As any seafood-savvy chef will tell you, the old practice of squirting lemon over seafood is something of a culinary crime that robs fish of its distinctive flavor. In contrast, equatorial cooks use lime to enliven seafood sauces or salsas, with delightful results.
This delicious recipe, adapted from Food & Wine magazine, presents a match made in tropical heaven: succulent sockeye salmon and a sweet, tangy citrus topping. It works well with grilled or oven-roasted salmon. Bon appetit!
2 large limes 1/3 cup very thinly sliced red onion 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro 1 small jalapeño—halved, seeded and very thinly sliced crosswise 2 tablespoons canola oil Pinch of sugar (organic, unrefined if available) Sea salt Four 6-ounce center-cut skinless sockeye salmon fillets Freshly ground pepper
1. Peel the limes, removing all of the bitter white pith. Use a knife to separate the sections over a bowl, then quarter each section crosswise on a cutting board. Replace the limes in the bowl. Stir in the onion, cilantro and jalapeño. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, all the sugar, and a pinch of salt. Toss well.
2.a. Roasting method: Preheat oven to 425°. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in an ovenproof skillet. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the fillets, and place them in the skillet, skinned side up. Cook over moderately high heat for about 2 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom. Put the skillet in the oven and roast the salmon for 5 minutes, until just cooked through.
2.b. Grilling method: Light coals (perferably hardwood) and wait until they are hot. Brush the fillets and the grill grate with the remaining tablespoon of oil, to reduce sticking. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the fillets, and grill for five to seven minutes per inch, until just cooked through. Do not overcook!