Ol’ Smokey: Sugar and spice crusted salmon.

Disclaimer: we here at Pithy and Cleaver do not condone unplugging your smoke detector. However, if you ever decide you really WANT to live on the edge and shut it down, this is probably the recipe to cook while it’s offline. Because I’m not gonna lie: this dish is smoky. Like, really smoky. But it is so good, so quick, and so unexpected, that I can tell you with absolute certainty that it is worth it.


The recipe comes from Nigella Lawson’s How to Eat, and it’s so simple that it doesn’t even get a real recipe–just a few descriptive sentences at the bottom of a page near the end of the book. Basically, make a spice rub. Dredge your salmon in it. Sear it in turboheated oil for two minutes on each side, and enjoy. Enjoy the melting, rare flesh inside, and the smoky, sweet, spicy crust that builds up on the outside. Enjoy it with a nice salad and your best friend. Enjoy it on those nights when you are desperate for delicious food but have no more than ten minutes to devote to creating it.

And for the love of all things holy, enjoy it with the windows open.

Sugar and spice crusted salmon

2 salmon filets

For the spice rub:
Mix together equal parts cumin, cinnamon, paprika, dry mustard, sugar, and salt.

  1. Dredge your salmon in the spice rub. Make sure you have a good, thick, even coating.
  2. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a heavy skillet over high heat (use something like canola oil, with a high smoke point–you don’t want to encourage the smoke any more than you have to!)
  3. Place the salmon in the pan, skin-side-up, and sear for two minutes. Flip it over and sear the other side for another two minutes.
  4. Turn it out onto a plate, turn on the fan, open a nice bottle of wine, and pat yourself on the back for your incredible speed and general awesomeness.
In cast iron, fish, salmon, spicy

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