Since falling in love with very smoky Tennessee bacon (Benton's), I've moved to using it as a flavor agent; I almost never eat it on its own. Any very smoky bacon will do. This is a hearty winter dish, layering potatoes with kale and crisp-skinned roasted salmon.
12 ounces new or fingerling potatoes
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 smoked bacon slices, thinly sliced crosswise into matchstick pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
5 cups packed coarsely chopped kale, large stems removed
1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock, divided
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets
1/4 cup half-and-half
4 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°.
Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with cool water to 2 inches above potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until almost tender; drain. Place potatoes on a work surface, and crush each with a thick, sturdy glass; you want the potatoes broken open but still fairly intact. Sprinkle with vinegar and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add bacon; cook 3 minutes or until almost crisp. Add shallots to pan; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until bacon is crisp and shallots are browned, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon and shallots from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving any drippings. Add 2 teaspoons oil to drippings in pan. Increase heat to medium-high. Add potatoes in an even layer; cook 2 minutes or until potatoes begin to lightly brown on bottom. Add kale, 1/4 cup stock, and rosemary. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 2 minutes or until kale is almost tender (you want it still chewy). Uncover and drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup stock if too dry; it should be a bit moist. Stir in reserved bacon mixture, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Keep warm.
Sprinkle tops of salmon fillets with remaining 3/8 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until a drop of water evaporates quickly when dropped on it. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add salmon fillets, skin side down; cook, without turning, for 3 minutes. Place pan in oven (salmon should still be skin side down); cook 7 minutes or until a thermometer registers 130° and salmon is still medium-rare within.
Just before serving, add half-and-half to potato mixture; stir gently just to incorporate. Immediately place 1 cup potato mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 salmon fillet, skin side up. Garnish each serving with a parsley sprig.
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