Adapted from Bon Appetit – and simplified!
Serves 6 to 8
8 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons flour
4 (6 to 8-ounce) salmon fillets (skin and bones removed)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
3 heaping tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 serrano chili, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh is better but not absolutely necessary)
2 teaspoons sugar
Garnish: Chopped fresh cilantro
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat. Season fish with salt and pepper and dredge with flour. Shake off excess. Add to skillet and cook for about 4 minutes per side – or until golden. Remove to a plate covered with paper towels.
In a food processor, purée garlic, chilies, paprika, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and 2 tablespoons oil.
Heat remaining 4 tablespoons oil in skillet over low heat. Add garlic-chili mixture. Cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Gently pour in tomato paste and water. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 30 more seconds. Stir in lemon juice and sugar.
Return salmon to pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover pan, reduce heat and simmer until is cooked through – about 12 minutes (I like my fish to be really cooked!). Remove from heat.
Serve warm or a room temperature, topped with the sauce and sprinkled with some fresh cilantro, if desired.