I was born in Sicily and returned there to work as an Executive Chef in my 20’s and early 30’s. Fresh fish reigns on the island, and finding the freshest of fish is key in any seafood dish that you prepare at home.
I was spoiled by the market-fresh fish at the restaurant. Now that I am home, I have discovered the small, local fishmongers in my county and am pleased to say that I can make restaurant-quality fish dishes at home. Salmon was a favorite of my restaurant guests in New York, and it is one of my daughter’s preferred main courses at home.
- Four 6-ounce salmon fillets (with or without skin)
- Kosher salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or Canola oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- ½ cup water or vegetable stock
- Juice of half a lemon
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Season the salmon with salt to taste.
- Heat a large skillet with the vegetable or Canola oil over medium high heat.
- After 1-2 minutes, when the oil is hot, add the salmon fillets (skin side down, preferably).
- Cook the salmon for about 2 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the fillet. I like to eat my salmon slightly rare in the middle as it tastes milder that way. If you prefer it cooked through, allow to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. (Regardless, leave the salmon a little under-cooked, since it will continue to cook in the sauce.) Remove the fish and put it on a plate.
- Discard the oil from the pan with care and return the pan to medium heat. Add the butter and allow to melt.
- Add the wine and cook for about 1-2 minutes until reduced. Add ½ cup of water and the lemon juice and bring to a simmer for about 2 minutes. Add the cream and allow simmer for another 1 minute.
- Return the salmon fillets to the pan and cook for another 1-2 minutes so that the sauce coats the fish.
- Transfer the fillets to your serving plates with a spatula, and spoon a little sauce over each fillet. (You could also strain the sauce if you want it to be more delicate).