Blackened Salmon with Feta-Yogurt Sauce and Golden Couscous

This recipe was particularly fun to make, and especially fun to photograph.  For some reason I ended up putting it on my floor, taking a photo of it there, and then sitting in the same spot and eating the whole dish.  There is a small window of time, usually around 2pm, when sun manages to find a small crevice between all of the tall New York City buildings and floods into my second floor apartment, and therefore onto me.  I love sitting and eating under the sunshine during this brief moment, which is what I was able to do today.

The truth is that I just got back from a relaxing and much-appreciated vacation with my mom and sister in Barbados, and I’ve got fish on my mind in a major way.  Almost every meal we ate there featured grilled fish – usually mahi mahi, snapper, or dorado – lightly seasoned and served with plenty of Scotch bonnet hot sauce (my new favorite hot and slightly sweet sauce, in case you’re wondering).  For this reason the only recipe ideas that were swimming in my mind were fish, spicy, and sweet.  Thus was born this recipe which I am delighted to share with you!

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>Blackened Halibut with Golden Brown Potatoes


Ingredients: Halibut, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Olive Oil, Potatoes
I owe the discovery of this dish to my mom, who mastered the art of fixing up tasty and quick dinners while simultaneously working full-time, taking care of two young kids, and looking quite fabulous.  Although our normal repertoire of meals consisted of some type of chicken variation, she would sometimes throw in a spicy halibut, which my sister and I adored. 
Halibut is a flat fish from the flounder family, and when eaten fresh has a mild and clean flavor which requires very little seasoning. Thus making it perfect for the 5-ingredient series!  I added some easy potatoes, which, when tossed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, come out beautifully browned and crispy.  The trick is to let them sit on the skillet without touching them or moving them (except to flip them over once), so that they can brown optimally on both sides.
Please remember to buy your halibut as fresh as possible.
Blackened Halibut w/ Golden Potatoes – serves 1
1 halibut fillet (your call on the size, usually around 6-8 oz.)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika (sweet or hot – hot will make it very spicy)
2 medium yukon gold potatoes, sliced thin crosswise
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Mix paprika, cayenne, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small bowl or cup.  Rub all over the fish. 
2.  In a bowl, mix remaining tablespoon olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and potatoes; toss to combine.  Set aside.
3.  Heat skillet over high heat; once it is very hot (2-3 minutes), place the fillet on the skillet, and cook until it is blackened on both sides, about 10-12 minutes, turning once halfway.
4.  Place fillets on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. 
5.  Pour out any remaining oil from the skillet, and rub with a paper towel to clean (you may have to wait a minute or so to do this, as the skillet will be very hot).
6.  Reheat skillet over medium heat, and place potatoes so that they’re all touching the pan, and they’re not overlapping.
7.  Cook, without touching, until deeply browned, about 6.  Turn potatoes over with a fork or spatula, and cook again without touching, about 6 minutes more.  Serve alongside fish.