Salmon with Lemon Cream Sauce
It's always hard to plan for a fish meal around here, because it all depends on what the market has fresh. You can show up at the store with the best intentions of securing a thick halibut steak only to be disappointed with what clearly looks like it's been sitting under the glass for a few days. Fish is best fresh, there's no way around it. The fresher the better. So, the best attitude to approach the fish section is, what looks best? With whole fish, you can usually tell just by looking at the eyes - they should be clear, not foggy and sunken. With fillets, if the surface is dried out and tired looking, that's not a good sign. The fillet should glisten, like it was just cut, and should smell fresh, not fishy.
The day we cooked this salmon, it was the best looking fish at the counter, and it did not disappoint. In fact, it was so good I called my dad over and told him to stop eating his lunch, wrap it up, and get over here to eat this salmon. Which of course he did, because when fish is good, it must be eaten immediately.
The recipe is simple. Just fillets fried in a high smoke point oil (we like to use grape seed oil) and served with a sauce made with lemon juice, stock, and cream. The recipe is adapted from an arctic char recipe we found in The Country Cooking of Ireland by Coleman Andrews.
We like to sauté skin-on salmon, because when the skin is crispy fried, there's nothing better. It's like salmon bacon. As for frying the salmon in the first place, well, even with fresh fish, it's hard to avoid smelling up the kitchen as the salmon cooks. Just make sure you have your stove fan on high. If you really cannot abide by the odors of frying salmon, you can poach the salmon, and serve it with the same sauce.