When I was in cooking school, one of the chefs once told me that 90% of restaurant cooking was “making it crispy on the outside, tender on the inside.” In classic french technique this is done with proteins by utilizing a three step process involving a light coating of flour, egg, and then breadcrumbs before sauteing in a pan. For the home cook (including myself), this involves too much space and time and creates too much mess to be a viable option on a regular basis. Plus, if you or someone in your family is gluten free, you have to use special flour and gluten free bread crumbs. I have found a wondrous product that does a pretty good job of creating a crunchy and flavorful exterior in only one step: mashed potato flakes, available at your local supermarket. Also known as instant mashed potatoes. My “go to” meal for my son and daughter are chicken tenders or salmon fillet, dredged in mashed potato flakes, and sauteed in olive oil. I like to use a heavy pan (cast iron is my favorite) and the result is a nicely browned crust that is truly restaurant quality.
Crispy Salmon Filet
1.5 lbs salmon filet
1/2 cup mashed potato flakes
salt and pepper
Preheat a heavy pan on medium high. Skin (and debone if necessary)
salmon filet. Cut into serving size portions and season with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to pan, a little more than necessary to just coat the bottom of the pan. Dredge salmon in potato flakes on both sides, add to pan. Cook until well browned on one side, about 6 minutes, then flip and cook until cooked through, about 4 minutes more.