Sunday, November 16, 2008

Salmon Meunière with Artichokes and Olives

As the weather cools down, I find myself baking quite more often. I remember in July and August, I could only bake in the morning or at night. And about a month ago, I was eating fresh berries mixed in yogurt for breakfast, but lately I've switched to a warm muffin and a cup of hot latte. Those muffins I made last week were great. They freeze well and the main flavor is pretty interchangeable, like sweet potatoes or pumpkins. Well, while I maybe enjoy eating baked goods, I realized that I needed to diversify my blog posts.

Salmon Meunière was actually my first dinner I've ever made on my own as a child. One day, my mom called me from work and told me that she would be coming home late that night. Coincidentally all the ingredients were ready as if she was expecting this to happen. I was given the cooking instruction over the phone. I've always helped my mom cook dinner, but it was mostly prep work like mixing ingredients or cutting vegetables. Sometimes, I participated in actual cooking as an assistant cook, but was never able to turn on the gas stove since that always frightened me. "It's not too difficult, just be careful not to burn yourself," said my mom. I tried to follow the instruction as precisely as possible and was eager to impress my parents when they came home. Unfortunately it didn't turn out as good as I expected. The salmon was not cooked thoroughly and instead of creating crispy surface, it became soggy mush. Although I was disappointed with the outcome, it was still edible and my mom was proud of me for trying.

Now I know better. If the floured salmon filet is placed in the pan while the butter or oil is not quite hot enough, the flour will start absorbing the oil and ends up like that. I used to think that I had to cook the salmon completely until the center of filet also gets lighter in pick color, but it gets dry and loses flavor this way. So the best Salmon Meunière in my opinion is cooked to medium rare just like a beef steak. Of course you will have to use fresh salmon for it though.

Recipe of the Day
Salmon Meunière with Artichokes and Olives

Ingredients (makes 2 servings):
2 Tbsp Pine Nuts
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2/3 c. Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained, cut in chunks
8-10 Kalmata Olives
2 Tbsp Capers
2 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
Several Grains of Paradise (you can replace with Black Peppercorns)
A Pinch of Salt
1 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 c. Dry White Wine
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

2 Fresh Salmon Filets
Flour (for dusting)
Butter (for cooking the fish)

Coat the salmon filets with flour. Set a side.

In a medium-large skillet, toast pine nuts over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add next five ingredients. Stir well and after cooking for a few minutes, add grains of paradise and salt. Add lemon juice and white wine and simmer until the liquid is almost completely gone. Reduce the heat to very low and whisk in butter.

Heat about 1 Tbsp of butter in another large skillet, sautee floured salmon filets for a few minutes on both sides or until it creates crispy surfaces.

Serve warm with artichoke & olive sauce.


  1. Hi Em,

    This looks delicious! I've been suffering from a bit of salmon fatigue this year, but I think I'm ready to get back to it! Yum!