RECIPE: SEARED SPRING SALMON WITH A PICCATA SAUCE

I come from a local San Diego fishing family and fresh fish is never more than a call away between all the charters, sport boat captains, and local fishing friends. Having fresh seafood around is a huge luxury that we never take for granted but it’s always nice to keep things fresh and add new recipes to our repertoire.

Husband with the goods.

Recently my husband went to British Columbia on a surfing/ fishing trip and brought home some beautiful Spring Salmon. Never heard of Spring Salmon? Well I hadn’t either. Turns out that in the area around Vancouver Island, Spring Salmon is what Chinook or King Salmon is referred to as. Salmon is a special treat for us in our family, as it’s not a species that is available through our local fishery in the Southern California Bight. This recipe is one that is applicable to several species, but for me it’s especially lovely with Salmon. 

There are two main components for this recipe and that’s the cooking of the salmon and then the sauce.

Below are the ingredients that you’ll need for this recipe:

Salmon on its own is such a delicious fish and not too much has to be done to make it a stand-out dish. For me, it’s more about the textures since the flavor is so prevalent. I like to make sure the salmon is a little crispy on the outside so that it compliments the tender meat of the fish and as far as the sauce goes it adds that extra acidity that makes all the flavors pop.

Ingredients

3-4
  • 1-2 lbs. of fresh line caught Salmon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • cup of chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • juice of one lemon
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 shallots
  • 2 table spoons of dijon mustard

Preparation

  1. Prepare your piece of Salmon by cutting it into desired serving sizes. Make sure to pull bones out using a pair of needle nose pliers. Make sure to skin each piece of fillet. You'll also want to pat your pieces with a paper towel to make sure they are as dry as possible.
  2. Season fillets with Salt & Pepper. Salmon has a beautiful taste and these two simple ingredients really accentuate it. It's one of those fish species that don't need a great deal of seasoning.
  3. You'll want to get a cast iron pan and coat it with olive oil. Get your olive oil hot but not to the point of smoking, if it is smoking you'll need to turn down your heat. Gently place your salmon fillet's in the pan. Let the fillets. cook until the cooking marks have made it up halfway on the fillet., then flip. At this point, the outside of the fillet should have a golden crispness to it. It should take about 5-7 minutes on the first side and about 3-4 minutes on the opposite side. TIP: to avoid sticking do not move the fillets, once they get hot enough they'll simply un-stick allowing you to easily flip the fillet. Onc
  4. Remove fillets and place them on a dish with paper towels to absorb any excess oil and cool down.
  5. In the same pan, you've cooked the fillets, heat back up on low, and place a small coating of olive oil. Make sure to remove any fillet remnants. In the pan place your red onion as well as your shallots which have been cubed into small pieces. You'll want to let this sautee up for about 5 minutes until your onions become somewhat translucent.
  6. Once you've cooked up your onions, in the same pan add your garlic, white wine, capers, and lemon zest. Make sure to continue to stir lightly continuously for about 10 minutes.
  7. At this point, your Piccata sauce should start reducing add, chicken broth and mustard and continue to stir and reduce, lastly adding in butter. Continue cooking on low until you get it to an appropriate thickness which should be a little more liquid than creamy. Turn off the heat and let sit for 2-4 minutes.
  8. At this point, you are ready to plate. Place a bed of arugula on a plate with light Balsamic or Italian dressing, you don't need much dressing as the Piccata sauce will assist in dressing the salad as well. Please a piece of salmon on top of the salad and spoon over the piccata sauce. Don't be scared of putting too much on as you'll be coming back for more. A nice piece of french bread really ties in this dish as well.