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Lemon, Tarragon and Mustard Cream Sauce over Grilled Salmon and Spring Peas

Spring is in the air… or at least it was in the air on Saturday.  Yes, I make lots of subtle but possibly sarcastic remarks about the fantastic weather (oops there’s one!) here in the Pacific Northwest, but truly, there is no place more beautiful.  And of course, it’s so beautiful because it rains much of the time.  Not really hard pelting rain, but that lovely thing we call the Seattle mist… which sounds more romantic.

With spring comes a flurry of gardening and getting ready for what we all cross our fingers and hope is a good summer growing season.  One of the first produce to arrive in our misty and cloudy location is the spring pea.   Asparagus is also among the spring produce along with rhubarb, artichokes, spring greens and a few more lovely pieces of produce.

Spring peas however are my one of my favorites, and beautifully compliment a spring meal.  Not only are they complimentary, but they can certainly take center stage.  I love fresh spring peas in my risotto with a little diced ham, or a mix of fresh carrots and spring peas in a decadent chicken or veggie pot pie.

One of my favorite spring meals is this tasty grilled King salmon with fresh spring peas topped with a divine lemon tarragon and mustard cream sauce.  The lemon, mustard and fresh tarragon pairs beautifully with the richness of the salmon and delicate peas.  It looks so lovely on the plate, if you  light a few candles you’ll think you’re dining at a five-star restaurant.

Lemon, Tarragon and Mustard Cream Sauce over Grilled Salmon and Spring Peas

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 pieces fresh wild King salmon

Veggie oil or high heat peanut oil

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons chopped shallots

1/2 cup white wine or dry vermouth

2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

1 cup (or a little more) organic heavy cream

Squeeze of lemon (about two tablespoons)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, and a little extra for garnish

2 cups organic spring peas or baby peas (can be frozen or fresh) lightly steamed or sautéed and seasoned with salt and pepper

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.  In an ovenproof skillet, heat over medium high heat a few tablespoons high heat oil. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and place skin side down in the skillet.

Sear the salmon for about 5 minutes and then transfer the skillet to the oven to finish cooking. Salmon typically cooks about 10 minutes per inch of thickness or until you see the opaque white juices emerging.  Remove the salmon from the oven and keep warm.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil.  When the butter is melted and frothy, add the shallots and sauté for a minute or two until the shallots are fragrant and wilted.

Whisk in the white wine and let the wine reduce by half.  Add the whole grain mustard and heavy cream.  Whisk and simmer until the cream thickens slightly.

Whisk in the squeeze of lemon and fresh tarragon and then remove from the heat. Taste the sauce and add a pinch of salt and pepper as needed.

To serve, place a few spoonfuls of peas on a plate, top with a piece of salmon and then ladle a spoonful of sauce over the salmon.  Garnish with fresh chopped tarragon.  Enjoy!

Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood

Sole Veronique with Fresh Herbs and Sweet Red Grapes

Sole Veronique with Fresh Herbs and Sweet Red Grapes

Sole Veronique

This is one of the first French fish recipes I learned to prepare, oh so many years ago.  In fact, this is one of those recipes that became a Bennett family favorite because of… you guessed it, the sauce!   And as some of you know, I  love “options” when it comes to my recipes, so if you’d like to grill a piece of halibut rather than wrestle with the Dover Sole, I’ll give you an optional recipe for just the sauce.

Sole Veronique is a traditional classic French dish.  And it’s prepared with the most treasured of French ingredients… butter and cream.

Although this recipe does contain both, I’ve tried to pair down the amounts used, and I’ve added in olive oil to substitute for some of the butter.  If you’d like a sauce without the cream, add a squeeze of lemon to the wine and a one last pat of butter to finish the sauce.

This makes a fabulous simple and quick weeknight meal, but it’s elegant and delicious enough to serve to dinner guests.  Happy Cooking!

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 ½ -2 lbs fresh white fish, Dover Sole or Flounder

1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs, herbs de Provence or French herbs

1 cup all purpose flour (or gluten free bread crumbs)

Extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons butter or clarified butter (ghee)

1 shallot minced (about 3 tablespoons)

1 cup white wine

½ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon fresh chopped fresh herbs such as tarragon, thyme, Italian Parsley

1/2 – 3/4 cup small red grapes halved

1 small lemon

Directions

Mix together the flour, dried herbs, salt and pepper.

Heat a skillet on medium high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter.   Once the oil and butter are hot, but not smoking, dredge the fish fillets through the flour and herb mixture and then dust off the excess.

Pan sear the fillets for 2-3 minutes on each side depending on thickness.  You’ll want to see a nice brown crust on each side.  During the pan searing, add a little butter and olive oil as needed as sometimes the pan becomes to dry.  Transfer the pan seared fillets to a platter and keep warm.

If needed, add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet and then add the shallots.  Sauté the shallots for a few minutes then stir in the white wine deglazing the pan.  Let the wine simmer for a minute or two and then add the heavy cream and grapes and reduce the sauce by half.  Take the sauce off the heat and add the fresh chopped herbs.  Plate the fish fillets and squeeze a little lemon over the fish. Ladle sauce over the fish, garnishing with extra grapes if desired.

Serve with roasted Asparagus, wild and brown rice, mixed fresh greens with a French vinaigrette or wilted spinach with garlic.

To prepare just the sauce:  Add a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil to a sauce pan on medium heat.  When the butter has melted and the olive oil/butter is hot, add the shallots.  Sauté the shallots for a few minutes then stir in the white wine deglazing the pan.  Let the wine simmer for a minute or two and then add the heavy cream and grapes and reduce the sauce by half.  Take the sauce off the heat and add the fresh chopped herbs, a pat of butter.  Plate the fish fillets and squeeze a little lemon over the fish. Ladle sauce over the fish, garnishing with extra grapes if desired.