Sunday, November 1, 2020

Ina's Seared Salmon with Spicy Red Pepper Aioli and Emily's English Roasted Potatoes

Inspired by my latest cookbook, Ina Garten's Modern Comfort Food, I'm cooking up a meal that I have been dying to try, Ina's Seared Salmon with Spicy Red Pepper Aioli alongside her rather fussy Emily's English Roasted Potatoes, which is heaven sent.

If you don't own a copy of Modern Comfort Food yet, what are you waiting for? It is hands down my Cookbook of the Year! It may very well be my favorite cookbook in a couple years. To prove that, I am making four recipes from it this week, which you will see soon,  AND I haven't quit making the Kielbasa with Mustard Dip from last week. I made it Sunday for my blog, then I made it again yesterday as a hearty treat before trick-or-treating. Then I ordered some more kielbasa for more grocery pick up today. We are obsessed.

Anyway, back to seared salmon gone all crispy on the outside and tender and flaky on the inside with a garlicky, spicy, creamy and brilliantly hued red pepper aioli that pairs so wonderfully with the salmon and potatoes you'll be swooning. Why haven't I thought of this before? I mean what else can you dip into this magical concoction?

While the salmon is as easy as 1-2-3, Emily's English Roasted Potatoes are as fussy as a colicky baby. Peel the potatoes, cut the potatoes, boil the potatoes, bash the potatoes, dry the potatoes, and finally bake the potatoes on a smoking hot baking sheet sizzling with hot oil before sprinkling them generously with sea salt and parsley. I mean they are super fussy, but they are also super delicious. Flavorful and crispy on the outside but oh so creamy and dreamy on the inside, they are easily worth the fuss.

Dip the salmon and the crispy, creamy potatoes into the spicy red pepper aioli and prepare to be swept off your feet!

Seared Salmon with Spicy Red Pepper Aioli

Adapted from Modern Comfort Food 

by Ina Garten

Serves 4

2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)

1 tablespoon (canned)chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 cup jarred roasted red peppers,seeded and chopped

1 cup good mayonnaise, such as Hellman's

salt and black pepper,totaste

4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless, center-cut salmon fillets

olive oil

1 lime, quartered, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400F. 

For the aioli: Chop the garlic and chipotle pepper together on a cutting board to make a coarse paste. Place the paste in a food processor, add the lime juice and roasted red peppers, and puree. Add the mayonnaise,1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and process until smooth. Set aside. 

For the salmon: Place a large (12-inch), dry cast-iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Place the salmon fillets on a board, pat dry with paper towels, and rub all over with olive oil. With the fillets  rounded side up, sprinkle them with 1-1/2 teaspoons salt and 3/4 teaspoon black pepper.

To cook salmon: Place the salmon in the skillet rounded side down and cook over medium-high heat for exactly 2 minutes without moving! Using a large metal spatula,turn the fillets rounded side up and place the skillet in the oven. Roast for3to 4 minutes, until the centers are rare. Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and allow the salmon to rest for 3 to4 minutes for medium-rare or 5 minutes for medium. Serve the salmon hot with the aioli and a wedge of lime for squeezing.

Emily's English Roasted Potatoes

Adapted from Modern Comfort Food

by Ina Garten

Serves 6 to 8


3 pounds large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and 1-1/2" to 2" diced

1/2 cup vegetable oil

sea salt or fleur de sel

minced fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 425F. Bring a large pot of water with 2 tablespoons salt to a boil. Add the potatoes, return to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 8 minutes. Drain the potatoes, place them back in the pot with the lid on, and shake the pot roughly for 5 seconds to rough up the edges.Carefully transfer the potatoes in one layer to a baking rack set over a sheet pan. Set aside to dry for at least 15 minutes. (They an sit uncovered at room temperature for several hours or in the fridge for up to 6 hours).

Pour the oil onto another sheet pan, tilt the pan to distribute the oil, and place the pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, until the oil is smoking hot. Transfer the potatoes carefully into the oil (I use a large metal spatula) and toss them lightly to coat each potato with the hot oil. Evenly spread out the potatoes and lower the oven temperature to 350F. Roast for 45 minutes to one hour, turning the potatoes occasionally with tongs, until very browned and crisp on the outside and tender and creamy on the inside.

Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle generously with 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt and parsley and serve hot.


  1. It's always so tempting reading the dishes you're serving up. Salmon is what we have all the time. This is a good and easy recipe to add comfort to our daily meal. We need it!

  2. Here you are making me buy another cookbook!! This all sounds so good.


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