Sunday, June 30, 2013

Seared Salmon with One-Pan Sauce

There is something almost decadent about a nice, thick piece of salmon.  It boasts a bold, unique flavor, and its meaty texture makes it well liked even by people who usually do not care for fish.  Honestly, I put it up there with a nice rare fillet mignon in pure pleasure to eat but without the price tag and tons of omega-3's!

I used to be intimidated by the thought of preparing fish (cake baking too but that's another story).  I now realize that I couldn't have been more foolish in my fear.  Salmon's flavor stands on its own so well that keeping the seasoning simple is not just less intimidating  but yields the best results!   It can easily get thrown on a grill or broiled, but my absolute favorite (and probably easiest method) is to pan sear it in butter and garlic.

Remember it's almost impossible to have too much minced garlic! 

A unique beauty of pan searing is that you can quickly prepare a simple pan sauce, with the drippings, in the same butter--no waste and a power punch of flavor.  I keep with the simplicity and serve my salmon with veggies roasted in olive oil, salt and garlic (yes I am an addict) a bit of french bread and voila! gourmet meal in minutes and your tastebuds are doing a happy dance! 


  • 2 salmon fillets (about 6 ounces, but size and quantity are easily altered, though I wouldn't crowd your pan with more than 3 fillets at a time)
  • 2-3 TBL minced garlic (or about 5 cloves if self mincing) 
  • 3-4 TBL butter 
  • Fresh or dried herb of choice to taste (Rosemary or thyme work the best)
  • 1/2 cup white white
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (white or traditional dark) 
  • salt/pepper
Season your fillets with salt and cracked black pepper.  Melt butter in a pan on medium.  Add garlic.  Turn heat to medium high.  Add fillets flesh side down as the butter starts to sizzle more vigorously. 

Cook the salmon for about 4-5 minutes for medium/medium well.  Flip to skin side and continue to cook for about 2 minutes.  
My garlic got a little dark because I cooked it a tad much before adding salmon, but it was still fabulous! 

Remove salmon and set aside on a plate and tent with foil.  Add white wine to the pan.  Lower heat to medium.  Add balsamic and any desired herbs.  Cook quickly, stirring constantly.  If the sauce stops sizzling then turn up the heat a bit, but beware about burning your garlic.  

Cook for about 3-4 minutes until it starts to thicken.   

TIP:  This type of sauce will continue to thicken while it is cooling, so don't cook it until it is the thickness you think the end result should be; otherwise it will become chewy caramel when it's cool (speaking from experience here).

Drizzle sauce over your salmon and serve immediately with veggies, bread and, of course, wine.  
My hubby had white wine, but salmon is a fish that is nicely complemented by a light red equally as well.  Bon Appetit! 

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