream with a chipotle pepper in adobo (which I pureed using the garlic press).  It needed pinches of salt and sugar to balance the flavors.  Some lime would have been good, too- but I didn't have any.

It's not hard to make a little parchment paper cone to drizzle the chipotle cream on in a cool professional looking design- but why bother?  It tastes just as good sloppily glopped off a spoon.  When I cook salmon like this in the oven, I always slide the spatula between the flesh and the skin and leave the gross skin behind on the foil so it doesn't get all mixed up with the good stuff.  You can eat salmon skin for sure, but if you're going to do so,  you would want to get it really crispy by searing it skin side down in a hot oiled pan.

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