fried salmon with cauliflower purée

First of all, before we begin, let’s just take a moment to marvel at nature’s beauty. Buckets of rain = abundance of life here in the Pacific Northwest! It’s truly magical to walk through a forest or park while it is raining outside. Most people stay indoors but the wildlife is teeming. We saw three different types of slugs, including one with markings like a giraffe. We watched a bird go straight-up ninja assassin on a worm, slicing it in half before gobbling it up. National geographic up-close and in-person right here. It was wild. Literally.
I love taking some time here and there to put the phone deep in your pocket and take an even deeper breath of the great outdoors and all the wonders it has to offer. Do you like taking walks outdoors? Have you ever took a long meander through the woods in the rain?
<3

Now… let’s get back to the FOOD!

This salmon with mashed cauliflower and celery salad medley is brought to us by IKEA! That’s right! IKEA has published a few cookbooks. No more having to drive for hours to get to an IKEA and then get distracted by playing adult-house until you finally get to the food court and order everything. You can make IKEA food right at home! It’s quite literally IKEA food, because all the recipes include at least one food item you can actually buy at IKEA. *yes!!! still an excuse to go and pretend I live in a tiny flat in London and then a small condo in New York and a country cottage on the edge of Brittany in France!* Does anybody else play house while at IKEA? And then some innocent shoppers walk into the kitchen setup I’m pretending to live in and I’m like, “oh I’m so glad to made it for the dinner party through the blizzard!” or, “who are you and how did you break into my house?! HELPPPP!”

This recipe did not go according to plan. I made some minor and major adjustments along the way…

1. CAULIFLOWER PURÉE
I used this recipe for creamy mashed cauliflower instead of the one in the book, because I didn’t want to buy a whole thing of crème fraîche just to use like 6 tablespoons for this dish. You feel me? Plus I have had far too many experiences where the recipe calls for a certain amount of onion and somehow the onion is like the only thing I taste when I eat it. Pumpkin soup with some onion? More like a steaming hot bowl of diced onions with a dollop of pureed pumpkin garnish. Noodles flavored with a crunch of sweet onion? Nope. Just mouth-fulls of onion on onion in onion. Make it stopppp. So in order to prevent a likely onion-overdose-fiasco, I found a recipe with zero onions.

2. CELERY SALAD
I was so excited to whip out my new mandoline for this salad (and by “whip out”, I mean slowly, carefully and deliberately, because I don’t need another emergency room visit due to sharp kitchen objects… those ER visits are expensive.) I was like, pshhh who needs a veggie peeler when I can go all-in-pro with a mandoline! Wrong. The celery strings kept getting caught in the blade and the hand-guard didn’t let me get the small celery close enough to get sliced, so the celery got like two tiny strings shaved off and that’s about it. I ended up just slicing the celery with a knife and it tasted the same, I reckon. (Confession: I don’t have a vegetable peeler. I broke my last one on a butternut squash about 6 months ago.)
I also totally forgot to add the sunflower seeds on the salad. And I just left out the parsley because I didn’t buy any (for reasoning, see crème fraîche above.)

3. SALMON FILLETS
I didn’t change anything about the salmon. Other than the face that I’m pretty sure my fillets were quite a bit bigger than what the recipe calls for. But that’s 100% okay with me!

Overall, I would make the mashed cauliflower again (per the recipe I found online) because it tastes delicious. However, I would not make the celery salad (too stringy) or the fried salmon (fishy smell lingering for hours) this way again.

fried salmon with cauliflower purée
from Food’s Ready! by IKEA

what

SALMON
4 salmon fillets, skin off (500 g)
– salt and black pepper
– oil for frying

CAULIFLOWER PURÉE
– 1 to 2 heads (900 g) cauliflower
– 1 onion, diced
– 6 Tbsp crème fraîche
100 ml semi-hard cheese, grated
– salt and black pepper

CELERY SALAD
– 4 to 6 stalks celery
– 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
– 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– ¼ cup (50 ml) sunflower seeds
– chopped parsley
– salt and black pepper

how

Make the mashed cauliflower:
– Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and add with the onion into a pot.
– Boil in salted water for ~ 5 min, until soft. Drain well.
– Blend the cauliflower and onion with the crème fraîche and grated cheese until it is a smooth purée.
– Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Make the celery salad:
– Slice the celery stalks lengthwise with a vegetable peeler.
– Place the slices in cold water to crisp them up. Leave on a dry kitchen towel to drain.
– Meanwhile, mix the vinegar and olive oil in a salad bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
– Toast the sunflower seeds (optional) in a dry frying pan until browned.
– Mix everything well together in the salad bowl.

Make the salmon:
– Salt and pepper both sides of the salmon.
– Heat the oil on medium heat until shiny.
– Fry the salmon on one side for ~ 6 to 7 minutes, then ~ 1 to 2 minutes on the other side.

– Serve the salmon fillets with the cauliflower purée and celery salad. Garnish with chopped parsley and freshly ground black pepper.

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