Sauteed Salmon with Caramelized Leek Risotto

15 Jan

Today, Zak and I took a trip down to Cleveland’s wonderful West Side Market to pick up some produce and a few flesh-based treats for the week.  The West Side Market, located on W. 25th Street, is one of the cooler things about living in Cleveland.  I’m actually ashamed that we don’t go there more often, and after our trip today, I resolved to do a lot more of our shopping there.  All of the products sold there are fresh and the prices are incredibly reasonable.  The atmosphere is fun and exciting – it’s usually packed with people (although I’ve never had a problem with lines, since the staffers of the booths are fast, friendly, and efficient) and there is often live music playing.  I could spend the entire day just wandering around eye-balling the amazing meat and produce, inventing millions of different menus in my head.  If you live in the area, I highly recommend you check it out – it’s even worth a drive for a day trip, in my opinion, especially because W. 25th has lots of great restaurants and shops to visit as well.

Although salmon isn’t my favorite fish, we’ve been making an effort to eat healthier and there is no doubt that salmon is one of the healthiest fish (and foods) around.  Plus, the salmon fillets that are the main component of this dish looked so fresh and beautiful they were hard to resist.

This dish was absolutely delicious – even from my non-salmon-loving perspective.  It’s hard to mess up really great ingredients, and both the salmon and leeks were absolutely gorgeous.  The flavors were fresh and everything really complimented each other.

Sautéed Salmon with Caramelized Leek Risotto

Sauteed Salmon:

2 fillets fresh skin-on Atlantic salmon

1 tsp. dried dill weed

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 tbs. olive oil

2 tbs. flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1 lemon, quartered

Season both sides of salmon with dried dill weed, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.

Let sit out 30 minutes to come to a cool room temperature.

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add salmon to skillet, skin side up.  Cook until golden-brown, about three minutes.  Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes until cooked through or to desired consistency.

Serve over risotto and garnish with flat leaf parsley and quartered lemon.

Caramelized Leek Risotto:

1 leek, rinsed

3 tbs. olive oil, divided

2 tbs. clam juice

3/4 cup Arborio rice

5 cups homemade seafood stock

1 tbs. Brummel & Brown

1 tbs. flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Cut off dark green park of leek and save for another purpose.  Cut remaining white/light green portion of leek in half lengthwise and then thinly slice into half moons.

Heat 2 tbs. olive oil in a 10″ cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add leeks and season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Reduce heat to low and caramelize leeks 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat seafood stock over medium heat until at a low simmer.  Cover and reduce heat to maintain at a simmer.

Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.  If necessary, add remaining tbs. of olive oil and raise heat to medium.  Add rice to oil and toast it for 3-5 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Deglaze pan with clam juice, allowing liquid to bubble away completely.

Slowly, one cup at a time, add the simmering stock.  Stir frequently.  As each cup of stock is completely or nearly completely absorbed, add another cup of stock, continuing to stir.  Cook, slowly adding stock and frequently stirring, until rice is al dente or to taste.  This will take roughly 25-35 minutes, but may take longer.

Once final cup of stock is almost absorbed, add Brummel & Brown and flat leaf parsley and stir to combine.  Zak and I like a little bit of a crunch to our risotto from time to time, so I let all the liquid bubble away on the bottom and the rice to crisp up, then folded the crispy bottom into the rest of the risotto.

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