Seared Salmon Over Mint-Pea Puree

Before we moved to the giant jungle of New York City, surrounded by tons of friends who *possibly* see babies in their distant 10-year plan, and ohhhhh, zero grandparents, we lived in a quaint (read: tiny) house in Maryland.  There, Carlitos had three sets of grandparents, two aunts, numerous step-aunts, cousins and a backyard.

It was dreamy.

My husband’s family all lives there already and my parents, upon learning that their hussy lovely daughter was pregnant, sold their home and moved down there, too.  There was a lot of ‘home shuffling’ the first year: apartments and condos in various areas of D.C. for my parents and ourselves.  But then we found that tiny cottage in Maryland and my parents moved two streets away.

It was awesome.

We, of course, assumed they moved that close because they wanted to spend every waking second with us and help raise our child.  While this may have been their original sentiments also, I think reality quickly settled in.  Suddenly they were all using words like ‘boundaries’ and ‘visiting hours’ and saying things like ‘We do have a life outside of you guys.’ and ‘Why don’t you just go HOME!  That’s your HOME! Are too good for your HOME! ANSWER ME!’

I’m kidding of course…in that honest sort of way.

The one time we always knew we would be welcome was when we offered to cook.  Aha!  Loophole!  It was really a win-win:  My parents would pay for fabulous produce at the town farmer’s market and top quality fish at Whole Foods…plus usually some wine that cost more than $6.99.  (Show offs) We would cook them a delicious meal while they played with their grandson.  And then my dad would do the dishes. Alright, so it was more like:

Us = win, win, win

Them = win

But still, everyone was happy.  And nobody was giving us side eye when we started to take our coats off to stay awhile.

I think the favorite meal we created on one of these occasions was a recipe from Giada de Laurentis.  Frankly, she annoys me.  I watched her show one time and she was making toast with Nutella and sliced strawberries.  That is just a slap in the face.  Like, Look at me! I have a million amazing family connections, got myself this here cooking show and just to throw it in your face that I had all of this awesomeness handed to me without earning it in the slightest I will get up here and show you how to make toast!

She’s like that chick who owns Dylan’s Candy Bar.  Yeah, my dad is a little someone named Ralph Lauren.  Heard of him? So, I could do just about anything in the universe I wanted to with my life.  Focus on charity? Start a well-run business? Do anything productive with my fortuitous fortune? Nope.  I think I will half-ass a candy store but still get tons of publicity because of who my daddy is, yo.  Have you ever been in a Dylan’s Candy Shop? Useless.

But I digress.

I did, grudgingly, try this one recipe of Giada’s and I have to admit it is bangin’.  Girl makes toast on TV but this recipe is elegant and complex (flavor-wise, not in difficulty) so…she clearly stole it.  So…I am stealing it from her. (But obviously actually giving her credit since I just spent three paragraphs talking about how it is hers.  Don’t sue me, G.) I altered it slightly this time and used onions instead of shallots, but I can admit it is better in it’s original form.

This dish is the perfect meal to welcome Spring…and to keep the summer running as far into the Fall as possible.  Mint?  Lemon?  Peas?  It’s freshness and brightness and flirtatiousness galore to wake your taste buds out of their winter roasted brussel sprouts and beef crockpot variations stupor.

And if you ever start to feel like you are over staying your welcome somewhere, offer to make this.  Just don’t forget to ask the host for their credit card so you can go buy the ingredients on their dime.  They love that part.

Seared Salmon Over Mint-Pea Puree

(Even though I did replace shallots with onions this time, this is honestly a recipe that I enjoy best in it’s original form, so if you just click the link above it will take you to her recipe. I know, I have some serious brass cojones to talk trash and then link to her recipe, but I am who I am.)

We don’t have a microwave, so I just put a tiny bit of water and turned the heat on really low until the peas were defrosted.  You can also just leave them out for about 30-60 minutes ahead of time if you plan ahead.  But if you’re the type to plan ahead, why are you reading this blog?       Go find Martha.

Make sure you wash your lemon well before zesting!

