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Dinner in a Flash: Crispy Salmon with Balsamic Butter

August 6, 2010

Crispy salmon is one of my favorite ways to get those all-important omega-3s, and this meal cooks up so fast I can have dinner on the table in about 15 minutes.  Luckily, I can find wild salmon fillets at our local food co-op.  The zucchini and cherry tomatoes I sauteed on the side were locally grown, and tasted fresh from the garden. The real star of this quick meal, however, is the balsamic butter.  This simple sauce should come with a warning about its addictive properties — you will find yourself whipping it up to put on steaks, burgers, potatoes…

Crispy Salmon

salmon fillet(s), skin on

olive oil


Rinse the salmon fillet(s) well under cold water, and pat dry with a paper towel.  Season both sides with salt, rubbing the salt well into the skin side.  Heat a teaspoon or two of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking.  Place the salmon fillet(s) in the pan, skin side down.  Resist the urge to fuss over the fish — just let it cook, without poking it or pushing it about.  Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and crispy, and the edges of the flesh start to turn opaque.  Flip the fillet(s) over and sear the flesh side for 1 to 2 minutes, until cooked through.  Serve immediately with balsamic butter.

Balsamic Butter

(Makes 2 servings)

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic, smashed

1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp cubed butter, well-chilled

Simmer the balsamic vinegar and smashed garlic clove over medium heat until the vinegar is reduced by half, watching carefully and swirling the pan to avoid burning.  Remove from heat and let cool for 3 to 4 minutes.  Don’t skip the cooling!  If the vinegar is too hot when you whisk in the butter, the sauce will not emulsify properly.  Remove the garlic clove.  Whisk in the cold butter to form a velvety emulsion.  Use immediately.

  1. Emily permalink
    August 14, 2010 6:33 pm

    Just made this for dinner – it was so delicious and cost less than $12 for the two of us!

  2. August 14, 2010 10:45 pm

    It makes me happy to hear that — glad you enjoyed it!

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