In true fusion fashion, traditional Mexican potato pancakes are the base for chef Ulises Santiago's Mediterranean-inspired salmon. Notes: Marinate the fish up to 1 day ahead. The potato cakes (tortas de papas) and roasted chiles and onions can be made up to 1 day ahead, then chilled. To reheat, place in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Bake in same oven with salmon until hot, 10 to 15 minutes. Let onion and chiles warm to room temperature. Pisco is a clear, brandylike spirit popular in Chile and Peru; it's found in some liquor stores. Prep and Cook Time: at least 1 hour, plus 2 hours to marinate fish.

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Credit: Monica Buck

Recipe Summary

3 hrs
Makes 4 servings


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400°.

  • Rinse salmon and cut into 4 equal pieces. Place in an 8- or 9-inch square pan. Sprinkle with rosemary and lemon peel, then drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and pisco. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 1 day; turn fish over occasionally.

  • Meanwhile, pour about 1 teaspoon olive oil into your palm, then rub chiles and onion wedges with oil. Spread vegetables out in a 10- by 15-inch baking pan.

  • Bake until chiles have black spots and onions are tinged with brown, 25 to 30 minutes; turn occasionally. Let cool 15 minutes, then remove chile skins; pull out stems and discard seeds. Cut chiles into 1 1/2-inch-wide strips.

  • Shape mashed potatoes into 4 equal patties (tortas de papas). Rub a 12-inch nonstick frying pan lightly with olive oil. Set pan on medium-high heat; when hot, lay patties in pan; brown on each side, turning once using a small spatula to push patty onto wide spatula, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a baking sheet or pan; keep warm in a 400° oven up to 20 minutes.

  • While potato patties brown, put salmon, uncovered, in the same 400° oven and bake until the pink color of fish is even to the center (cut to test), 15 to 18 minutes; baste several times with pan juices.

  • Place a torta de papa on each plate, set a piece of salmon on top, and surround with onions and chiles. Then top each portion equally with lettuce, queso fresco, crema fresca, and avocado. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  • Wine pairing: Sparkling brut Champagne with a high percentage of Pinot Noir, such as Korbel Natural Sonoma County Champagne, Russian River Valley.


Red Tango, Denver, CO

Nutrition Facts

690 calories; calories from fat 60%; protein 38g; fat 46g; saturated fat 9.3g; carbohydrates 32g; fiber 3.4g; sodium 115mg; cholesterol 113mg.