If you’ve been using my recipes for very long then you know how much I loooove salmon…especially in the summer months.
Growing up in the Northwest, fresh salmon was as important to summer as candy canes were to Christmas. The Chinook (King) salmon was the most popular and we got to enjoy it fresh from the frigid Pacific waters. The memory of flaky salmon hot off the open-air grill is one that my taste buds will never forget.
These days I don’t have the time to go home and build an open-air fire to grill up a salmon dinner, and so I have resorted to finding quick, indoor salmon recipes that conjure up those same spectacular flavors.
Brining is my new favorite method for fast, flavorful salmon fillets.
The cool thing about this quick brine is that it only takes 15 minutes. Let the fillets brine while you heat up the grill, set the table, and prepare a salad. Then the fillets cook directly on a nonstick skillet (or when I do many fillets I’ll use my pancake griddle) and are done in under 15 minutes.
Why’d I call these fillets “buttery” when there is no butter involved? This you’ll understand once you take that first bite – the buttery quality of the brined salmon is impossible to miss. And it’s oh so enjoyable! I recommend making enough to enjoy leftovers the next day. Mmmmmmm…..
In a large bowl combine the water, kosher salt, black pepper and lemon zest. Whisk until the salt has dissolved. Add the salmon fillets and let soak for 15 minutes. Remove from the water and pat dry with paper towels.
In a small bowl combine the teaspoon of sea salt with the teaspoon of black pepper.
Place a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle half of the salt and pepper mixture over the skillet and add the salmon fillets, skin side down. Cook until the salmon skins are browned and crispy, about 8 minutes, and sprinkle the remaining salt and pepper mixture over the tops of the fillets. Flip the fillets and cook for an additional 8 minutes, until flaky and done. Serve immediately. Enjoy!