pan-seared salmon with cucumber-yogurt salad (mizeria)

PESCETARIAN | GLUTEN-FREE

My hilarious coworker, who we call “Moose”, has a hydroponic herb garden, which seems to always be overflowing with fresh herbs. I’m one of the lucky recipients of the overflow, and I guard my herby gifts with my life. He brings it into the office and places it in a secret hiding place — then I take it from that hiding place and hide it in an even more secret hiding place. I’m telling you, people will do anything for good herbs.

In this herb shipment, I was lucky enough to receive some dill. One whiff of it immediately brought me back to my childhood, when my sister and I spent summers in Poland eating gallons of boiled potatoes and mizeria. 

Mizeria is made of cucumbers, dill, yogurt/sour cream, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. I feel like we had it at almost every obiad in Poland during the summers, when cucumbers and dill were abundant. My favorite classic combination is schabowy (basically, schnitzel), boiled potatoes, and mizeria. The yogurty sauce from the mizeria serves as a dip for the potatoes and the crispy, salty schabowy. Yum. I might need to recreate that meal this weekend. 🙂

To keep things light, I seared a salmon filet to go with my mizeria, playing on another childhood favorite: salmon and sour cream. I think I picked up this habit from my dad. I remember us both liberally dipping every bite of salmon into a mountain of sour cream, inevitably skipping the process of spooning it onto our plates and getting bits of salmon into the sour cream container.  I probably didn’t even realize what salmon tasted like by itself until… at least high school. All in all, a very nostalgic meal for me.

You’ll probably spend more time waiting for your oven to preheat than it will take to create the rest of this meal. While it’s preheating, make your mizeria. When the oven reaches temp, sear your salmon, skin-side down, then flip it and stick it in the oven for a few minutes to finish cooking. Bada-bing, bada-boom! You’re done.

YOU’LL NEED

  • Oven-safe pan
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Small bowl
  • Spatula (wide enough to flip your fish)

INGREDIENTS:

Per person:

  • 4-6 oz filet wild-caught salmon
  • 2 tbsp. grass-fed butter
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced*
  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp. yogurt (I ❤ Siggi’s! — 1 cup = 23g protein and 120 calories)
  • 1/2 juice of one lemon
  • salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350.
  2. While the oven is preheating, combine yogurt, lemon juice, and dill in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste, then toss with the sliced cucumber.
  3. Heat an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter to the pan and swirl around. Once it’s melted, lay the salmon skin-side down and allow it to sear. Sprinkle liberally with salt and fresh cracked pepper. DO NOT TOUCH IT! You’ll ruin the crispiness of the skin if you do.
  4. After about 2 minutes, gently lift one side of the filet. If it releases easily, flip it, salt and pepper that side, then stick the whole pan in the oven. If it doesn’t release, wait until it does.
  5. Allow the salmon to cook in the oven for about 4-5 more minutes. Be careful not to overcook! It’s done when it’s flaky in the center. I’ve learned to pull it out of the oven a little before I think I should, because it continues to cook after you pull it out. When you pull it out of the oven, plate it (skin-side up) and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  6. Serve with your mizeria and some lemon wedges to squeeze over the salmon. Enjoy!

TIP

Thanks to Miriam G. for this great tip!

“Mizeria sounds like misery, right? Well it refers to the fact that cucumbers release water – they cry! So if you’re bringing them to a pot luck buffet or just not going to serve them right away, you may want to salt them, let them sit for 10 minutes or more and then drain /squeeze the water out of them before mixing with sour cream.” 

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3 thoughts on “pan-seared salmon with cucumber-yogurt salad (mizeria)

  1. Maja – You probably know why its called mizeria. But at the risk of feeling like a “know it all” I thought I would enlighten my fellow readers. Mizeria sounds like misery, right? Well it refers to the fact that cucumbers release water – they cry! So if you’re bringing them to a pot luck buffet or just not going to serve them right away, you may want to salt them, let them sit for 10 minutes or more and then drain /squeeze the water out of them before mixing with sour cream. Love your blog – keep ’em coming!!
    mg

    Like

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