Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Charlotte Cooks – Salmon

Charlotte Cooks – Salmon

– [Man] This is a
production of PBS Charlotte. – [Woman] The following
episode of Charlotte Cooks is brought to you by Central
Piedmont Community College and viewers like you, thank you. (upbeat music) – Hi there, and welcome to this
edition of Charlotte Cooks. I am so glad you’re here today. We’re gonna be making
a lovely little salad and we’re going to be
making it with fresh salmon, and I’m gonna show how to cook that salmon so that when you serve it,
it’s just pure deliciousness with no skin and no bloodline
or anything like that. I’m gonna show you how to remove those. A lot of times, you will ask your butcher or your fish person to remove that for you but I’m gonna show you a foolproof way that anybody can do it
and you’re gonna have fabulous salmon to begin with. So what we’re gonna start
off with is our dressing and I’ve already taken
a couple steps ahead, just so we don’t have to watch bacon cook. So we all know how to cook bacon, right? You put it in a pan and you get it hot. I’ve already cooked this
off so I’m going to take it and you want it crispy because
what you’re going to do with the crispy bacon is you are going to crumble it up and use it in our salad. Now, if you wanted to use turkey
bacon, you certainly could. If you didn’t wanna use
bacon, you could leave it out. That’s totally okay, but you know what? Bacon’s delicious, so if you eat bacon, let’s do the bacon thing, alright? So I’m gonna put that on the back. I’m gonna crumble that up later. So I’m gonna get my bacon fat. You wanna look, you
wanna leave a little bit of that bacon fat in the
bottom of the pan, okay? You want about a tablespoon
to two tablespoons, which is just exactly
what it is, and you wanna have all that brown stuff
in the bottom of your pan, we call that fond, F-O-N-D,
we’re fond of fond, because really, what this does is it gives a lot of flavor to your sauce. So we’re going to add
to this baking grease. We’re gonna get it a little bit warm. We’re gonna take chopped shallot. About two tablespoons of shallot. I’m gonna put these right in here and we’re gonna saute those
until they are translucent. Oh, this smells so good. The onions and the bacon fat, already. I’m drooling; I haven’t even
started cooking, really. This is really wonderful. This is a really nice little salad to make anytime you wanna have a nice
light dinner or even a lunch. I’ll show you a nice way of plating it up so everything just gets shown off to the best of its ability. So we’re gonna stir this up. One of the things we’re gonna
have handy is balsamic vinegar because when these shallots,
if you didn’t have shallots, you could certainly use an onion. I would use a red onion
if you didn’t have shallot because red onions are
a little bit sweeter. Could you use a white onion? Yep. Could you use just any onion? Yep. So you wanna saute it. You wanna get it to where you’re ready to start scraping up the stuff
on the bottom of your pan. You’re gonna take your balsamic vinegar. You’re gonna add about a third of a cup of balsamic vinegar directly to this pan. Here’s a warning. When you add vinegar to a
hot pan, what’s gonna happen? It’s gonna steam. You’re not gonna have
steam like water steam. You’re gonna have steam
like vinegar steam, and this is gonna make your eyes water. It’s gonna make you cough,
so you don’t wanna get it to where you’re breathing it, okay? So add your vinegar,
about a third of a cup. Stir it around and then take your spatula and you wanna get all that
lovely, lovely lovely brown stuff off the bottom of your pan because that is part of our flavor. After this, we’re gonna add a
little bit of chicken stock. Chicken stock, just to make the vinegar, ’cause it’s concentrating down here, we’re gonna add the chicken
stock so that it’s just going to not necessarily
dilute that vinegar but it’s gonna give it a nice
little additional flavor. It’s not gonna be as
sharp as if it was just plain old everyday vinegar, okay? So I’m gonna stir this around and once we have this done,
we can see we’re getting all the stuff off the bottom of the pan. We’re gonna worry about the stuff on the side of the pan later,
but see now, all those little bacon bits that were on
the bottom of the pan, they’re gone and that’s
what we want, okay? Next, we’re gonna take our
olive oil and a little whisk. We’re gonna turn our heat off. Put in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Just whisk this in, set this aside. That is what we’re gonna
use for our dressing, okay? It’s kinda like that hot bacon dressing you put on a spinach salad,
but just a little bit better ’cause it’s made with
balsamic vinegar, okay? So the next thing we’re
gonna do is we’re gonna take a saute pan and we’re gonna get it hot. Next, we’re gonna start
doing our salmon, okay? First thing we’re gonna do with our salmon is we are going to get
