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Pan-Roasted Salmon or Halibut with Tomato Vinaigrette

Today's recipe is adapted from one by Ted Allen, culinary guru for the Bravo channel show “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” who taught it on an episode and then included it in his cookbook, The Food You Want to Eat.

(The photo here is of Ted making this recipe at the Baltimore Chefs and Wine Experience '08.)

Cumin adds a subtle but important flavor note. This key constituent of Indian, Middle Eastern and Mexican cooking is good source of iron and offers bountiful health benefits.

Like the fennel seeds in this recipe, cumin seeds are traditional digestive aids that may stimulate the secretion of pancreatic enzymes necessary for proper digestion and nutrient assimilation.

The potent antioxidant phenols in cumin reduce activation of Nf-kappaB: a pro-inflammatory “nuclear transcription factor” linked to inflammation-related conditions including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, allergy, asthma, arthritis, and Alzheimer's disease.

Cumin also appears to boost the efficiency of the liver's detoxification processes.

Pan-Roasted Salmon (or Halibut) with Tomato Vinaigrette

You can use any variety of wild Salmon, or substitute Halibut if you wish.

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
Sea salt
3 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
4 (6 oz each) wild Alaskan Salmon fillet portions or 6 oz Halibut portions
Organic ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground organic cumin
1/2 teaspoon organic fennel seed
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Preheat the oven to 425 F.

  • In a bowl, toss the tomatoes with the shallot, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  • In a medium ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season the Salmon with salt and pepper and add it to the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat until well-browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip the fillets.
  • Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the Salmon is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the fish to plates and pour off any fat in the skillet.
  • Place the skillet over moderate heat and add the tomato mixture along with the pepper, cumin, fennel seed, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook, scraping up any bits stuck to the skillet, until the tomatoes just soften, about 2 minutes.
  • Pour the sauce over the Salmon, sprinkle with the parsley and basil and serve immediately.
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