Chef Maxwell's recipe for Seared Salmon Filet with Glazed Baby Onions

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This recipe was prepared by Chef John Maxwell on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s weekly television program.

Maxwell, a certified executive chef, culinary educator and member of the American Academy of Chefs, shares delicious seasonal recipes in a Real Virginia segment sponsored by Virginia Grown, a program of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Seared Salmon Filet with Glazed Baby Onions

2 pounds fresh or frozen salmon filet cut into portions
salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces canola or other vegetable oil
glazed onions (recipe follows)

Season the filets generously with salt and pepper. In a skillet, begin heating oil—just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

Depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to sear the salmon portions in batches. Do not crowd the pan. Sear each piece on the side you want facing up on the plate (usually the side  that is slightly rounded, the side that was closest to the rib bones) when you serve it. Cook for 3-5 minutes on that side or until it browns nicely. Turn the fillets, and cook on the other side another 3-5 minutes. You may have to add oil to the pan. If your salmon is wild, fresh caught or from recirculation aquaculture you will likely need to add oil. If you are using ocean farm-raised salmon you will most likely need to drain some oil, as the higher fat content will cause a buildup in the pan.

Put the salmon on plates, and spoon the glazed onions over it with some sauce for each. Serves 4-6.

Glazed Baby Onions

about 30 pearl, cipollini or other small onions, peeled
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
½ tablespoon canola oil
½ cup water
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup sherry (The better the wine, the better the result)
2 tablespoons lemon juice

In a skillet large enough to accommodate the onions in one layer, combine the onions, butter, oil and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and cook for 4 minutes over medium-to-high heat, until the onions begin to soften. If using frozen or canned onions, omit the water and begin browning the onions in the butter and oil.

Remove the lid from the pan, and continue cooking the onions over medium-to-high heat until the water has evaporated and the onions start browning in the remaining fat.

Add the sherry to deglaze the pan, and shake the pan to coat the onions with the wine.

Add salt and lemon juice, reduce the heat to low and shake the pan to coat the onions with the glaze and brown them on all sides. 

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