Weeknight Glazed Salmon with Latkes and a Lazy Kale Salad

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For me, weeknight dinners usually = winging it. I rarely plan or measure; instead I pull whatever protein and veggies I’ve got in the fridge and throw together a sauce. By tasting along the way even the least confident cooks will be able to create a meal worth having. I’ve provided measurements for guidance, but remember these simple ratios and you’ll be able to ditch the measuring spoons tonight. 

Honey mustard glaze: 1:1 honey and mustard. Spices to taste.

Don’t overpower the simplicity of this sauce with paprika and cayenne. Add a little at a time until everything comes together exactly to your taste. 


Vinaigrette: 3:1 oil to acid (vinegar or citrus). Honey, salt and pepper to taste.

If you feel like putting in the effort throw in a clove of minced garlic and/or a little citrus zest. I keep a nice bottle of flavored olive oil (such as garlic-herb) on hand to achieve zero effort flavor. As for the acid, that can be completely up to you. Lemon juice, white or dark balsamic, or any of the million other kinds of vinegar out there. I’m partial to the lightness of a white balsamic vinegar. Keep a jar of your favorite vinaigrette in the fridge and never have an excuse to buy dressing from the store again. 

The recipes that follow are for two because that’s how many people are in my house but they can easily be doubled or tripled for a more crowded dinner table. 



Ingredients

Salmon

8oz skin-on salmon fillet

1 tablespoon Dijon

1 tablespoon honey

smoked paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste


Kale Salad

1 bunch of kale - chopped and massaged

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

salt and pepper to taste


Latkes

1 1/2 cups frozen or refrigerated shredded potatoes

1 egg

About 2/3 cup of flour

Between 1/4 and 1/3 cup of water

1 shallot - minced

salt and pepper

oil for frying (canola, vegetable, peanut, grapeseed, avocado, or coconut)

sour cream and parsley for serving

Method(s)

Latkes

My latkes aren’t all that Jewish; they’re more like the potato cousin to a kimchi pancake. 

  • Whisk together egg and water. 

  • Mix in flour, salt and pepper. 

  • Add potatoes and shallot.

  • Mix until everything is incorporated into a pancake batter that’s slightly on the thin side. You might need to add an extra tablespoon of flour or splash of water to get the right consistency. 

  • Heat about a half inch of oil over medium heat in a frying pan or skillet.

  • Fry the latkes 2-3 at a time for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

  • Drain on a baking rack (so they’ll stay crispy) or on paper towels (if you don’t care).

  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of parsley. 


Kale Salad

This is one of the easiest salads ever and I make it constantly. 

  • Wash and cut kale into manageable bite size pieces. I usually do about a quarter inch julienne

  • Throw the kale into a decent size bowl and crush the leaves with your hands until they soften and darken a little in color. Massaging kale makes eating it raw a much more pleasant experience. 

  • Combine oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. 

  • Drizzle dressing over kale and mix until each leaf is lightly coated. 


Salmon

I recommend unwrapping the salmon fillet, placing it on a plate skin side up and returning it to the refrigerator for an hour or until it’s time to make dinner. This fridge time will dry out the skin which will help you achieve a crispy finish. If you don’t have time for this step, at least pat the skin dry with a few paper towels best you can. 

  • Mix together the Dijon, honey, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper to your taste and set aside. 

  • Preheat broiler between medium and high, depending on the intensity of your oven.

  • Preheat a skillet over high until it’s searing hot. I use a well-seasoned cast iron and a tablespoon of olive oil to sear my salmon. If you have a non-stick pan you really trust, go for it. 

  • Once your pan is sufficiently hot, lay in salmon skin side down.

  • Using a spatula apply constant pressure to the fish. Fish tends to curl in on itself when it comes into contact with a hot pan, creating space between the skin and the hot surface, which will yield soggy steamed skin. Avoid this by pressing on the fish from the center of the fillet for about 3-4 minutes. You’ll start to see the salmon change in color from the bottom up.

  • When the salmon is light pink up to about the mid-way point, brush on a thin layer of glaze and put the whole pan under a hot broiler for another 2-3 minutes.

  • Remove it from the oven when the fish is starting to flake and the glaze is set. Because salmon cooks so quickly, I recommend doing this after the salad and the latkes have already come together. 

Emily Wenerstrom