Salmon is an extremely tasty and versatile food. It’s probably one of the few proteins that’s equally good raw as it is cooked. We recently met up with Chef Ed Brown, expert in all things salmon and chef/innovator of the new Lincoln Center Kitchen, so he could show us a few tips and tricks when it comes to cooking the fish, as well as two tasty recipes to try. Chef Brown is also the chef/innovator for Restaurant Associates and Ed’s Chowder House, is a frequent guest on the Food Network, has published numerous books –so I’m sure he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to a little filet o’ fish.
Oh, and by the way, did you know that during performances the Lincoln Center Theater pipes in live music into the kitchen from the New York Philharmonic. Please excuse me while I go nerd out about how cool that is.
When prepping your cuts of salmon, it’s important to tailor your technique depending on how you plan to prepare it. If you will be cooking the salmon, make sure to cut off not only the skin but the fat as well (when the fat is cooked, it can become bitter). To do this, cut into the fish above the fat and keep your knife parallel as you slide your knife along the fillet. However, if you’re preparing a dish with raw salmon, include the fat since it adds great flavor when it’s uncooked. To do so, turn the edge of your knife down a bit and press hard, to make sure to get a cut really close to the skin.
1. Drizzle a plate with olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper as well.
2. Lay a few thin slices of radish and a few cucumber blossoms on the plate.
3. On a bias, cut thin strips of salmon off the fillet.
4. Twist each piece, then lay it on the plate, over the garnishes.
5. Drizzle more olive oil over the top of the fish, sprinkle salt and pepper.
6. Place more radish slices and cucumber blossoms on the top.
7. Slice a few black olives in half and place on the salmon.
8. Slice a few segments of blood orange and place on the salmon.
9. Squeeze the juice from the rest of the orange over the plate.
10. Roughly chop a handful of Thai basil, and sprinkle across the plate.
For the Soybean Puree
For the Tomato Mint Salad
1. Allow salmon to reach room temperature by leaving it out 30 minutes prior to cooking.
2. Slice the fillet in half, turn the two pieces on their side and push together.
2. Heat a vat of olive oil to around 165°, take off heat.
3. Place salmon in the vat of olive oil, so that it is almost submerged.
4. Quarter the tomatoes, cut out the seeds and inside flesh, and peel skin off.
5. Take the pieces of tomato flesh and cut them in strips.
6. Mix the tomato strips with chopped mint, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
7. Flip the salmon, so the top cooks. When the center is warm to the touch, it’s done.
8. Place soybeans in a pot, cover with stock or water, bring to a boil and cook for two minutes.
9. Pour soybeans, stock, pinch of salt, fresh mint, shallot, garlic and a drizzle of olive oil into a blender and puree.
10. Place a dollop of soybean puree on a plate, place salmon on it, sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper, and top with tomato mint salad.
And there you go, two totally different but equally lovely (and easy enough) salmon dishes prepared perfectly. And to top it all off, while you eat your yummy meal, you can be entertained by the fish, too.
Head to our Guest Chefs section for more amazing videos w/ New York’s top chefs/bartenders!
Lauren is a New York based actor/singer/writer. She is a graduate of the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University as well as the College of the Holy Cross. She’s a fan of beer, pasta, and academic establishments with unnecessarily long titles. Find her on stage, or online– she’s there often.