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Sear-Roasted Salmon with Rosemary Lemon Butter Sauce


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For the Salmon

4 skinless salmon fillets, (about 11/2 lb. total)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbsp. olive oil, canola oil, or peanut oil

For the Lemon Rosemary Butter Sauce

1/2 cup dry white wine

3 Tbsp. finely diced shallot (about 1 large)

2 Tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary

4 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into small cubes
*It’s important that your butter cubes are kept cool until you add them to the pan

1 Tsp. fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Sear-Roast the Salmon

Heat the oven to 425°F. Turn the exhaust fan on to high. Pat the salmon thoroughly dry with paper towels. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper (about 1 tsp. of each total). Heat a 12-inch heavy-based ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until a droplet of water vaporizes in 1 or 2 seconds, about 1 min. (If the water skitters around the pan and doesn’t evaporate, the pan is too hot; take it off the heat for about 30 seconds to cool.)

Add the oil, swirl it around the pan, and then evenly space the fish in the pan. Cook without touching for 2 min. Using a spatula, lift a corner of the salmon, check that it’s both well browned and easily releases from the pan, and flip it over. (If it sticks or isn’t well browned, cook for 1 to 2 more min. before flipping.) Cook the second side for 1 min. and then transfer the skillet to the oven.

Roast until the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 135°F and is slightly firm to the touch, start checking after 4 minutes, and up to 7 minutes for thicker cuts.  Using potholders, carefully remove the pan from the oven, transfer the salmon to a large plate, tent with foil, and let it rest while you prepare the sauce in the same skillet. Remember, the handle on the pan will stay very hot during the whole process, cover it with a towel or potholder so you don’t unwittingly touch it and burn yourself.  Unfortunately, I learnt that lesson the hard way!

Prepare the Pan Sauce

Pour off any excess fat from the skillet, but leave any browned bits. Return the pan to high heat and add the wine, shallot, and rosemary. Cook, stirring, until the wine is almost completely evaporated, 3 to 4 min.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the cold cubes of butter, adding a few at a time until they’re all thoroughly incorporated and the sauce is thick and creamy looking. (If the butter is slow to melt, set the pan over low heat.)

Stir in the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately, spooned over the sear-roasted salmon.

I first learned this technique from my Fine Cooking magazine many years ago, and have made it many times since. I love how easy and elegant it is as you get a beautiful pan sauce to dress up the fish. Cooking this dish takes very little time, so make sure you have all your ingredients ready and prepped before you start cooking. Also, ensure your oven has preheated to 425 degrees as it’s essential to get the salmon into the heated oven as soon as you’ve finished searing it. You can substitute any fish fillet for the salmon, and our Ocean Wise Certified steelhead filets would be a great choice.  Halibut would also work but being thicker than salmon, it will need a little longer cooking time in the oven.

Watch: Charlotte walks you through to cooking process!


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#dinners #weeknightdinners  #fish #Winter

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