Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How Sweet Eats: Pan-Crisped Salmon with Dijon Cream Sauce and Garlic Panko Crumbs

I was wandering through my local supermarket last night, and I came to the fish department.  Now, I normally just keep walking since the prices tend to be high and the fish to be old, but I happened to glance down.  And what did I see?  A mismarked beauty of a salmon fillet.  The dang thing was only $6.99 a pound.  For sockeye.  You bet I bought that sucker.  But then comes to the problem of how best to cook such a marvelous find.

I quickly scrolled through my Pinterest files (you have no idea how helpful this is), and I came upon this beautiful recipe I had pinned some time back.  The salmon is cooked simply, and the sauce is just a basic mustard cream.  But put it all together, and it's really very yummy.  This is doing fish right.

Pan-Crisped Salmon with Dijon Cream Sauce and Garlic Panko Crumbs
Adapted from How Sweet Eats blog

1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, minced (divided)
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
1 pound salmon filet
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small shallot, diced
2 tablespoons freshly chopped sage or 1½ teaspoons dry rubbed sage
¼ cup dry white wine, such as Chardonnay
¾ cup low-fat evaporated milk
2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Prepare the breadcrumbs first by heating a small saucepan over medium-low heat and adding 1 tablespoon of butter. Add in 2 minced garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant, then stir in breadcrumbs well, tossing for a minute or two until the mixture is combined and slightly golden. Set aside.  When slightly cooled, stir in the chopped parsley.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Season the salmon with salt and pepper, then place in the skillet (skin side up, if the salmon has skin) and cook until opaque in the center and golden on each side, about 5-6 minutes for salmon that is 1-inch thick. If you use salmon with skin, simply cook it skin side up the entire time. Remove the salmon and set aside.

Add the remaining ½ tablespoon of butter to the hot pan, along with the shallot, garlic, and sage. Stir well to coat, then cook for 1 to 2 minutes until sizzling, then add in white wine. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, allowing it to bubble and slightly reduce, then whisk in the evaporated milk and Dijon mustard. Continue to whisk and cook while milk bubbles on the sides and thickens, stirring for a minute or two. Taste and season additionally or whisk in a bit more Dijon if desired.

Serve salmon immediately, drizzled with Dijon cream sauce and then topped with breadcrumbs.

Makes 2 to 4 servings

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