Sautéed Salmon Fillets with Creamy Cucumber Sauce
This is a quick and easy seafood main dish that is appropriate for a special occasion or elegant entertaining. The cucumber sauce can be used with other types of firm-fleshed fish. It is based on a recipe by Chef Michel Richard and is very good. I made a few changes to suit my own tastes and simplify preparation.
- 2 small or 1 medium cucumber
- 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Grated rind from 1/2 lemon
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 center-cut salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- Salt and pepper to taste
Peel cucumbers; slice in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Chop into small pieces as desired. Whisk together the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and rind. Set aside.
Lightly salt and pepper the fish fillets. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a fry pan large enough to hold the fish. Add the fillets and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, depending on thickness, or until desired doneness. (Salmon is best not cooked beyond medium. Many people prefer it medium-rare). Remove salmon and keep warm.
Add wine to fry pan and scrape bottom. Add the cucumbers and cream; cook over medium-high heat until cucumbers are tender, about 5 minutes. Gradually add egg yolk mixture to cucumbers, whisking vigorously to prevent the eggs from coagulating. Add the chives and cook until mixture thickens, stirring often, for about 7 minutes. Place salmon fillets on serving plates and spoon a little sauce over each. Serve immediately.