Have you guys seen the movie Her? If not, then allow me to give you a brief breakdown. In a not too distant future, a man falls in love with his phone’s female operating system. I’m not capturing what the movie is really about in that previous sentence, but please watch the film. It’s funny, heartwarming, uplifting, heartbreaking, and hopeful. Her stays with you long after the credits are done rolling; this movie hits hard for Leili and me.
For those of you who have seen it, you may remember the beach scene with the armpit anatomy bit. Shortly after that funny break comes a beautiful piece of music that the girl (computer) writes for the boy (human) about their day at the beach. That piano piece is equally sweet and sentimental as it is sad.
Strangely, the music conjures up an image of a candlelit dinner between two lovers – a last meal of sorts, before they part. Maybe it’s how I imagined the ending of the film – something sweet and sour. So if I were able to prepare a meal for my imaginary lovers, I’d make something like this salmon dish. It’s simple, but direct. There are no complications in this recipe, only fresh ingredients.
Pan Seared Salmon
1 pound salmon
½ teaspoon chopped parsley
2 teaspoon clarified butter
Black pepper and salt
Carefully remove the skin from the fish – do this by separating the skin from the fillet at the edge and gently pull back the skin with one hand while placing your other hand on the fish. Feel for any bones with your fingers and use tweezers to pull them out.
You can also lay the fish skin side down and use a knife to skim the skin off from under the fillet. To be completely honest, I’m not very good at this and should probably refer you to someone else for the prep portion. (Mine came out okay, but it could have looked prettier. Just saying.)
Cut into two even fillets and season with salt.
Heat a heavy pan, such as a cast iron skillet, on high heat. Wait until the pan is super hot before pouring in the clarified butter. Place the fillets skin side down – this is fattier side and can take more heat. Allow the pan to sear the salmon for about 3 minutes before flipping – another indicator to flip is when you see that the side of the fish is cooked halfway. Let the other side cook for 3 minutes as well.
Immediately turn off the heat and take the fillets off to let them rest. Season with black pepper, squeeze lemon juice over fillets, and garnish with fresh parsley. Now, they are ready for you to eat.