Plancha Salmon with Chimicurri

Plancha SalmonThe North American Female

When it comes to the Dad lottery, I hit the jackpot twice. I was lucky enough to have a father who thought my sister and I could do anything we wanted, and did everything he could to make sure we had the opportunities to try. We have no greater champion than our Dad (except Mom). That was my first Jackpot.

Because of his example, I knew exactly what I was looking for in a husband and father for my own kids—and I found him. My second jackpot. Our kids are very lucky because they have someone who loves them beyond measure, and especially just loves to hang out with them. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the same thing, but it’s just a different bond. Of course, it helps that he is still a child himself. In fact I am very sure that in some ways he never progressed past the age of thirteen…his mind works like theirs does. The stuff that they do that drives me bananas, he is equally skilled at, and most of what he does to get the kids laughing comes at my expense. It’s their favorite sport…

Case in point, my husband does these voices that crack the kids up. He’s got a whole battery of personalities. He even has a “Rocket” voice that imitates our Basset Hound. Of course, now we all use it…

The best voice was created out of boredom when we went on our trip to Yellowstone. Ladies and Gentleman, I give you The North American Female.

I was getting ready to go out, and I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth, and the rest of them were sitting on the bed opposite the bathroom door watching me get ready, like I was part of a zoo. As I was going about my routine, I heard this questionable British accent coming from the other room…and a lot of giggling.

I remember as a kid watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom on Sunday nights at my grandmothers. There was always a narrator explaining what was happening on the screen usually a lioness stalking a gazelle. (Strangely, that is how my husband explains our courtship. Go figure.) Turns out my husband was  a Wild Kingdom fan as well; this voice was a cross between the Wild Kingdom guy and the guys who do color commentary for the British Premier league…(GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!!)

By the time all was said and done we had pee-ed our pants laughing, and I had mascara running down my face—because it’s just plain difficult to apply anything to your face with a running color commentary. It remains to this day one of my favorite memories of the four of them.

In honor of Father’s day and childlike fathers everywhere, I picked this week’s recipe from the cookbook I bought while we were in Yellowstone. It’s called Open Range by Jay Bentley and Patrick Dillon, and it includes a great group of recipes from Big Sky country. We ate well on that trip including some fantastic Salmon….

Plancha Salmon with Chimicurri
Serves 4

Ingredients
Basil Chimmicurri
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon fine salt

Salmon
4 salmon fillet portions (7 to 8 ounces each) with skin on

Directions
For the Chimicurri
Place ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until they reach a smooth consistency. Set aside.

For the Salmon
Cover the flesh side of each fillet with a spoonful of the chimicurri, and allow it to sit
for about 15 to 20 minutes while you preheat your plancha (or cast-iron skillet, or steel griddle) on the stove top or outdoor grill. When the surface is hot enough to make water sizzle, carefully place the salmon herb-side down to sear the surface, and allow a crust to form, this should take about about 3 to 4 minutes. Make certain that the herbs do not burn.

Using a spatula, carefully turn the fillet over (keeping the crust intact) and place the fish skin-side down to finish. This should take about 5 minutes.

Closely monitor the cooking to achieve the desired degree of doneness. The salmon is cooked when it flakes easily with a fork, and the skin is just starting to separate from the fish. It will look opaque, and feel slightly firm.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of the fish and serve along with more chimichurri on the side to dip

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