Your family and friends will love you even more if you serve them this!!
Some of you reading this post, is probably wondering what is Sous Vide. Well, first the correct pronunciation is \,sü-‘vēd\. It is a cooking technique where you place food in vacuum-sealed or ziplock-type bags and place in a water bath and heat at a consistent temperature. Since the temperature is controlled, the outcome is predictable every time. No more overcooked or undercooked food and definitely no more guessing.
Simply, it’s the heating of food with water. This technique has been around for decades and practiced in high end restaurants. Now, through technology, this is available for everyone. It also frees you up to concentrate on other parts of your meal.
There are some great options out there to accommodate various budgets. I currently use Joule, by ChefSteps. I love how compact it is and that it is fully Bluetooth capable. Joule can only be operated through your smartphone, or tablet app which connects to the Joule via Bluetooth and that makes this small wonder a GENIUS contribution to the culinary world.
I’ve had my Joule since December and I use it at least 3 times per week to cook EVERYTHING!! When I say everything, I mean all cuts of beef, pork, seafood, vegetables, dessert and even eggs. This technique gives me the freedom I need to concentrate on other components of a meal. All you have to do is choose how you want your protein cooked, by visual doneness and press start. Once the water has warmed to the desired temperature, you will receive a notification to place your food in the water and start cooking. Once your food is done, you will receive another notification that it’s done you can choose to remove it or leave it in water and it still will not over-cook. I mean, who doesn’t want this in their life?!?! You can give your protein a quick sear to achieve that beautiful caramelization.
Let’s talk about this watermelon salsa! It is extremely versatile and can be served with tortilla chips, or as a topping for fish tacos! How yummy would that be? When thinking about this recipe, I really envisioned it with yellow meat watermelon, but I had no luck finding one at the time.
Watermelons are available May to September, although the peak season is from mid June to late August. You want to look for symmetrical melons without any flat sides. The shape of a watermelon can be round or an oblong oval. Never choose a melon with gashes or blemishes on the rind, or with soft spots. If you purchase cut melons, the flesh should be bright in color. If you see a large amount of small, white seeds, the melon is probably immature. If possible, store your melon in the refrigerator, or a cool dark place, no longer than 1 week. Cut watermelon should be wrapped, refrigerated and used within a day or so. Watermelon has excellent Vitamin A and C levels as well as Vitamin B6.
My affinity for salmon started very early. I tried my first piece of hot smoked salmon around the age of 8 and then gravalax in my teenaged years. My absolute favorite way to eat salmon is bagels and lox with extra cream cheese (I mean what’s wrong with extra cheese), tomatoes, red onions and capers! Seriously, I could eat it everyday. I actually craved it during my pregnancy and it was torture because I knew I wasn’t supposed to have it. We can talk about my pregnancy cravings another time.
There have been many conversations over the years about sustainable fish.
Salmon is great sautéed, grilled, roasted, smoked and definitely sous vide. Choosing salmon is rather simple and is certainly not intimidating. Fish should not have a “fishy” smell. It should actually smell like the ocean. If you are selecting a whole fish, the eyes should be bright and vibrant and not dark and sunken in. Look for salmon that appears moist and not dry, as that typically indicates it’s freshness and how the fish was handled. Avoid fish that has browned spots on the edges of the fillet. You want to choose vibrantly colored salmon with deep shades of red to vibrant coral to vibrant pink. If it’s pale, you don’t want it.
There are many varieties of salmon. King, Sockeye, Coho, Pink and Chum. It’s best to choose wild caught salmon as most farm raised varieties have harmful amounts of PCBs, which are highly toxic industrial compounds. So choose wisely. Choose sustainable and wild caught.
If you don’t have access to sous vide yet, the salmon can be prepared in a sauté pan over a medium-high flame. Add a small amount of oil to the preheated pan. Sear salmon on both sides for 4-5 minutes until an internal temperature of 145° is reached.
In addition to the watermelon salsa, add a good helping of cherry tomatoes and fresh jalapeños if you want a little extra kick. I like things spicy.
Sous Vide Salmon and Watermelon Salsa
- 4 Salmon fillets 6 ounce portions
- 1 Lemon zest
- 2 sprigs Thyme
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 2 cups Watermelon cubed
- Kosher salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup Red onion chopped
- 1/2 cup Orange bell pepper chopped
- 1/4 cup Cilantro chopped
- 1 tbsp Jalapeño chopped
- 1 tbsp Fresh garlic minced
- 1/4 cup Fresh lime juice
Heat water to 122°. While water heats to temperature, season salmon fillets with lemon zest, salt and pepper and place 2 fillets in each bag. Add 2 thyme sprigs per bag and add olive oil. Seal bag.
Once water reaches 122°, set the cooking time to 40 minutes and add salmon.
Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat and salmon. Sear on both sides, until golden.
To make the salsa, add watermelon and all remaining ingredients. Toss together to combine. Adjust seasonings and ingredients where necessary.
*you will need 2 ziplock-type bags or 2 small vacuumed sealed bags for the salmon fillets. Place 2 fillets in each bag.
*if you are not using the sous vide method, pat salmon dry and season with kosher salt and pepper. Heat a 10-12” nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and sauté on both sides for 4-5 minutes each side. Add 1 teaspoon of butter, thyme sprigs and lemon zest. As butter begins to melt, spoon the mixture over the salmon. Serve with watermelon salsa.