Blackened Salmon with Lemon Caper Ailoi
Salmon is Christi Flaherty's (@healthyhappyrealcf) go-to when she needs a quick dinner. Even if it is completely frozen, it will be cooked to a perfect medium in around 10 minutes.
While you can certainly season the fillets with only salt and pepper, with a few extra spices, you can amp up your midweek meal to dinner party status and this Lemon Caper Aioli takes it over the top!
Add a big arugula salad or other veggies and you have a Whole30 friendly meal in about 20 minutes.
1 Tbsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. granulated garlic
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp. granulated onion
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chili powder (I prefer ancho chili)
1/2 tsp. cayenne (leave out for mild, add more for extra spicy)
2 tsp. oregano
1/3 cup mayonnaise
Juice from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. chopped red onion or shallot
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. capers
Salt and pepper (to taste)
4 6oz. wild caught Alaskan sockeye salmon filets
Blackened seasoning (as needed)
Avocado oil (or olive oil) for cooking
Lemon Caper Aioli
Spoon spices into a large jar or bowl. Shake or mix together and store in an airtight container
Lemon Caper Aioli
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
Liberally coat the salmon with the blackened seasoning and let stand at room temperature if salmon is still frozen or place in the refrigerator is salmon is completely thawed.
Whisk up the aioli and prepare any other sides you plan on serving.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add just enough avocado or olive oil to barely cover the entire bottom of the skillet.
Lay the salmon in the skillet skin side up and in a single layer. Don't tough again for 3-5 minutes.
When the salmon filets have turned a lighter, opaque pink color about one-third of the way up the side and release easily from the skillet, flip the filets and cook skin-side down until the bottom third turns an opaque pink. If you have an instant read thermometer, cook until the internal temperature of the filets are 145°F.
Remove and serve immediately with vegetables and the lemon caper aioli.
Pro Tip: Did you forget to thaw the salmon? Take it out of the package and run a little cold water over the flesh side to knock off ice layer. Set it skin-side down on paper towels. Season well and let the fillets sit for a bit while you prepare the rest of your meal. Cook the salmon just before serving.
Christi Flaherty is a Whole30 Certified Coach, Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist with NANP and founder of HealthyHappyReal.com. Her writing has been featured on eHow and Livestrong as a healthy cooking expert and she was a featured blogger with FoodBuzz. Christi coaches GenX women using the Whole30 approach to help them reach health goals, find food freedom and fall in love with cooking and eating real food. Find her Paleo and Whole30 friendly recipes and coaching information at Healthy Happy Real.