Quickie dinner, gentle readers. Dinner.
Seriously. What’s not to like about a quick and easy supper that’s also good-looking and delicious? Here’s one of my faves: pan-seared salmon with a coffee rub, roasted fingerling potatoes with rosemary and a quick saute of spinach with garlic.
Select center cut fresh salmon with the skin on (mine was wild Coho from Dorothy Lane Market, but any fresh salmon will do). 4 ounces per person is a nice serving unless you’re really hungry. Rub the flesh side with olive oil, salt, freshly ground pepper, and Fire & Flavor Coffee Rub – a blend of chili pepper, ground coffee, brown sugar and salt. (I am not a fan of coffee, but I love this rub! It’s also great on beef, pork, lamb and duck). Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a hot 8″ skillet and add the fish skin side down. Cook until the flesh turns pink 1/3 (for medium-rare) or 1/2 (medium) way up the side. Flip fish and repeat. Unless your fish is really thick, it will only take five minutes or so per side.
Fingerling potatoes are just plain cute. The come in white, red and purple and add an interesting element to your dish! They are also quite friendly. The one pictured below hitched a ride on my purse in the Nassau Seafood Market last Christmas Eve.
Preheat the oven to 425. Scrub and dry potatoes, then cut in half lengthwise. Toss in olive oil, salt, freshly ground pepper and minced fresh rosemary. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet and roast until tender and golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. Be sure to loosen them with a spatula once or twice.
A 12 oz bag will look like enough to feed an army, but will wilt to just the right amount for two people. Spinach must be thoroughly washed to get rid of any sandy grit. Remove the stems or not – your preference. Start by thinly slicing one clove of garlic and softening it in a bit of olive oil on the lowest heat you can manage. The idea is to soften, but not brown, as garlic can become bitter when browned. Two minutes before the salmon and potatoes are done, cook the spinach over high heat with the garlic just until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. For a bit of a kick, add a sprinkling of red chili flakes when the garlic has softened.
Mound the spinach in the center of the plate. Top with the potatoes, cut side up, in tidy rows. Top the potatoes with the salmon. Voila! Watch out Rachel Ray.