We’re moving away from the baked goods and back into the savory foods with a simple salmon recipe. It’s not that I don’t still bake, but there aren’t many recipes that are actually mine. I’m not that good of a baker. As for salmon, I have plenty of practice with that. So I’m presenting here a pretty simple pan-seared salmon with a equally as simple lemon-cream sauce.
As with any meal, there’s always a central set of spices that I utilize and base around. So this week I went with the seasoning blend I have from Penzeys. I was introduced to Penzeys with the help of my roommate’s parents who are actually good cooks. My parents don’t really cook enough to want to buy spices from anywhere besides the grocery store. But I do have one spice blend from there (the rest were, unfortunately, my roommate’s).
Introducing the Sunny Paris seasoning blend. Why is it called that? Who the hell knows. This blend is made up of shallots, chives, green peppercorn, dill, basil, tarragon, chervil, and bay leaf. The dill (in my opinion) makes it a good option for fish. But it also works well on chicken and vegetables. If you don’t have this blend, then I’d suggest a simple blend of whatever you have on hand from this blend. Probably in a 1:1 ratio at the very least.
Now to the cooking of the salmon. It’s a simple pan sear and then throwing in the oven to cook the rest of it. So, I pour some olive oil, salt, and pepper onto the skin side of the salmon (make sure it’s pretty dry first) and make sure it’s well coated. Luckily for us, the skin of salmon is edible. While it doesn’t sound all that appetizing when you think about it, it doesn’t taste bad if you get a good sear on the salmon skin.
To do that, I melted some butter in a skillet over medium heat and put the salmon skin side down in the skillet. Then just leave it alone for a couple minutes to get a nice color on the salmon. Since I was making about 5 of these filets I had to do it in batches. I’d suggest searing no more than two at a time. Overcrowding the pan will leave you with a flabby piece of fish skin since it’ll cool down the oil too much.
After searing the salmon, I placed it skin side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once all the salmon was seared and on the baking sheet, I put the sheet in a 325˚F oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the fish was nice and flaky with a fork.
While that was in the oven, I made a quick pan sauce to go over top of it. It’s not very attractive in color, but my pan sauces almost never are. Whatever. Aesthetics can only go so far in the world of amateur cooking.
As with any good pan sauce, I started out with more butter. Solid. After that I added in some garlic and the Sunny Paris seasoning I referred to earlier. After letting that cook up and get aromatic I deglazed the pan with some white wine and lemon juice. The choice of white wine is entirely up to you. We don’t keep a good stock of white wine since my parents only drink red wine so the only wine I had at my disposal was Chardonnay. So use what you love.
After letting that reduce a little bit I slowly whisked in a little bit of half & half. Not much, but it will mellow out the lemon flavor a little bit so it’s not too much. But you have to be careful since the very presence of lemon might make the half & half curdle a little bit. It’s no big deal and isn’t a terrible thing. If it happens, oh well.
But that’s all there is to it. Pull out the salmon and pout a little bit of sauce on the top. There you have it, a pretty simple salmon recipe that is sure to be a hit.
Cook time: 40 minutes
- 5 salmon filets
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 5 tbs butter
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbs Penzeys© Sunny Paris seasoning*
- ¼ cup white wine
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tbs half & half
- Preheat oven to 325˚F
- Pat salmon skin dry with paper towel
- Coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper
- In a non-stick skillet, melt 4 tbs of butter over medium heat
- Sear salmon, skin-side down, for 4-5 minutes
- Transfer to a baking sheet skin-side up lined with parchment paper
- Bake salmon for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork
- Melt remaining butter in the skillet
- Add garlic and seasoning, cook for 30 seconds
- Pour in white wine and lemon and boil for 5-10 minutes until slightly reduced
- Whisk in half & half and reduce heat to low to keep warm