Cooking 101

Resolved to eat better in 2017? This pan-seared salmon is a delicious start

Pan-Seared Salmon With Arugula Salad and Mango Chutney is a delicious way to eat healthfully.
Pan-Seared Salmon With Arugula Salad and Mango Chutney is a delicious way to eat healthfully. Johnson County Community College

If you are looking to promote healthy eating and incorporate fresh ingredients into your diet, Austyn Cox’s pan-seared salmon recipe is the way to go.

However, you will not be thinking about all the health benefits when you take a bite out of this dish.

“When it comes to taste, nothing can beat fresh ingredients,” says Cox, a student in Johnson County Community College’s chef’s apprentice program. “The flavor of the food you cook is best when using fresh, and fresh ingredients are always better when preparing healthy food.”

A simple pan-seared salmon can be your casual weekday dinner or jazzed up for an impressive dinner party.

Pan-searing the fillets ensures a crisp exterior that contrasts with the moist, flavorful meat.

Mixing it with a tomato and arugula salad and mango chutney makes it even healthier and creates a perfect blend of texture, taste and color.

Austyn Cox is a third-semester student in the Johnson County Community College chef apprentice and hospitality management program. He works as a line cook at Mission Hills Country Club in Prairie Village.

Photo styling by Kaarin Nelson, Johnson County Community College interior design student

Pan-Seared Salmon

Makes 4 servings

For the salmon:

4 (5-ounce) salmon fillets

1 tablespoon orange zest

3 teaspoons seasoned salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

For the salad:

3 cups arugula

1/2 cup halved orange cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup halved red cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup halved yellow cherry tomatoes

1 cup peeled and julienned green apple

2 ounces balsamic reduction glaze (purchased at your local specialty food store)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Pinch of salt

Pinch of ground black pepper

Mango chutney:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

3 mangoes, peeled and diced

1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes

1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

To make the salmon: Place salmon fillets on an 8-by-11-inch tray and season with orange zest, salt, black pepper and sugar. Let the fillets rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, then dredge in flour.

Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat.

Place fillets in skillet and cook for 4 minutes on either side, adjusting heat to keep from over-browning and adjusting cooking time to ensure desired doneness. Remove from skillet and place on paper towels to remove any excess oil and keep warm.

To make the salad: Toss arugula, tomatoes and apple in large mixing bowl. Combine balsamic glaze, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper in a jar with a lid. Shake dressing vigorously before serving.

To make the chutney: Combine sugar, vinegar, mango, onion, raisins and chili flakes in a medium-size saucepan and place over low heat. Simmer for 30 minutes or until reduced to thick chutney consistency; remove from heat and let cool. Stir in fresh basil.

Place warm salmon, tossed salad and chutney on a large plate and serve.

Per serving: 792 calories (18 percent from fat), 16 grams total fat (2 grams saturated), 74 milligrams cholesterol, 132 grams carbohydrates, 35 grams protein, 1,170 milligrams sodium, 8 grams dietary fiber.