Dinner Tonight: Crispy-Skinned Fish and Carrot Avocado Salad

Tonight's dinner: a beautiful composed salad of silky avocados and caramelized carrots followed by a perfectly cooked piece of fish (it's all about what fish you buy -- this is a moment to really buy the very best!). It comes together with little time or effort, and it is one graceful weeknight dinner.

You may not actually be at Le Bernardin (or ABC Kitchen, the inspiration for the salad), but it's possible that the loveliness of this meal will make you feel that you are. If this is the case, and you find yourself popping a bottle of Champagne on a weeknight, well what can we say? Our work here is done.

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The Menu

Le Bernardin's Crispy Skinned Fish by Genius Recipes

Serves 4

About 1 tablespoon canola oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan)
Four 6-ounce skin-on fish fillets (like striped bass or salmon)
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper (black is fine too, if you don't mind the speckles)
Wondra flour for dusting

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the oil in a large, oven-proof sauté pan until the oil is very hot, but not smoking.

2. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper and dust with Wondra flour. Blow off excess.

3. Put the fish in the pan, skin side down, and press down on the fish with a spatula. (The skin immediately contracts and buckles, but you want to keep it all in contact with the pan for maximum crisping.) Sear on the stovetop over medium heat until golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes.

4. Turn the fish over, put the pan in the oven, and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, until a metal skewer can be easily inserted into the center of the fillet and, if left for 5 seconds, feels just warm when touched to your lip. Serve immediately.

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Carrot Avocado Salad

Get the recipe.

The Grocery List (for 4)

Four 6-ounce fish filets (for example salmon or stiped bass)
Wondra flour
2 pounds carrots
Fresh thyme
1 orange
1 avocado
2 cups sprouts or mixed greens of some kind
4 tablespoons creme fraiche
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

We assume you have pepper, salt, olive oil, lemons, red wine vinegar, pepper flakes, cumin and sugar. If not, you will need that all of that too, so stock up!

The Plan

1. Begin by dealing with the carrots, which simply need a little peeling and roasting. This is by far the most busy-work moment of preparing the meal, so get it out of the way first! Mix up the dressing and set it aside. Relax for 20 minutes or so while the carrots cool.

2. After the carrots are out of the oven, (bait and) tackle the fish! Just sprinkle with Wondra, salt, and pepper, then sear, flip, and slide in the oven. You can use the fact that your oven is already on and hot from roasting the carrots to help with this.

3. Assemble the salads. Plate prettily, and enjoy! An Eric-Ripert-worthy meal on the table in under an hour (and for less than $14 gazillion!).

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