Be sure to zest every inch of the lemon BUT don’t go deep.  Try to stay above the white pith – it is very bitter!

Needle nose pliers = the BEST tool to extract any remaining bones.  Plus, you’ll feel all Alton Brown-y.

He strikes again! At least hand sanitizer is easier to clean up than foot powder.  This serves as proof that I feel you that cooking legit meals is hard with kids – and it is why my kids are often eating mac n cheese and pre-cooked chicken sausage with frozen lima beans – BUT a little mess in the foyer is worth it sometimes.

Then I got smart and involved Xavi in the cooking process.  Look! Pureeing mint and peas is so easy a 2-year-old can do it!

When cooking the fish, warm the oil in the pan at medium, put it in skin side down and cover.  Keep at medium heat and do not flip! Once the top of the fish starts looking opaque you know it is cooked through and the skin will be perfectly crispy.  Give your kids the salmon skin with a smile on your face and they will devour it…and then they will be wicked smart. I’m totally not kidding.

My final tip? Cut the salmon into serving-size filets BEFORE cooking.  I cooked the whole fish this time and then tried to cut into servings after and the plates ended up downright ugly (hence no final photo).  When cut ahead of time, placed on top of the puree and then surrounded by the lemon brodetto, this is a dish that would even impress your mother-in-law.  Gorgeous.

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10 Responses to Seared Salmon Over Mint-Pea Puree

  1. You are hilarious!! Love the Happy Gilmore reference. Also, totally hard to cook with kids underfoot. But you triumph and it’s inspires me! Win for everyone!

  2. Ohhhh…triumph? That’s a bit strong.
    But I’ll take it! 😉

    I know for a fact you have cooked millet for dinner sooooo….you inspire me, too. xo

  3. Julie says:

    Love this meal! I made a spring pea soup (room temp)
    Last week w sauteed leeks and potato and broth
    Then blenderized. Great, but I like the idea of the puree
    With salmon better. Seems like xavi might love getting his
    Little hands on part of cooking process? Can you show him how
    To squeeze a lemon or peel an orange In Your Eyesight?
    Although god knows what he might do with those skills?!!

  4. He already destroys everything in his path anyway…might as well show him how to make those skills useful! Thanks for the idea!

    He also seems to love cleaning. He spent at least 5 minutes cleaning up his hand sanitizer spill. He’s like those firemen that set fires just so they can put them out…

  5. katy says:

    Wow, interesting and unknown fact about Dylan’s Candy Bar. I never wanted to go there anyway:)

  6. Jessica Treanor says:

    Can’t wait to try this meal!! But reading the recipe wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without all of this hilarity. A perfect break from work in the middle of my day. I also feel that “G”s lessons in the kitchen are geared more toward a 5 year old using an easy bake oven. She was on Rachael Ray the other day and taught me how to put tomato sauce from a can into a skillet and add a whole onion, only to remove the onion at the end. No other ingredients. It was so weird….

  7. Katy – It’s the worst. I literally feel dirty after leaving there for some reason. I’d much rather get candy from the bodega and ice cream from Mr. Softee.

  8. Jessica – Are you for realz?!? That is truly just obnoxious. She needs to get her giant head off of TV and leave room for all of the awesome people with creative food ideas.

    That just confirms my suspicions that she stole this salmon with pea puree recipe. If it were up to her she’d only teach us ignoramuses how to put a hot dog in a frying pan.

  9. Laura says:

    That sounds amazing. Too bad my husband is allergic to peas. I wonder if I could find a substitute. Maybe I’ll give it a whirl with steamed asparagus tips or edamame and report back.

  10. I feel like either of those would work really well, actually. Please report back! If not only for any other readers with pea allergies, then for the satisfaction of altering the recipe enough that I don’t have to give Ms. Toast and Canned Tomato Sauce any recipe credit. 😉

    And I feel for you. My husband has a shellfish allergy. Like, Epi pen/face turns into quasimoto level…and I grew up on the ocean. The things we do for love…suck. 😉

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