The pleasant tanginess of homemade crème fraîche, lemon and leeks harmonize with the buttery richness of wild caught Alaskan Coho salmon presented on a bed of homemade egg noodles. Light candles, play soft music, pop a cork and serve.
Crème fraîche is not available at our local Native store. No problem. We simply mixed two cups of heavy cream, two tablespoons of our homemade plain yogurt and let the mixture sit for 24 hours at room temperature and, voilà, we had crème fraîche.
The leeks in this dish seem to suggest springtime. Endless variations are possible. The lobster base in the sauce lends itself to pairing the salmon fillet with a lobster tail or claw, shrimp or even scallops; freshly picked, lightly sautéed fiddlehead ferns would make a nice addition, as would fresh mushrooms, a sprig of fennel, and so on.
Because farmed salmon is environmentally harmful (regardless of what those who profit from that industry might say), if wild salmon is not available we suggest Arctic char (farmed or wild), trout or halibut. Remember, if the salmon in the market does not specifically say “wild” or “wild-caught,” it is farmed, and we urge that it be avoided.
Silver Salmon For Lovers
2 portions pasta of your choice
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, cleaned and chopped moderately coarse
salt to taste
1/2 cup broth made from Better than Bouillon lobster bouillon or similar lobster base
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup crème fraîche
1 tsp dried tarragon, crushed
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 pinches cayenne pepper
3/4 lb salmon fillet, cut into 2 pieces
- Cook pasta according to directions. While pasta is cooking prepare sauce and salmon.
- Melt butter in large pan over medium heat. Add olive oil.
- Sauté chopped leek until softened, about 6 minutes.
- Season with salt.
- Pour lobster stock and lemon juice on leeks. Bring to a boil while stirring in order to deglaze pan. Let sauce reduce until it is nearly all evaporated.
- Stir in crème fraîche, tarragon, mustard and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Reduce heat to low and bring sauce to a simmer.
- Add salmon fillets to pan.
- Cover pan and allow salmon to cook in sauce for approximately 5 – 8 minutes. White-colored fat on top of salmon indicates it’s cooked.
- Divide pasta on 2 plates. Spoon sauce onto pasta. Place salmon atop sauce. Garnish fillets with a pinch of cayenne.
- Light a couple of taper candles, pour two glasses of buttery chardonnay and enjoy the meal with someone special.