it browned in our pan and then we’re gonna flip it and we’re gonna put it in the oven, finish cooking it in the oven. We’re going to prepare our salad. We’re gonna get our plates ready. We’re gonna take the
salmon out of the oven and we’re gonna skin it,
we’re gonna take the bloodline out of it and we’re gonna
get it ready for our salad. So here’s our salmon, okay? So we got these beautiful
pieces of salmon here. Now one thing I have
to caution you about is a lot of times when
people wanna cook salmon or fish or something, they
go ahead and they take and they put all kinds
of seasonings on it. Let’s just put salt and pepper on this because we are going to
have a wonderful dressing from our balsamic vinegar
and shallots and bacon. We don’t really need to
have too much fanciness on our actual salmon, okay? Little bit of salt and pepper, and if you wanted to add
a few little seasonings such as a little bit of lemon or lime. They have crystallized lemon or lime, which is really wonderful in the dish. You can do that too; you
just have to be aware that whatever you put on
the top of this salmon has a tendency to burn in the pan, so don’t put things like
basil or garlic powder or onion powder or
something like that on there because it will burn and
we don’t wanna do that. We can always add that later
after the salmon is finished. So we got our pan hot. Had to wait till my pan is hot. I go to touch it with my
hand and I wouldn’t dare put it down on the bottom of that skillet because I feel the heat, okay? Put a little bit of oil
in the bottom of the pan. Now we’re gonna take our salmon. We’re gonna put it in
the pan, flesh side down. Now when you put this in the pan, one of the things you
wanna hear is that sizzle. If you don’t hear that sizzle, then your pan is not hot enough, okay? These are beautiful portions. Now when I go and I buy my salmon, specifically for this
dish, I ask the fish man if he can give me center
cut pieces of salmon. When you buy your salmon filets,
if you buy the whole thing, it’ll be wide at the beginning and it’ll taper down
to a narrow tail part. Usually, these cuts when
you see them cut like this are cut from the top part of the salmon, and this is more, this is
a really generous portion. So we’re gonna let this cook until we see that it’s gonna get golden
brown a little bit on the bottom and one of the ways
we’re gonna look at that, let me see how I can show you this. I’ll use this knife. We are going to look at the very edge, the very bottom edge of
this salmon as it’s cooking and you’re gonna be able to see it turning from raw fish like to being opaque, so it’s gonna be cooked and
that’s what we’re looking for. We’re not looking to cook it completely in this pan right now. We’re only looking to get it some color. We’re gonna flip it over and we’re gonna finish it in the oven, and then we’re gonna make our salad. (upbeat music) While we have a moment,
I’d like to talk to you a little bit about knives. How to choose a knife, what
different knives are used for. We’re gonna start off with a chef’s knife. This is the most common
knife that’s around. This is the one that you would use for just about everything. Now one thing I wanna tell you about when you’re selecting a
knife is to try it out, okay? I don’t mean try it out like
go cut up a bunch of things but you wanna put it in your hand. You wanna feel that it
feels balanced, okay? You also wanna put it on
a board or on a counter if you’re in a store, trying it out. You wanna make sure that your knuckles aren’t hitting the cutting board, okay? If your knuckles are
hitting the cutting board, when you’re going, you
know, when you see chefs go and they go with their
knives really, really fast, if you are hitting knuckles
on that cutting board every time you go with a
cut, you’re not gonna be able to get your speed up, so
you wanna make sure that that knife has enough
space for you to be able to get your knife rocketing along, okay? Another part of a chef’s
knife is a serrated blade. Serrated blades are really
good for bread, tomatoes, things that squish when you
cut ’em with a regular knife because the teeth on the serrated blade will cut right through it
and make it nice and sharp. Now, in addition to the chef’s knives, there’s also something
called the Santoku knife. Now I wanna show you this
knife because this has got a little bit of a cutout here
on the edge of the blade. This is what’s called a hollow
ground, and what this does is it doesn’t let things stick to the blade, so like if you’re cutting
cheese, you’re cutting cucumbers or radishes or something like that, they have a tendency
to stick to your knife. This hollow ground would
prevent that from happening. Now, this is called the Santoku. This is called a Santoku. They’re Japanese knives. They’re Japnese versions
of the chef’s knife, which is also called a French knife. Okay, materials. Knives are made out of three
