I haven’t made a Barefoot Contessa recipe in a long time. I did watch her episodes on Food Network, where she was staying in California for vacation. Usually I like her recipes, but I thought most of those were a little too fancy for me. Sometimes her recipes can be rather high class, but this one was just perfect! We like to keep bags of frozen salmon from Sam’s Club in the freezer and they only take like 2 hours to defrost.
I’ve been wanting to use my cast iron skillet more, but they’re always such a pain in the butt to clean. Plus, I don’t know what to really cook in them. I see the Pioneer Woman using hers all the time too. She cooks food like scrambled eggs in hers and I wonder how she gets them clean all the time? This recipe requires using a cast iron to cook the salmon. You cook the salmon on both sides for 2 minutes and then transfer the salmon to the oven to finish cooking. I had my oven set to 400 still and the salmon was still rare. Ended up having to cook it for almost 7 minutes. There was only one oven temp mentioned in the recipe, so who knows which one she really used. These sandwiches were delicious.
Recipe from Ina Garten
8 slices applewood-smoked bacon (8 ounces)
2 ripe avocados, seeded and peeled
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
4 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
¼ cup minced red onion
1 tablespoon jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Four (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skin on
Good olive oil
4 individual ciabatta rolls
Baby arugula leaves
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and lay the bacon on the rack. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until browned. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels.
Meanwhile, prepare the guacamole. Place the avocados, lime juice, scallions, red onion, jalapeño pepper, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a mixing bowl and mash roughly together with a fork. Taste for seasoning; it should be very highly seasoned. Set aside.
When the bacon is done, heat a dry cast-iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Pat the salmon fillets dry with paper towels, brush them all over—top and bottom—with olive oil, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place the fillets in the skillet skin side up and allow them to cook without disturbing them for 2 minutes exactly. With a metal spatula, carefully turn the fillets and cook for 2 more minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven for 2 minutes (time it carefully!). Remove the salmon to a plate and cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
While the salmon rests, cut the ciabatta rolls in half crosswise, place them cut side up on a sheet pan, and toast in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly toasted. To assemble the sandwiches, place the bottoms of the ciabatta rolls on a board and spread each with 2 rounded tablespoons of guacamole. Remove the skin from the salmon fillets, cut each fillet in half crosswise, and place both halves on top of the guacamole. Add 2 slices of bacon, a handful of arugula, and a sprinkling of salt. Spread another rounded tablespoon of guacamole on the underside of the top bread and place on top. Continue arranging all the sandwiches. Cut each sandwich in half diagonally and serve warm or at room temperature.