Chipotle Roasted Salmon

Salmon : what to do with it and where to get it.

Finding good seafood in Prague that isn't served by one of the pricier eateries can be difficult and expensive, depending on the season and the type of fish your looking for. Retailers like Carrefour usually have a decent selection, but I find their quality to be a little wanting. The less popular fish can sit there far too long and wouldn't warrant anything other than a trip to the fry-o-later. There is one place, centrally located in Prague, 5 just by Ujezd, called, appropriately enough, Seafood that has some good selections. I primarily go there for the salmon, which for the price (59kc per 100gr. at the time of writing) and quality is much better than Carrefour. On subsequent visits the other fish has varied in freshness and the guy behind the counter was not very helpful, but the salmon has always been good.

There is a sushi restaurant next door, owned by the same people, which addresses the common problem of the restaurants getting the best of the imported fish and the scraps left to retailers. Salmon is often the most common sushi item and this may explain why it tends to be so much better here.

This is a very quick and easy to make recipe, but not for the meek. This recipe makes 5 portions.

Note: Cilantro (Coriander Leaf) can be hard to find at most big retailers. However, local Vietnamese vegetable stands in Prague 6 and 7 tend to have it. My local market, which is in the passage off Vítězné Naměsti 2, in Prague 6 has it all the time, along with much better produce than you'll find in any supermarket. For vegetables, I always go to the Vietnamese.

Chipotle Peppers are smoked Jalepenos. Their heat tends to fluctuate and it will dissipate when you cook it, but it's best to start modestly and add as you go until you have the heat you want. A little more than half a can usually suffices when I am cooking for guests. When it's just me I use the whole one.

1 side of salmon (About 1kilo. You should be able to get about 5 filets of 200gr each from the side)

1 can Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (can be found at most Delvita locations in the international foods section)

1 bunch of Cilantro (Coriander leaf)

1 bunch of Parsley

2 limes (juiced)

1 head of garlic roughly chopped

2 Tblsp of Olive Oil

1 large white onion chopped in large pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

4 Tblsp of unsalted butter

In a food processor, combine chipotles, cilantro, parsley, garlic, onion and olive oil. Pulse chop until the onions and garlic are small but not until the mixture is liquefied. Of course you can do this with a knife or even a blender. If using a blender do the onions and garlic together and then the herbs, and chipotles. Combine in a bowl and incorporate thoroughly. Add lime juice. Rinse the salmon in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Place skin-side down in deep, oiled baking pan. Spoon mixture on to the top of the salmon. Place the butter in small pats along the top of the mixture. Place in the oven. If you have a broiler, put it on broil and lower the shelves to the lowest level so that the mixture doesn't burn. You want a small bit of charring for flavor but not too much. If using your oven, turn it up to about 450 degrees(F)/230 degrees(C). Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the side of salmon, but about 15 minutes should do it. The flesh should be moist and supple, never hard, with just a little amount of pink still in the middle. As you take it out, it is still cooking so after it rests it will be perfectly cooked.

Serving Suggestions

I usually serve this dish on a bed of sauteed spinach with roasted new potatoes or jasmine rice.

Suggested Wine

A hearty, full-bodied, dry white wine like a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc (Pinot Grigio/Gris).

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