different kinds of materials. You have one made out of stainless steel. Advantage is that they’re very hard and they’re difficult to sharpen
once they lose their edge, in fact, nearly impossible. The next kind you have is what’s called a carbon steel knife. A carbon steel knife will
rust if you leave it wet. When you cut an onion with
it, it’ll turn black, okay? Now, the best material is a combination of the stainless steel
and the carbon steel, which are what these knives are. If you can get a really
close look on here, you’ll see it says high carbon, no stain on the side of the knife and
that’s what you’re looking for. That means it’s a combination of carbon steel and stainless steel. That means it’s gonna
have a nice sharp edge. The carbon element in it
means you’re gonna be able to sharpen it and get a
really nice sharp edge and it’s gonna hold an edge, and you’re gonna be able to sharpen it once it loses the edge, not
like a stainless steel knife. Now, this is something totally different. This knife is made out of ceramic, okay? The thing about ceramic knives is they’re a little bit lighter, but you have to be aware they break, okay? They’re tender, they’re
delicate, so you don’t wanna use this to take staples
out of a carton, okay? Now, another knife you might
need is a boning knife. Now, when you’re buying a boning knife, tehse are the knives that you use for taking the bones out of a chicken, or if you really wanted to get
adventurous and filet a fish, you would wanna get a long boning knife, but the difference between these two, this one doesn’t bend, okay? It’s nice and stiff. This one is flexible; this
is a flexible boning knife and this is what we’d
use for filleting a fish, for getting those nice flesh
without any bones in it. The other knife you might wanna consider looks like a long paring knife, okay? Paring knives are other kinds of knives. This is a nice short
knife for utility work, peeling things, just quick little work like slicing up onions,
or you know, just lots, lot of people use these for
a lot of different things, but people who aren’t comfortable
with a big chef’s knife would also be comfortable
with a utility knife. The utility knife is a little bit longer than the paring knife and it makes a good alternative to the chef’s knife. So I hope that this gives you
a little bit of information about how to choose your knife. Don’t forget to try it on when you go. Make sure that you have
enough room for your knuckles. Don’t buy a whole set. But individual knives
based on different projects and different things you’re working on. (upbeat music) I’m gonna check it and see if it’s ready. Carefully flipping over. Got a nice little color on
’em, that’s good enough. Come on, flip over, there we go. Alright, that’s all you need. Now if you wanted to put a
little more color on there, you certainly could. The whole point is just
to get a little color on the surface of that salmon, and now we’re gonna do
is we’re gonna take it and we’re gonna put it in the oven. How hot is my oven? My oven is at 400 degrees so it’s gonna cook pretty quickly, okay? So just remember you don’t
wanna overcook your salmon. You just want it cooked just
to the point where it’s done. How do you tell when it’s overcooked? Well, it gets that white
film over the top of it and we just don’t want that. Alright, popping these in the oven. Turning off my burner and
now what we’re going to do is we’re gonna get a little salad ready. So my salad greens that
I’ve chosen for the salad is a combination of arugula,
which is also known as rocket. If you go to Great Britain,
they call it rocket greens so if you hear of anybody
calling about rocket, all they’re really
talking about is arugula. Arugula, you can use it just like spinach, the exact same way as you use spinach. It has a peppery flavor to it and it’s really kind of interesting. If you grow it in your garden at home, the peppery flavor’s a
little bit more pronounced and if you buy it in a
store, that peppery flavor’s just a little bit more
mild, and that’s okay. That’s totally fine. So what we’re gonna be
doing is we’re gonna combine a little bit of the red leaf lettuce with a little bit of the arugula, just so we have some color
and some textural contrast. Toss ’em together, and what
we’re going to do with this is we’re gonna take a
little bit of our dressing and we’re gonna toss the
dressing over the lettuce because this is pretty much
all there is to the salad. We’re not gonna use all
this dressing right now because we’re gonna save a
little bit of that dressing to put over the salmon too. Now, something else I did earlier is I took some of my
straight balsamic vinegar and I tossed it on the
stove and I reduced it so it got to be a nice,
thick, syrupy consistency and I’m gonna show you what I’m gonna do with that in just a second. So you don’t wanna have your salad greens swimming in dressing. You saw I just put like
