after preserving lemons and using them to flavor vodka, i had a couple leftover. i'd bought a 1lb fillet of wild caught (not farmed!) pink salmon from loki fish company at the farmers market and thought my lemons would compliment the fish nicely. pink salmon is milder in flavor and a lighter color than the more robust-flavored, dark pink to almost red-colored coho or sockeye. still, it's a delicate and delicious fish, with gorgeous light pink flesh. it's also cheaper than the other two which, truth be told, is its main appeal for me!
i found a recipe for an almond-crusted salmon with creamy leeks, but i didn't want to encase the fresh salmon flavor in nuts-- i like a really simple preparation, so took the leeks idea and scrapped the rest. the bright and creamy sauce made it a nice transition dish, easing from winter into spring. here's how it went...
pink salmon with lemons and creamy leeks
1 1lb boneless salmon fillet
1 whole lemon (i used meyer)
olive oil, kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 Tbsp butter
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced thin
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup whipping cream (or half and half)
salt and pepper
for creamy leeks:
heat the butter over medium heat in a saucepan. add cleaned and sliced leeks and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes. reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 15 minutes. increase heat to medium and stir in lemon juice; cook, stirring, for about a minute or until it evaporates. stir in cream and cook until it reduces slightly, just a few minutes. (note: when i added the cream to the mixture, it curdled. i'm not sure if it was because i hadn't let the lemon juice reduce completely, or if it would curdle regardless. either way, the blender took care of it.) cool slightly, transfer mixture to blender and blend until smooth. season to taste with salt and pepper.
preheat oven to 400 degrees.
prepare baking dish large enough for the fish by lightly coating bottom with olive oil. pat fish dry and put in baking dish (skin-side down, if skin on) and sprinkle with salt and cracked pepper. slice one of the lemons and arrange slices along the fish. drizzle liberally with olive oil. bake salmon about 20-25 minutes. check after 15 and every 5 minutes after that-- cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fillet. the thinner ends will cook faster than the center.
serve salmon either topped with the cream, or put cream on the plate and serve salmon on top.
and thus went meyer lemon fest 2010.