Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Salmon with Browned Butter Lime Sauce

Pan-Seared Honey-Glazed Salmon with Browned Butter Lime Sauce - made January 5, 2013 from Cooking Classy

Back in the days when "cooking" to me (not to be confused with baking, you understand) meant frying or baking something that didn't have sugar in it, I ate very plainly.  I wasn't fussy about adding spices or flavor to food because I was (am) a very plain eater with bland taste buds.  And if it didn't have sugar in it and didn't come out of my oven on a cookie sheet or from a cake pan, I wasn't overly concerned with how plain-tasting it was.  Not that I didn't enjoy good, well-cooked, well-flavored food. I did.  Just not if I had to make it.

I've come a somewhat medium-length way since then and while my taste buds still have a narrow range, I've learned to experiment a bit with flavors I do enjoy.  Browned butter is one of them.  I've only ever used it in baking but this recipe for salmon piqued my interest.  And while I may not care for honey in most baked goods (too sweet), I often don't mind it in savory dishes - go figure.

Although the recipe title and the original recipe calls for pan-searing or pan frying the salmon, I actually ended up coating the fillets in flour, drizzling with honey then baking them in a foil-lined baking pan at 350 degrees until they were done (about 20-25 minutes).   The sauce was easy to make once you brown the butter - just throw the sauce ingredients in a blender and blend away.

I ate this on a bed of salad greens with the sauce drizzled on top as the "dressing".  Unfortunately I think I would've been better off sopping up the sauce with rice or pasta instead.  I don't normally like dressing because I don't like the greasy mouthfeel on my salad greens.  Well, guess what butter is?  Yes, grease.  Albeit the grease of choice when it comes to baking.  But not necessarily on a mixture of arugula, radicchio, baby spinach and other leafy greens.  So ultimately this didn't turn out as well as I had hoped.  I think it would've been better thickened more like a roux to add some creaminess. I still like browned butter but I think I'll stick with baking with it instead.

P.S. For anyone still sticking to any New Year's resolutions to eat healthier, leave off the sauce and just have baked salmon drizzled with honey atop salad greens (skip the fatty dressings) and this'll still keep you on track.

4 (6 oz) salmon fillets, rested at room temperature 20 minutes
8 tsp flour, divided
2 Tbsp honey, divided
zest of 1 - 2 limes (I like it with a generous amount so in my opinion 2)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Browned Butter Lime Sauce
6 Tbsp salted butter, diced
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Working in batches of two salmon fillets at a time (or using two skillets, because you don't want to overcrowd the salmon when cooking it on the stove-top so it cooks more evenly), place salmon fillets on a cutting board or plate and sprinkle 1 tsp flour over each side of the salmon fillets and spread flour to evenly coat. Evenly drizzle 3/4 tsp honey over each side of the flour coated salmon fillets. 

Pan frying option:
Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil into a 10 inch non-stick skillet, swirl pan to evenly coat bottom and heat over medium heat. Once oil it hot, carefully place salmon ) in pan and cook over medium heat, 3-5 minutes per side until salmon has cooked through and bottom has nicely browned.

Baking option:
You can also bake them in you'd rather at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until done.  Broil them for a couple of minutes at the end if you want them to have a little color.

Plate salmon immediately, drizzle each fillet with 1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp Browned Butter Lime Sauce and sprinkle with lime zest. Serve warm.

Browned Butter Lime Sauce
Place butter in a small (light colored) saucepan. Cook over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally, until butter is fragrant and has turned a tan shade. Remove from heat and add browned butter along with lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper to a blender. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute until well blended. Pour sauce into a small glass dish (note: whisk butter mixture with a fork before pouring onto salmon as it will separate, rewarm if needed).

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