Salmon with Crispy Skin and Pepperoncini Lemon Sauce

NOTE: On the show I mentioned that I like East coast salmon because it has a higher fat content than the west coast variety, but I want to clarify that in general wild salmon from the Pacific west coast is a much more sustainable and healthier choice than east coast farmed salmon. If you do choose to buy farmed salmon, make sure if comes from a sustainable fishery; many fish farms are not.

Start to finish: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced seeded pepperoncini, plus 1 tablespoon liquid from the pepperoncini jar
1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Kosher salt and black pepper
Four 6-ounce salmon fillets with the skin
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil with a high smoke point

About an hour before you are going to make this recipe, remove the salmon from whatever packaging it is in, rinse and pat it dry and place it, skin side up, on a plate, uncovered in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Pat the fish skin very dry. Scrape the skin with a large knife, at a perpendicular angle, 8 to 10 times to remove any excess moisture, wiping the knife clean each time. In a large ovenproof skillet heat the oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium and add the salmon fillets, skin side down. Immediately press down evenly on the top of each fillet to keep the skin from buckling up. Cook the salmon, pressing down frequently, for 4 minutes or until you can see that the skin is getting crispy and the flesh has lightened about 1/3 – ½ of the way up the side. Season the flesh with salt and pepper, transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for another 4 to 6 minutes or until the salmon is cooked to the desired degree of doneness.

While the salmon is cooking, make the sauce: In a bowl combine the mayonnaise, minced pepperoncini and pepperoncini liquid, lemon juice garlic and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill

Transfer to plates, skin side up and top each portion with some of the sauce.

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