a spoonful in here, okay? You just wanna lightly coat all of your greens with the dressing. You don’t wanna have anything
leaking off of your lettuce when you’re done and you’re
trying to plate up later. You don’t want that dressing
swimming out of your salad. You just wanna have it
just lightly coating all of the greens so that they all have a little bit of that flavor to them. We’re going to choose some
rectangular plates today to plate our greens up, our salads on, and I’m gonna pull those forward right now because we are going to take
a little bit of our greens and put ’em on our plate and
you’re gonna see what I mean about having the dressing
not going all over the place. Okay, the greens are gonna
be beautifully dressed. I’m gonna garnish this with
a couple cherry tomatoes too but I’ll put those on there at the end. One thing I wanna show you is the balsamic vinegar that I reduced. Just basically take your balsamic vinegar and put it on the stove and boil it until it reduces to a syrup consistency. I’m gonna take this
and I’m just gonna take a little bit of it and drizzle
it on the plate, that’s it. What’s that for? That’s where my salmon is gonna go, okay? When we’re all done with this, we’ll show you how this works altogether. I have a suspicion that my salmon is done. It’s in that hot oven; it
doesn’t take long to cook. Take my salmon out; now this is what I really, really, really
wanna show you the most. Take this piece right
out of the middle here. Gonna bring it over here to this table where my cutting board is, and I’m gonna carefully,
carefully flip it over. Now you see the skin is there. Now some people like to eat salmon skin. I don’t. Some people will take it
and they’ll crisp it up and they’ll serve it like a crispy piece of
seaweed or something. I don’t do that, but if you
want to, you certainly could and you could see how the pan
got the skin nice and crispy. So what’s gonna happen
here, if you wanted to serve the skin on it, you certainly could, but what’s underneath this skin
is what I wanna get rid of. So we’ve got this gray stuff
here on the back of the salmon and this has got an awful flavor to it. It is just bitter, it’s nasty,
it helps carry the blood through the fish, and you
could see it just scrapes off. Okay, so you just scrape
that off, just like that. I’m gonna show you again on another piece. Then I’m gonna take it. I’m gonna carefully fold it back over. We can take this and put it
on our plate, right like that. Okay, wanna see that again? This is what you do. Pick it up, flip ’em over. Now here’s something, I wanna
tell you guys something. When you guys are using a pan. Now, obviously this is a non-stick pan. If you’re using a pan
that’s not a non-stick pan and things start sticking to it, you like start going like this and you see that it’s not coming up, don’t put your spatula in this way. You see, the spatula has a curve to it. You wanna put it in upside down like this because that’s gonna get
underneath that stuff as opposed to curving
up, and you may not get everything that’s underneath the pan. You’re gonna do this underneath the pan. I don’t wanna scratch this pan
so I’m not gonna go too deep but that’s the way you would get something off the bottom of a pan
if it was sticking, okay? So let’s go back to our skin over here. I’ve got this turned over. We can see the salmon is nicely cooked. Gonna take this, just lift
it up and pull it off. Remember, it’s hot. Pull it off and scrape
the bloodline out, okay? This is something that
when you’re in a restaurant and you’re paying a whole lot of money for a nice piece of
salmon, this gray stuff that’s coming off of
this thing should never come on your plate, never, ever, ever. This should be, if you’re
paying a lot of money for a dinner and you’re out
in a really fancy restaurant, this is stuff that should never
make it to the dining room. The cooks need to take their
time and do this correctly in order to really, really… I need another plate, don’t I? Let’s get another plate. Gonna add some of our greens to this. And to really make this plate pop, I’m gonna add a couple of
cherry tomatoes to it as well but we’re gonna finish doing our salmon. Here, we have our balsamic vinegar, strictly balsamic vinegar
that has been reduced to a beautiful syrup-like consistency, and the reason I use
that as opposed to that is because this looks a whole
lot better on the plate, okay? It’s the little things like
that that make a difference between being average
and being high-end, okay? So these are different things that you’re gonna be looking for. Lay that across there. So next, I’m gonna put our plates up here. We’re gonna finish garnishing them. I’m going to take some
of my cherry tomatoes and I like using these cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, whatever one you find. I’m gonna cut them into quarters. Just cut ’em in half, and
