I have found another excellent use of cast iron skillets—this recipe for blackened, skillet-cooked salmon. My skillet has an wonderful aroma. Really. Not fishy, just extremely well-seasoned with oils and spices. I’ve come close to licking the surface to get every last bit of flavor.
Several times a year I buy a piece of salmon to fuel my body with some naturally-occurring omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is loaded with these healthy fats that potentially guard against or lessen a host of conditions, including heart disease, depression, cancer, inflammation, and arthritis. If you’re on the hunt for other sources of omega-3 fats, try other marine foods as well as plant foods like walnuts, spinach, flax seed and its oil.
If you have a large skillet, you can cook both salmon fillets at the same time. If you’re doubling or tripling this recipe you’ll need to cook the fillets in batches. For a large gathering I suggest cutting the fillets ahead of time and then cooking them in batches and storing them on a warm plate in a warm area, or cover them until all the fillets are cooked.
I can eat these with a small bed of greens, some dressing and a wedge of lemon. For a more substantial meal try adding mashed roasted cauliflower, steamed veggies, coleslaw, squash fries, or root fries. Prepare any of these sides ahead of time since the salmon cooks in 5 to 10 minutes.
- 1.5 teaspoons paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
- 1 2 ounce salmon fillet
- Combine all the spices and seasonings in a large shallow bowl or plate, and blend well.
- Coat the salmon fillets fully with olive oil and then dip them in the bowl of spices to coat the fillets. Coat all sides.
- Warm a skillet on a medium heat and add the butter or oil to it.
- Place the salmon fillets in the skillet with the skin side up and cook for a few minutes to blacken the bottom.
- Flip the fillets over to blacken the skin side. When the flesh is turning a lighter color but still a bit pink in the middle and the layers are just beginning to flake, it's done.