when I cut them into half, when I cut them into quarters, folks, I’m not cutting them this way. See the little stem end? I’m cutting them length ways this way, so that what happens is when you cut it, you’re not getting a piece of tomato that has what I call a
belly button on it, okay? It just doesn’t look so hot, okay? So we’re gonna cut them
this way, lengthwise. I’m gonna cut ’em into quarters again so we have nice little slivers of tomato and one of the rules of
thumb that we like to use in culinary is odd
numbers on plates, okay? So I wouldn’t put four on there. I’d use one, three, five, seven, but three is a really good number just because it looks good, okay? Put those on the side,
then take some blue cheese. This is a lovely salad with blue cheese. Put some, crumble it over the
top of the lettuce so you can always get some of that
blue cheese in your salad. You wanna put a few pieces over here next to your salmon as well ’cause you gotta have a bite
with all of this together. I mean, seriously, when
you’re eating this, you gotta get a little bit of everything on your fork and try it
because it is awesome. Next, we’re gonna add some
of that crumbled bacon. I know our bacon is
still sitting over there but I had some earlier that I crumbled up and we’re just gonna take this and sprinkle some of this on
the plate and on your salad, and every time I think
about this, I go, oh, that spinach salad with the
bacon dressing is just so good, and yes, this is a
wonderful take off of that, and so if you like that flavor, you’re gonna love this flavor too. And now something else that
we can do to put on this plate if we wanted to, if we
really wanted to dress it up is we can take a piece of bread, a nice, big, crusty
bread and toast ’em up. Get ’em nice and toasty. You want ’em nice and
toasty and crispy, okay? I’m gonna take a clove of raw garlic. What am I gonna do with this raw garlic? I’m gonna rub it over the
surface of this toast. Why am I doing this? Because it’s going to
add a wonderful flavor of garlic on this toast without having chunks of raw garlic in your mouth, okay? Nd you’re gonna get this wonderful flavor and you can do this, like, if
you’re making caesar salad, you could make it into garlic
croutons for a caesar salad. I like doing this with Italian meals because instead of making garlic
bread with all that butter, this is a nice way of
getting bread and garlic in your system without all that butter, and you can add this to
the side if you’d like. Put this little on the side
and I’m gonna grab my tongs and lift this up and put this under here. So now we have a little bit of
a crouton, a crunchy crouton. We have got delicious,
delicious balsamic dressing that is warm like a
warm bacon vinaigrette. We have our salmon that we
have taken the skin off, which is really a primo way of doing this. Look at this salad. Do you think you would
like that for dinner? It is absolutely delicious. Look at that. How do you find that irresistible? Now, I wanna show you
something on the salmon too. Look at the side of this salmon. You could see here that it’s
just beginning to seep out that white stuff here along the sides, and that’s the sign that
your salmon is cooked, okay? Now, sometimes you can serve
salmon on the medium rare side, not cooked all the way through
and that’s totally fine but if your preference is to
have it all the way cooked, cook it all the way. There really is, it’s just
like eating piece of meat. If you want your meat cooked all the way, eat your meat cooked all the way. Doesn’t mean one’s right and one’s wrong. It’s a matter of personal taste. So just a real quick
recap on how to do this. Take that skin, pull it off. If you get a chunk off there, well, that can be kitchen snack, okay? Take your knife and just scrape that off. See, it comes off very easily. You don’t need to use a big fancy knife. Just use a small paring
knife and flip ’em over and that’s it, that’s
how you do this, folks. That’s just how you do it. So with our lovely, lovely, lovely dishes, I do hope you enjoy the salmon. Please try it. If you wanted to mount it on a bowl and put the salmon on
top, you can do that to. There is no hard, fast rules. You don’t even have to reduce the balsamic if you don’t want to. It just looks a whole
lot better on the plate than if I was to put
that dressing on there because it’s just a little
bit on the, what do we call? Oily side, because of the bacon fat and it doesn’t look good on the plate but it tastes absolutely
delicious in the salad. I do hope that you try this dish. I think you’re gonna find it’s
just absolutely delicious. You can find our recipes on our website at and
you can email me as well at pamela, P-A-M-E-L-A,
dot roberts, R-O-B-E-R-T-S at, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know how you like this dish. Let me know how you like the other things, but nonetheless, thank you for watching and we’ll catch you next
time on Charlotte Cooks. (upbeat music) – [Man] A Production Of PBS Charlotte.

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